Get Fitter, Firmer, Faster! 18 Fitness Shortcuts
6 Tips to Get More Motivated
Rev up your mojo in mere seconds.Move to improve your 'tude.
Sneak in a morning sweat session and you'll experience the exercise high all day: Research from the University of Vermont in Burlington shows that doing just 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise -- brisk walking or easy-paced cycling, for example -- gives you a feel-good mood recharge that lasts up to 12 hours.
Download the free BeatScanner tool at bestworkoutmusic.com to have it pull the tunes from your playlists that match your tempo, or try the site's Workout Music Studio ($27) to alter the beat of your faves to suit your pace. Result? A never-ending supply of music to help you roll through every workout. And if your tunes could use a refresh, try these bumping hits:
"Don't Stop the Party" - The Black Eyed Peas
"Till the World Ends" - Britney Spears
"Where Them Girls At" - David Guetta, featuring Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida
"Save the World" - Swedish House Mafia
"Dirty Dancer" - Enrique Iglesias with Usher, featuring Lil WayneSee green to enjoy your routine.
A Swiss study of 319 city dwellers determined that they found outdoor workouts more restorative than indoor ones. Find a walking or jogging route on mapmyrun.com or a nearby bike path at mapmyride.com.Chill out to firm up.
Take five at the water fountain to clear your head before you rep: Less-stressed exercisers who lifted weights increased their strength gains by up to 25 percent compared with tenser folks, according to a study at the University of Texas at Austin.Have a great flex.
A post-workout cooldown can leave exercisers with a that-wasn't-so-tough impression of their last sweat session -- a better mind-set for getting back to the gym the next day. Perform a few soothing stretches before you head for the shower, holding each 20 to 30 seconds.
Imagine mini finish lines along your jogging loop to rejuice your stride and make the time fly. For instance, think in five-mile increments when you tackle double-digit distances, top U.S. marathoner Kara Goucher says. "If I start to get tired, I visualize myself crossing the finish line, which helps me dig a little deeper."
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2011.
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