8 Motivation Tips for Your Next Elliptical Workout
The Elliptical machine is pure magic. It not only burns fat, but it also raises your heart rate, builds endurance, strengthens and tones the legs, and boots your back side. These handy machines make a great addition to your at-home gym – they last between 5-10 years (or more), and are wonderful for those days when you just don’t want to go outside. They’re also a great way to get your workout in at the studio or gym – the possibilities really are endless. But, I think we can all agree that, with any exercise, motivating yourself to get on the machine and start moving can often be tough. The solution? An easy-to-follow plan that’ll help you stay in the zone and remain focused on the end result.
Below are some tips to keep you motivated while using the elliptical machine. Bonus: many of them can also be applied to other indoor cardio machines.
1. MAKE A SCHEDULE
Spontaneously working out is never the best way to stick with a goal. Try and schedule aside time each day (or every other day) to get on the elliptical machine. Shape.com suggests picking a time that best suits your schedule and energy level and recommends considering all of your commitments (school, work, family, etc), then opening your calendar and writing in your training sessions as if they were important business meetings. When you have a devoted period of time in your day, you’ll be more likely to actually work out.
2. MIX IT UP
Most of the new machines out there have endless possibilities. Many boast high-tech features like iPod docks, USB ports, wireless internet connectivity, and LCD screens, allowing you to you feel like you’re out in the open and not stuck at the gym. Most also include preset routines that are geared to help you build endurance, strengthen and tighten, and lose weight. Simply pick the program you want, and start your routine. With so many options, you’ll never get bored.
3. TUNE IN
Load your iPod with a high-energy playlist that’ll inspire and motivate you. The New York Times explains that, “studies have shown that listening to music during exercise can improve results, both in terms of being a motivator (people exercise longer and more vigorously to music) and as a distraction from negatives like fatigue.” Looking for the perfect mix? We’ve got you covered!
4. CATCH A FLICK
Set up your machine in a room with a TV (many gyms offer this as well) and elliptical time will slowly mean “me time.” Time goes by so fast when you’re able to catch up on your weekly TV shows, or watch a movie you’ve been dying to see. It’s the best way to kill two birds with one stone, and it’ll also free up your time later to watch something you and your significant other both enjoy (we all know agreeing on television shows is an issue in many relationships).
5. READ UP
Although reading while working out can be a little more difficult than watching TV, having a magazine on hand to flip through is an easy bet. Opt for fitness magazines like Shape or Men’s Fitness for some seriously amazing inspiration.
6. SET SOME GOALS
Rule #1 is to always set attainable goals. Goals should be realistic, not unmeasurable. FitWatch.com says that “if you want to set yourself up for success, you need to set a SMART goal.” The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound, and anyone you ask will tell you that it’s a great way to set goals that have meaning. To make your goal specific, ask yourself the following questions: Why are you creating the goal?, who is involved with the goal? (just you, or you and a friend), and how will you reach that goal?
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Ask a friend to join your elliptical workout! There’s nothing better than getting your sweat on with a friend or co-worker by your side. You’ll not only have time to catch-up, but you’ll also challenge and encourage each other. Womensheathmag.com makes a good point, saying, “if you have a regular plan to meet up at lunch or after work, you’ll be less likely to bag it – you don’t want to come off as a slacker or leave her on her own to get hit on by creepers in the weight room, right? Plus, when you reach a goal, you’ve got someone to celebrate with.”
8. BE HAPPY
Positivity is key! It can be easy to become distraught if you miss a goal or miss out on a workout, but when the times get tough, don’t allow yourself to feel discouraged; simply hop back on the machine and put it behind you.
Easier than you thought, right? Apply these tips and tricks to your workout routine, and you’ll reach your get-fit goals in no time!