GET YOUR MIND INTO THE MATTER
You’ve already heard that the mind-body connection is super valuable—but what if your lack of focus is actually sabotaging your workout? Fitness behavior expert Dan Nguyen tells us how to fix our fitness routines when going through the motions just isn’t cutting it.
FOCUS ON YOUR INTENTION. As soon as you enter your workout space— whether it’s the gym, the park, or your own backyard—decide what you’re doing for the day, and stick to it. Maybe you want to complete a heavy set of squats, run three miles, or try a new plank circuit. Whatever your goal, keep it in the forefront of your mind.
VISUALIZE YOUR ACTIONS. Watch your body go through the exercises, and picture what you want to accomplish—fat burning on the elliptical, muscle toning as you lift free weights, etc. Don’t zone out with a TV show or a book.
ANCHOR YOUR FOCUS. Music is a great way to get in the workout zone. Make a few go-to playlists that include upbeat music—these beats will act as a trigger for you to enter the fitness-focused state.
EMBODY THE ENERGY OF YOUR GOALS. Picture the booty you want—or the abs, or arms—and imagine what it feels like to reach that goal. Float into your mental picture and engage your senses. What does it sound like? Are family and friends giving you compliments? How will you stand or breathe differently? quick tip
\ Pay attention to your arms when walking or, especially, running. They should be slightly bent, hang naturally, and swing straight. Avoid crossing opposite arms over your body or twisting your shoulders—this creates additional muscle and joint strain, especially at points where your sports bra straps sit. As we gear up for warmer weather, many of us will dig out shorts, skirts, and other leg-baring apparel. Get your limbs ready with these lifestyle tips.
Move more. Tone up by looking for excuses to get out and do things, whether that’s walking to the corner store instead of driving, gardening (which involves lifting and squatting), or a fun and active hobby like hiking or disc golfing.
Exfoliate and shave. Use a natural scrub to clear dead skin before you shave, then apply a natural shave gel that will hydrate your legs even after your razor’s work is done. We like JustNeem Body Polish ( justneem.com), Clairvoyant Beauty Coffee Butter Body Scrub (clairvoyant beauty.com), Aubrey Crème de la Shave (aubrey-organics.com), and Surya Brasil Sapien Women Shave Gel (shopsurya brasil.com).
Treat bruises. Soak a cotton ball in pure lavender essential oil, then place it on your black-and-blues for a couple of hours to help the color fade.
Moisturize daily. It’s important to lotion legs even on days you may not show skin to prevent them from getting dry. Plus, moisturizing daily may even help to soften hair growth. Check out the next page for some of our favorite picks.
THE PERCENTAGE OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT MADE UP OF MUSCLE TISSUE— SO DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS IF YOU FEEL FIT BUT THE NUMBER ON THE
SCALE GOES UP.