For all the talk of what exercises you can be doing to burn fat or build muscle mass, there seems to be very little talk of what you can be doing pre- and post-workout to cut down the time you spend exercising. With these tips, I’ll outline a few good habits you should commit to on a daily basis in order to prepare yourself for a more productive and enjoyable experience at the gym or with your in-home exercise equipment.


Leave notes/alarms

Sure this may seem cliche, but it can really help if done correctly! Let’s say you’re having problems drinking enough water. If you want to drink your necessary intake of water each day, you’re going to need to start early in the day. Put a note on your computer or desk reminding you to drink water before you pick up the coffee or sugary drinks later in the day. If you drink enough water, you likely won’t be interested in other drinks anyways.

Another great thing to do consistently is set alarms on your phone. For example, set an alarm for each Friday night reminding you to not eat that whole box of powdered donuts while you binge watch Game of Thrones.


Get extra sleep

Sleep isn’t just going to help you recover better from a hard workout, it will make you more mentally prepared to take on all the attention to detail required for having a healthy lifestyle. If you’re sleepy, you’ll be a lot more likely to let something slide, whether it’s your diet plan, water intake, or exercise routine.


Organize your fridge

For anyone who has tried eating healthy, you know that the biggest problem is not with buying healthy food, the problem is with eating it once you do. Those who don’t will often let the food spoil and go back to their original diet of potato chips and Mountain Dew. Instead of coming home from the grocery store and throwing everything in the fridge, try organizing it with the healthy foods in front and the junk food (ideally you won’t have any) in the back. This means that if you are ever tempted to eat junk food, you’ll be constantly reminded of all that healthy food you bought.


Use a bigger fork and a smaller plate

Okay, this one may sound crazy... but maybe just crazy enough to work. According to some studies, using a smaller plate but bigger fork could lead to you unconsciously eating less. This may not work for everyone, but it’s worth a try!


Focus on progress

It’s no secret that anxiety and stress can cause fluctuation in weight. For each person it’s different, it could mean rapid weight gain or rapid weight loss. However, either way, not being in control of your weight is usually a bad thing. Focusing on the positive aspects of your weight loss is important for staying on track to meet your goals.


Use a standing desk (if possible)

Standing desks aren’t just a fad, there are some serious health benefits to them. Not to mention, you will feel less drowsy in the afternoon when it comes time to start your workout. According to a Stanford University back pain study, people who used sit-stand desks were 78 percent more likely to report a pain-free day.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to being a more productive fitness guru! You should always make it a goal to love your workout, as we’ve mentioned in previous articles. However, to most people, a little less time on the exercise equipment each day is a plus.