How To Make Your Fitness Routine Easier
No matter your choice of physical activity is, whether if it's boxing, dancing or doing yoga, there is always that level of physical exertion involved. Chances are, you possess a “calorie burned” app tracker on your phone to record it too!
What about your level of perceived exertion? Is there a measurement for that? Well, that is a different story. Because everyone has their own level of perception of how hard they are truly working out. This perception has its own fallacy- it is not reliable. But you can be proactive by reducing this perception, so you go longer, harder and ultimately happier.
How? Train your mind to shift your perception about your workout!
I love high-intensity interval training sessions and I know most people would rather sleep before partaking in such torture. But, I learn that using optimism to shift my thoughts about the advantages of it can help me complete a round or two and not feel productivity guilt. After all, a half-hour session sounds a heck of a lot better than an hour of it.
In a recent study in the Journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, researchers found that when individuals who exercise cut the duration or number of high-intensity bouts in their workouts by half, their level of enjoyment increased and reduced their rate of perceived exertion or RPE while boosting their anaerobic extent more than doing tougher HIIT activity.
Other research conducted by the same group uncovered that exercising outdoors lowers your RPE by introducing distractions courtesy of nature. Subjects experienced greater feelings of happiness!
Post-workout is important too! The amount of time committing to a cool-down is key. A study conducted by the University of Florida discovered that subjects who ran on a treadmill at different speeds for a half hour formed their thoughts of its difficulty based on how they felt during the last minutes as opposed to the hardest stretch. The suggestion: walk it off or take a five-minute stretch to top it off.
Consider Adding Caffeine and Devise Your Music Playlist
Another method involves sipping on a cup of caffeine an hour prior to your workout activity. Whether if your choice is a cup of hot coffee or an energy drink, caffeine helps to block the adenosine receptor in the brain and increase excitability which reduces the RPE level for given work.
One shift in the brain comes from our entertainment choices: our music playlist. Music helps to power through anything- household chores, work tasks, and workout routines. Even chooses the right tunes post-workout can make a positive impact! Research from the Brunel University in London revealed that when participants listened to slow instrumental music right after a cycling workout lowered their cortisol levels. During a workout, the study concluded that the right music can make a rigorous run feel 10 to 12 percent easier. Who would have thought?!
Your mind plays such a huge role in how strong you feel and how you last. How will you be training it?