Have you ever hopped on the treadmill for a run, only to have your to-do list start running through your mind with you too? Gotten into the flow of a training session only to be disrupted by a jarring text notification ping? You’re not alone —in an age of glamourized jam-packed schedules and constant technological connection, it’s easier than ever to be distracted from your workout.
There is so much power in being fully present for your workout, though. Show up for yourself, and get the most out of your time at the gym with these mindful workout tips and tricks —no meditation skills required!
1. PRE-WORKOUT: VISUALIZE & STRATEGIZE
Set yourself up for success. Before you hit the gym, take a couple of minutes to visualize and strategize. Sit down with a nourishing snack, a pen and paper, and write down your answers to the following questions:
Why am I working out? What is my ultimate goal?
Don’t be afraid to dive deep here. Why do you workout? Set a big-picture intention or ultimate goal for yourself.
Are you working out to boost your confidence; to feel better in your skin and clothes? To help alleviate stress or anxiety? As a way to connect with friends and have fun? To build muscle strength? Or maybe simply because it makes you feel good? Get real and write it down!
What do I want to accomplish in today’s session? Which exercises am I going to do? Which equipment will I use? How many reps and sets? How much time can I give myself?
Now that you know your core goal and reasons for working out, get specific! Are you going to focus on working a specific part of your body or muscle group (core day, for example)? How are you going to do that? Plan out your workout moves, reps, sets, equipment and timing.
Once you have a solid plan, you’re ready to go! Take these notes with you to the gym and stick to them. If you ever feel your mind wandering or motivation waning, revisit the answers you wrote down to get back on track and re-focus. Repeat your intention in your mind and visualize it. Remember why you came and focus on your strategy to get there —you’ve got this!
2. HEADPHONES IN, WORKOUT ON
Create a playlist of songs that make you feel empowered and help you get “in the zone.” Use this playlist as a background soundtrack to set the tone of your workout.
Ready to go? Cue your playlist. Put your headphones in. Get out of your head and into your body, honing in on your breath, movements, and overall physical experience. Now crush that workout!
Pssssst… Not sure where to start with your gym playlist? We love a good motivational bop from self love queen Lizzo!
3. DITCH YOUR PHONE TO GET IN THE ZONE
This tip is an absolute game-changer! A few minutes before you start your workout, try switching your phone into airplane mode, and leave it that way for the entire duration of your session. By temporarily eliminating your access to the Internet, text messages, phone calls, and notifications, you’ll limit distractions from the outside world so that you can truly focus on the present moment; on your workout.
It’s completely normal to find this challenging to do at first, but the benefits are SO worth it. By putting a pause on your phone use, you’ll be able to channel the energy that you may have normally used mindlessly scrolling into important essentials such as maintaining a consistent workout intensity, balance, and form.
Still struggling? Try to think of disconnecting with your phone as a way of reconnecting with yourself. Any text messages and Instagram posts can wait until after you’ve completed your workout! Remind yourself: Gym time is “me time.”