Have More Energy Every Day
3 Tips to Get Pumped UpUse mint over matter.
If you need an extra kick to get yourself out of that desk chair and onto the stationary bike, pop a stick of peppermint gum into your mouth. "The peppermint scent activates the area of our brain that puts us to sleep at night and wakes us up in the morning," explains researcher Bryan Raudenbush, PhD, a professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University. "More stimulation in this area of the brain leads to more energy and motivation to perform your athletic tasks."Repeat yourself.
Feeling discouraged? Do a workout you know you can rock. In a study of more than 5,000 people, published in the journal BMC Public Health, researchers found that those who were confident they could keep up an exercise routine were the ones who would do it regularly. "It's a self-fulfilling prophecy," sports psychologist Kathryn Wilder, PhD, says. "The more you believe you can complete the workout program, the more you'll actually follow through with it." Let's say you dream of running a marathon, but the longest race you've done is a half, and the full 26.2 miles gives you the heebie-jeebies. Build up your confidence by registering for one more half before you move on to a longer distance.Get it over with.
Researchers in the United Kingdom have figured out a possible reason morning exercisers tend to keep at their fitness routine. In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, subjects were able to bike for 18 percent longer after watching a movie than after doing 90 minutes of mental exercises on a computer. Why? All that thinking makes you feel tired before you've actually exhausted your muscles. So the worst time to go to the gym is when you're mentally kaput after a stressful day at work. Trouble is, bouncing out of bed and into your sneaks is easier said than done. My trick? Good old bribery -- of the caffeinated variety. If I make it to that morning class, I reward myself with a Starbucks on the way home. But if I stay under the covers, my morning mug is sludgy: I'm stuck microwaving the leftover coffee in the refrigerator.
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