Research shows “game-ifying” your workouts can improve motivation and make fitness more effective.
A couple of fitness hacks could be just the thing you need to transform your body.
I know a lot of people that dream of getting the elusive 6-pack abs. They often think about how great it would be to have them. They cut out newspapers of people who have great abs, hang posters, and keep the thought of getting them in the back of their mind. Their dream goal is set in stone, but they have no idea how to get there.
The thing is, many of them have tried workouts, fitness classes, and cardio, but are never able to get anywhere close to where they want to go. After a month of going to the gym and seeing their waistline remain the same, they end up cancelling their membership and going back to their old ways.
So what should they be doing differently?
They need to get smart about working out, remove the negative things in their lives, mix up their routines, and think positively about achieving their goals.
The only way to achieve a goal is by optimizing your chances to attain that goal. That means doing everything you can to put yourself in a position for success. Success is never easy, but using smart and sound advice to your advantage can make the road a little less rocky.
Are you ready to change your life?
Use these 15 fitness hacks to get your life and your fitness goals on the right track:
Fitness Hack #1: Just Start
The hardest thing to do when starting anything new, especially a fitness program, is to go from thinking about doing it to actually doing it. You may spend days or even weeks planning and plotting and talking about what you should be doing. The best way to learn almost anything is just to start.
Although it is best to go into something with a plan, don’t spend all your waking hours setting up every detail. Plan while you go. You are much more likely to pick up on something if you are constantly around it.
Think of a toddler learning how to speak. They learn how to speak by talking to others and being taught how to speak as they go. I took Spanish for 5 years and still wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone fluent in Spanish. I never got the chance to dive in and really use the language in a natural setting. I never really started and was stuck in the learning phase.
Remember you learn by doing. It’s easy to dream, much harder to execute.
Fitness Hack #2: Remove Everything Negative in Your Life
Do you feel like everything and everyone around you is trying to tear you down, keeping you from all your fitness and health goals? Well they are.
And guess what, it’s not everyone else’s fault that this is happening, it’s yours. You’re the one hanging out with these people, you’re the one eating processed foods and you’re the one setting yourself up for failure. The only way out is to realize what’s tearing you down and remove it from your life.
So how do you decide what needs to be removed? You need to first look yourself in the mirror and decide what your priorities are for success and happiness. Anything that does not align with this concept needs to be taken away. So how do you go about doing this?
You need to do these 3 things:
1. Stay away from the people with bad attitudes, the complainers, the whiners, and the people that drag you down. It’s 10 times harder to climb a mountain if you have to do it with a group of boulders hanging from your neck.
2. Remove almost all unhealthy, sugary, and processed foods from your life. They are messing with your body chemistry, destroying you from the inside out. Your headaches, depression, acne, high cholesterol, weight gain, high blood pressure, leaky gut, brain fog, lack of energy, bloating, blood sugar spikes, and so many other things can be fixed if you just change your eating and nutrition habits.
3. Remove the backup plan. If you don’t remove the backup plan, it may end up being the very reason you fail.
One study showed that if you are already mentally prepared to fail, you won’t invest in the success of plan A. The study offered one group of participants a reward if they did well on a test. The other groups were told that if they didn’t do well on the test, they would have to create a backup plan to get the same rewards. The backup plan group, not as motivated to do well on the test knowing they had a second chance, ended up doing worse than the group without a backup plan.
If your backup plan for exercising and eating healthy over a long period of time is to go on a series of diets, you are much more likely just to go on the diets and completely forget about plan A. It gives you an out, and if you’re weak of mind, you will probably end up just going for your backup plan as soon as the shi* hits the fan. Get rid of the backup plan.
Fitness Hack #3: Add Everything Positive and Motivational to Your Life
Surround yourself with positivity and motivation in every aspect of your life. It’s going to propel you to levels you never knew existed. Make friends with people of common goals, keep healthy food in the fridge at all times, read, listen, and consume inspirational and educational media, keep a journal, meditate on all things positive, and set your home up for success.
You are going to be the one that dictates your future. It’s no one else’s responsibility to do this for you. You are in charge of your success and happiness. Once you realize that, things start to change, and things start to get good.
Fitness Hack #4: Game-ify Your Workouts
Do you hate working out? Is exercise boring? Try a workout that makes exercise fun. We live in a world of gaming, constant gratification, fun, and entertainment. So why not add a little bit of that to your workouts?
The only way to keep doing something for the long term is to make it something you enjoy. Game-ifying your workouts may be just the thing you’re looking for.
There are a couple of different ways to game-ify your workouts.
1. Set a series of goals and give yourself mini rewards for completing those goals. Just like video games, when you complete a task, your brain releases dopamine, the chemical related to feelings of pleasure, learning and motivation. When you complete a small task, it’s much easier to move on to the next goal. Write down your goals for a higher rate of success.
2. Actually play a game with your workouts. There are several workout games and apps that make training more fun. Try SHAPEUP, Wii Fit, Just Dance, Pokémon Go, Zombies, Run!, or the Fitbit for a new and different way to burn calories and keep you coming back for more.
One study divided 146 office workers who sat on average 75% of the day into 2 groups. Participants were given Fitbits, but only one group used the wearable MapTrek, a web-based game that moves an avatar along Google Maps. The group using the MapTrek walked over 2,000 more steps than the group that only used the Fitbit.
Journal your successes and track your results. Like any game, you need to be able to look back at what you’ve done to give you motivation to move forward. By tracking your results, you can re-evaluate your goals and make sure you’re on the right track.
Fitness Hack #5: Listen to Motivational Music or an Informational Podcast
I am way more pumped up to work out if I’m listening to some motivational music or an informational podcast. One study found that applicants cycled harder when they listened to music. Music is especially influential during endurance or repetitive activities. You should surround yourself with things that will help you reach your goals.
If you are constantly taking breaks to look at Facebook and are just wandering around the gym with no plan in mind, it’s going to be much harder to get where you want to go. Listening to these things keeps your mind in the zone and focused on what you want to accomplish.
Listen and learn all day long. I listen to motivational and informational media in the car, after I wake up, at work, and at home. This keeps my mind on the task at hand, keeps me learning and keeps me focused. The minute you stop listening and learning, is the minute you start losing and falling backwards.
Fitness Hack #6: Try an Express Fitness Workout
Many people can’t seem to find the time to work out. They think any work out is going to take them at least an hour. Pair that with another 45 minutes for getting ready and heading to the gym and another 45 minutes for coming home and showering. After all is said and done, you have spent 2.5 hours to get something done that should only take you 15 minutes.
How do you get a workout done in 15 minutes?
The short answer is you wake up, have everything ready from the night before, workout in your living room with functional fitness equipment, do total body exercises, and take very short breaks. Workout for 15 minutes and you’re done. Head to the showers and get ready for the day. It’s really that easy. You just need to change your mindset, get creative, and break through the norm.
Click HERE for more information on express workouts.
Fitness Hack #7: Join an Exercise Group
Do you like working out with others? Do you like the energy an exercise group adds to your life? Do you like something laid out for you and easy to follow along?
An exercise group might be just what you’re looking for. There are tons of classes out there to get you moving. There’s anything from Zumba, to kickboxing, to cycling classes. You’ll always have someone there to motivate you and keep you accountable.
One way to keep you accountable is by having to pay for something. Think of paying for something like an investment in your health. Most people let their health go by the wayside and eventually have to spend thousands of dollars getting back to health the wrong way.
By paying for your health now, you are not only reducing the risk of contracting many diseases in your life, but you are also more likely to give working out your best shot. Many places offer free trials so find them and give different workout groups a try. Go to the location with an open mindset. You never know, you may find out you like the fitness pole dancing class offered down the street.
Fitness Hack #8: Keep a Journal
Remember that journal you started to keep when you were 10 years old? It’s time to start a new one, a positive one filled with hope and progress.
Keeping an exercise journal will help you keep track of goals, show your progress, keep a schedule, plan workouts, record sleep and meals, increase motivation, write reflectively, and increase your chance of success. One study showed that reflective writing improves decision making and critical thinking, valuable traits in moving forward with health and fitness decisions.
Once you start tracking your actions over time, you will be able to recognize patterns that you need to correct and keep yourself accountable for those actions. You’ll be able to figure out your weaknesses and eliminate excuses.
Remember, happiness is found in the journey. Let the progress you demonstrate in your journal become your happiness over time.
Fitness Hack #9: Set Yourself Up for Success
If you want to create positive habits, you must set yourself up for success.
Keep your gym clothes in your car, set your alarm in the bathroom or the living room, prepare your meals ahead of time, and get your workout plan and fitness equipment set up the night before. Your mind is much more likely to follow the path of least resistance.
If the path of least resistance is one that leads you to the cookies set on the counter, that’s what your mind is probably going to choose.
Fitness Hack #10: Exercise at Work
Work is probably the last place you think of when you want to get your exercise in for the day. The thing is, that’s where you’ll be spending at least 8 hours a day, so it’s best you get yourself moving throughout the day.
There are many ways to get a little extra exercise during your work day. Try standing or walking at your standup desk, do a set of squats or lunges every so often to get your eyes off the monitor, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park far away from your front door of the office. Anything you can do to get your heart pumping and your muscles working on the short term will greatly benefit you on the long term.
If you’re serious about exercising more during the work day, check out my article ->> The 10 Best Pieces of Exercise Equipment You Need for Your Office Cubicle
Are you worried about losing your concentration at work? People will say when you multi-task, your production will go down. In this case, when you exercise while you work, your production will go up. When 1 of the 2 multi-tasking activities is a thoughtless and natural activity, it won’t take the attention of the other activity.
Your productivity will only go down when you have to think about both activities at the same time. You shouldn’t have to think about walking on your stationary treadmill while you calculate the daily budget. That is of course if you don’t also have trouble walking and chewing gum.
Fitness Hack #11: Leave Your House
Get off the couch and leave the house. The house can be one of the most unproductive places known to man. Houses offer comfort, relaxation, and stability. If you want to get where you want to go in your health and fitness life, it’s best your leave your house and find an environment that forces you to do what you need to do.
I’m not saying you can’t do everything you want to accomplish at home, but it’s probably going to act as a place of conflicting interests. The television and couch will constantly be harassing you to sit and watch (and maybe your spouse too). Your fridge will be calling to you to have a beer. Your kids will be screaming to play with them. Your spouse will want you to fix the garage door that’s been broken for the past 6 months.
You can’t accomplish your goals in an environment that’s not suitable for accomplishing those goals.
Do you need some cardio? Head to the lake and jog. Do you need more flexibility in your life? Head to the nearest yoga studio and get your stretch on.
Get out of the house. It’s your best bet to be productive in a society that demands your attention.
Fitness Hack #12: Mix it Up
I cannot stress enough how important mixing things are to keeping a positive outlook on fitness is. One article from the University of Florida showed adding variety to an exercise routine increased adherence by elevating personal enjoyment and removing the monotony in the workout routines.
Many people head to the gym and plan on doing the same workout they’ve done the past 20 times. Avoid burnout and keep it interesting by mixing up your workouts. You can do this by varying the exercises and equipment you use, taking different classes, mixing up your workout routines, varying the intensities, or blending different forms of cardio.
By mixing up your workouts you’ll never be bored, you’ll avoid or delay your plateau, and improve training results. By changing things, you solve many fundamental reasons people give up on their workout programs. Don’t let a stagnant workout program be one of them.
Fitness Hack #13: Sign up For a Competition
What’s more motivating and exciting than putting all your hard work into action. Pick a competition on the horizon and sign up! There are so many to choose from.
You can do a 5K, a Tough Mudder, a basketball tournament, a charity run, Warrior Dash, or a body physique competition. Competitions like this embrace unity, cooperation, hard work, and fun.
If I could compete every day of my life, I would. The adrenaline rush and amazing feelings you get from being part of something bigger than yourself are incomparable.
Fitness Hack #14: Ignore the Haters
Stop listening to all the noise. Ignore other peoples hate and negative opinions. Use it as fuel to move you forward. If you really think about it, when someone takes the time out of their day to write or say negative things about you, how terrible, painful and hurting their lives must be.
If you partake in people’s negativity, you’re bound to be surrounded by it. Remember, misery loves company. Be the example in the health and exercise world and be a light for others to follow.
You’ll discover how liberating it is when you stop caring about the thoughtless, hateful, negative opinions you receive from others.
Fitness Hack #15: Reach for the Stars
Your goals might be the reason you’re failing. Are you reaching high enough? Remember, your goal should never be too easy or too hard, and in a spot that’s challenging, but reachable.
Is your goal just to lose 10 pounds? This goal seems pretty easy for most people.
Try going for 18% body fat and a chiseled summer body. The 10 pounds can be a mini-goal along the way. If that is your goal, the weight loss will be easy and get hit a lot more quickly if it’s part of the entire path. If you shoot for the stars, it’s going to be a lot easier to hit the moon.
Summary: 15 Fitness Hacks That Will TRANSFORM Your Body
A sound mind and sound body can transform your outlook on life. Once you optimize both, your attitude towards life will change dramatically. You will have the confidence to climb the highest mountains, compete in the toughest events, and achieve anything you set your mind to. We live in a world where everything and everyone is trying to drag you down. Use fitness as a way to break through these barriers and find greener pastures.
Do you think fitness could be the thing your body and mind is missing? What’s holding you back from beginning? Let me know below!