The Best Piece of Workout Advice

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Think positive. Sounds like a no-brainer, but how many times have you caught yourself drowning in negative chatter mid-workout (“ugh my thighs are burning” or “when will this be over”)?

Adopting a positive, fitness mantra will not only help you exercise longer, but it will also make your workout seem easier finds a new study. Researchers from Bangor University had study volunteers who exercised at least twice a week complete a high-intensity cycling test. Half of the group recited positive self-talk like “you’re doing well” while the other group didn’t. Performance, time, mood, and blood chemistry were tested and researchers found that the self-talkers cycled longer (about 2 minutes extra) and that they perceived their effort to be lower (meaning it didn’t feel as intense).

Get started by checking out these 5 inspiring fitness mantras.

And remember, the next time you’re pushing through a tough workout, boost performance by fine-tuning your inner dialogue.

Always Striving, Never Just Being

Each year, on the first day that has a slight chill in the air, I hole up in my apartment, open the windows, and reflect.

For most, spring is the time of renewal and hope, but I feel most refreshed in the fall. Maybe it’s the crispness of the breeze and the constant overcast sky, but nature seems to calm down, and in turn I feel less anxious and hurried. So I break out my inspiring playlist filled with Celtic classics, Israeli folk songs, Yanni, Enya, and other spa-like soundscapes. I light my eucalyptus candle, and think. I write, I cry, I forgive, I let go.

This year, the first signs of fall happened to coincide with Yom Kippur, and the day before my 27th birthday; the perfect trifecta of re-evaluation and renewal.

I tend to struggle with the same problem each year: I always want more and better for myself – a healthy desire – but one that turns negative when I focus too much on the future and can’t draw happiness from my present. I seek organization and thrive on details, but too often I get caught up in the daily hustle and buried in my short-term to-do list that I forget the bigger picture. My fall reflection serves as my time to draw meaning from what’s happened over the past year and redefine what it is that I’m truly striving toward.