Fun with Fitness – How to Feel Good When Working Out

The hardest thing I come across daily is finding the motivation to get out for a workout.

Whether it’s finding the strength and energy to get up early on these cold mornings, or to push myself to keep going after a day’s work, motivation is hard to muster up. With winter upon us; less daylight hours and colder temperatures, this is the best time to muster up the dedication to get our summer bodies ready!

The most important thing is feeling good when we’re working out – that’s the whole point isn’t it! I believe that the best way to success with fitness is to have fun! I’ve put together some top tips to inspire you to get up and moving, in a way that you’ll enjoy!

1. Put on some Music

With some good music, there’s no way you won’t enjoy your workout! For me, music has two benefits when I’m working out; It helps time go faster, and can be a good distraction from feeling tired or sore to help you keep pushing harder. When I started at Les Mills last year I started putting together a playlist of music that I love to listen to when I workout – and to motivate me to push harder, run faster or to just keep going! For example, some of my top songs are ‘Werk Out’ by Todrick Hall, ‘Boss Bitch’ by Doja Cat, or ‘Midnight Hour’ by Skrillex

It has been proven that having music on when working out isn’t just entertaining – but does also help to improve your workout. When you’re feeling good and upbeat and happy, your body is more awake and you get more out of your body. It’s also a great way to get yourself in the zone, and if you’re running it’s a great way to maintain a steady pace to push you further!

You can find my workout playlist here for inspiration: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/20CxUdPFK3L6fZSIP5yPJk?si=OGfWzd05Si2g-fWzN3DKUg

2. Wear clothes that you feel good in

Working out in gear that doesn’t fit, or you aren’t in love with, can interfere with your workout motivation. I used to be that kid always wearing workout gear from the warehouse, with it not fitting, looking good, and just made working out much more uncomfortable. You shouldn’t be afraid to shop around, or spend that little extra coin, to get yourself the perfect workout gear that makes you feel like a queen!

I love clothes that I can move in, flatter my figure, and holds everything together where it needs to. I’ve tried a number of different brands, styles and colours, to find my perfect activewear outfits. What I love to go for is a comfy pair of workout leggings that are high waisted, and I’ll put on a sports crop, and sometimes a T-Shirt or Singlet overtop! When I’m running or playing sports, such as indoor netball, I’ll put on some shorts or a pair of cycle shorts to give my legs a bit more freedom! I also love playing around with some colours and styles to find what looks the best on me and makes me feel amazing and motivated to put them on and workout.

The workout outfit pictured is pretty much my favourite in summer when I’m out and about – a comfy slightly fitted singlet, a sports crop from Cotton On Body, my Nike 3″ running shorts and the socks are cycling socks from Toot Toot. During the winter I always reach for my Hera Fitness gear to keep me warm and comfortable – especially my Monarch tights: https://herafitness.co.nz/collections/leggings/products/monarch-leggings-black.

The one thing that I find super important is wearing comfortable underwear and socks! This doesn’t often pop into people’s minds as one of the reasons you could be feeling uncomfortable during your workout – but with them being so close to your body and in places that move around a lot – they are super important! Again, this can be another trial and error until you find what works best for you, but once you do definitely stick to it!

It does take a few tries to find what works best for you and the workouts that you’re doing.

3. Wear Shoes that are Appropriate for your Workout

I can not stress this enough! Always, always, ALWAYS wear shoes that are suitable for the workout you’re doing! Your feet are so important – literally carrying you through life – so the least you can do is take care of your feet!

If you’re heading out for a run, have a look around for a good quality pair of running shoes that suit your feet. A number of sports shops will help you with finding the best shoe for your type of running – whether you go trail running or road running, long or short distances, there’s a shoe for you! Proper running shoes will give you the proper midsole foot cushioning and arch support that your feet need to get you through your run. I love getting outdoors for my runs, but also out on the road – so with some research I picked up these Asics Noosa Gel running sneakers. They’re super cushioned underfoot, have good grip for the outdoors, proper runners laces, as well as other features designed to improve running performance and protect my feet – plus the neon colours are an awesome statement!

You can find them here: https://www.asics.com/nz/en-nz/gel-noosa-tri-12/p/0020014165.750?gclid=CjwKCAjwltH3BRB6EiwAhj0IUO8xNn2eUH84s0D9z3BdTByDq2TtMnnLFEVpduQcW0Byoxu91v7V8hoC1oIQAvD_BwE

If you’re heading to the gym, a nice comfortable and flexible sneaker is definitely the way to go! You want your feet to be able to move enough to suit any kind of workout, but still have the stability to get you through your session. Gym shoes are designed to give you the proper cushioning to lower your foot’s impact can improve your performance, depending on the workout.

What a lot of people may not realise is many sports will have their own style of shoe designed for the sport! For example, Asics do a range of shoes specifically for Netball players, Adidas have a range for Hockey, and then you have your classic rugby, soccer, squash, tennis and golf – all kinds of sports have specially designed shoes. If sports are your thing, definitely look into a sneaker that’s designed for your specific sport!

4. Stay well Hydrated and Fuelled up for your workout

The most important thing you can do to feel good during your workout, is to properly prepare your body for exercise; this means staying well hydrated and making sure you eat before and after a workout! I find this the most important because, how you prepare your body for a workout can really make or break you on your workout. Here’s what I do before, during and after my workout to make sure my body is well fuelled:

  • I make sure to eat a decent meal at least a couple of hours before a workout, and a quick power snack 30 minutes before. I’ll go for a banana, protein bar or standard muesli bar just to make sure my body won’t burn out
  • If I’m heading into a tough workout that I want to push hard in, or I’m lacking energy, I’ll take a quick pre-workout or BCAA to give my body that extra boost. BCAA’s can also be beneficial during a hard workout as well, so it all depends on how your body feels. I’ve been loving the Raiseys BCAA in Mango and it just gives me the needed boost to get me through a hard workout and helps with post-workout recovery
  • Making sure I stay hydrated, I try to have at least 1L of water before a workout. If I’m out for a morning run (before breakfast usually) I’ll have a couple of glasses beforehand. I tend to keep a water bottle with me at the gym, and if I’m heading out for a long/hard run.
  • Post workout I always make sure to refuel my body to get through the rest of the day. I try to have a protein shake within half an hour of a workout (the recommended time to take one for optimum benefits) or a BCAA if I’m not as hungry. These are both amazing to help with muscle recovery and combined with regular exercise are amazing to help with your fitness goals. It’s important to help your bod recover so that you’re feeling good for your next workout!
  • Finally, drinking electrolytes are great after a hard workout or long run to rehydrate your body and replenish the electrolytes used during your workout. I find having electrolytes during and after a workout keeps me feeling alert and awake for the rest of the day, and helps so much with my body’s recovery! Plus, electrolytes come in amazing flavours so it’s a great way to remind yourself to keep hydrated and drinking water!

No matter what kind of workout you’re doing, always make sure you’re as prepared as you can be either before or after your workout! The more you look after your body, the more you can get out of it during your workout!

Do Something You Enjoy – or Find Ways to Make it More Fun!

Workouts are never fun if you feel like you’re doing it because you ‘have to’. You’re less inspired, you put less effort in, and eventually the workouts stop. Stop that cycle right in its tracks by keeping your workouts fun and motivational!

I used to absolutely hate going running – I would always despise it and never put the effort in. To get over that, I love setting myself challenges for every run, I always go running somewhere that I can enjoy a beautiful view, and I never run without music on! This keeps me motivated and want to get out and about for a run, and keep challenging myself to achieve my goals! For example, there is a track near my house that’s about 3km long; its a hill trail run in a bit of bush, and a good challenge. I never used to be able to run it at all – I could only walk, but now I can run the entire track in under 30 minutes (one way) – and that time is only getting better!

If running isn’t your thing, try getting into cycling or a sport! I’ve played netball since I was a little girl, and I love playing to meet new people and it’s a great form of fitness! You could try any kind of sport and it’s an amazing way to meet people, get out and about exercising, and having lots of fun! And you never know who you’ll meet, what friendships you’ll make, or what new fitness buddy you come across!

Workout out should never be a chore – it should be a fun, motivational activity that inspires us and pushes us to achieve our goals! With everything becoming more and more accessible, it’s so easy to just not get out and always be at home watching Netflix on the couch. Make a point of getting up and outside, do a killer home workout or head out for an adventure somewhere new, and really enjoy a good workout! Your body will thank you for it, and future you will to!

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