Easy Ways to Improve Your Workouts

April 18, 2017

Ways to Improve Your Workouts I Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

Ways to Improve Your Workouts I Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

My fitness journey has been an ever-evolving one. I tried to be an athlete growing up but it wasn’t for me (HA!) I tried to be a runner in my 20s and retired that pursuit after my first (and last) half marathon and now I’ve finally figured out that the way for me to stay fit is taking a variety of classes.

Being committed to working out really does take finding what works for you! And while I could definitely still be better about all-around fitness and wellness, I am so glad that I’m finding a groove in what keeps me motivated, accountable and engaged. Here are a few tips I use to make sure I’m maximizing what I’m getting out of each workout!

Ways to Improve Your Workouts I Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

Get to know your instructors.

Let’s start with my favorite tip, shall we!? As I’ve started to find favorite instructors at various studios I’ve also started to make an effort to speak with them after class. Not only can I flag how I’m feeling and get some tips for having a better class but the best part of getting to know your instructors I’ve found is that you become more accountable for A) showing up and B) giving your best effort every time.

Schedule.

I’ve talked about this before but scheduling my workouts is my key to ensuring they happen. I put them on the calendar like they are a meeting and I don’t cancel them for social plans. Once they are on my calendar, I am going. The only exception is if I cancel a workout to move it to another time or day. This has been a huge help in meeting my goal this year of at least four workouts a week.

Ways to Improve Your Workouts I Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

Flag any pain.

While it can sometimes be awkward to raise your hand in a class and say you have an injury, I always take the opportunity to tell my teachers if I have anything that’s bothering me (oftentimes it’s my lower back). This way they can be aware whether they need to adjust any of my form as we go through the motions. I can’t tell you how frequently I’ve been happy that I’ve made my teachers aware of any aches or pains. It’s always worth making the effort to do so and I love getting the feedback on how I can better my workouts by having proper form.

Mix it up.

While I primarily do Flywheel + Flybarre as my means of working out, I also try to sprinkle in a pilates class or yoga class here and there so my body gets variety in. I love making different muscles work and I recognize the importance of not letting your body get too comfortable. I’m also going to try to start using Aaptiv more because I have a lot of friends who have said great things about it! I wouldn’t hate easing back into some very short, mind-clearing runs on nice days and also would love to try and do a bit more stretching via some at-home yoga classes offered in the app. Have any of you guys tried Aaptiv?

Ways to Improve Your Workouts I Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

Allow time for recovery.

As I’ve gotten any older my muscles and joints are reminding me regularly that I must allow time for recovery. If I do similar workouts three days in a row everything starts to ache. Also if I don’t make time to do foam rolling I will pay for it. I’m trying to get better about stretching, rolling and overall just listening to my body when it is trying to tell me something!

Fuel up + Hydrate.

I’ve started to become more and more aware of how my workouts are affected by what I ate earlier in the day. If I eat a heavier lunch and then go to a 5:30 Flywheel class sometimes I feel like I’m pedaling through cement. So now I try to eat lighter on days I’m doing more cardio-heavy workouts and make sure to have a snack at least an hour before to fuel up. Also: WATER WATER WATER! I know we all know this but given we are often all dehydrated, before and after workouts be sure to be drinking tons of water.

Ways to Improve Your Workouts I Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

Do you guys have any workout tips you can share? I’d love to hear them!

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p.s. healthy habits I try to practice and how to make good habits.

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

2 comments on “Easy Ways to Improve Your Workouts”

  1. Needed this! I’ve gotten better with working out, and can usually count on myself to go twice a week, but of course I’d like that number to be higher. Talking to your instructors is a great tip, I’ll def try it!

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