Whether you’re a fitness expert or a total beginner, there’s no doubting that exercise can be hard work – and that, if you can find ways to make it easier or more effective, you’d like to take advantage of them. Luckily for you, there’s a whole host of ways you can do exactly that, and we’ve rounded up five of the very best below for you to check out.

  1. Stick to your schedule

Good habits don’t just happen overnight – you have to work hard and let them form. In fact, research shows that good habits take around 21 days to form, so you should make sure your workout is part of your everyday routine. Decide on the best time to exercise for your goals, lifestyle and weight, and then remain consistent by sticking to your workout schedule.

  1. Make sure you warm up

Your workout routine should begin with a proper warm-up. Not only is it important for your health, but it can give you more energy and help you push further. An old-fashioned warm-up routine, like touching your toes and bending to the side isn’t going to cut it, so check out these ideal warmup routines to get you pumped and ready for your daily workout.Kettle Bell Beside Adidas Pair of Shoes

  1. Have some protein

Another way to make your workout travel further, and get more from the time you’ve invested into your schedule, is protein. Ascent Protein whey, available from websites such as React Nutrition, is great for topping up your body and giving you the nutrients you need after the end of a workout. Oh, and you can also top-up on protein-rich foods, such as eggs, beans, white-meat poultry, lean beef and seafood, if you want to work your body harder.

  1. Start a competition

Trying to tone up or lose weight and want some extra motivation to push yourself that little bit more? Consider partnering up with a friend, family member or colleague and starting a competition. Research suggests that we work harder when we’re competing, so you could even take part in a competitive race or sports club if you want to reach your goals quicker.

  1. Avoid the gym

Yep, we went there. The gym isn’t always the best place for you to perform at your best. There are endless distractions, that vending machine and the pressure of fitting in and standing out. Instead of swiping your membership card or signing up for another year of gym bills, consider taking your workout outdoors. Running, walking, yoga and bodyweight exercises can all be completed without expensive gym equipment, and there’s the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine, which is known to boost motivation and Vitamin D levels.

Working hard is much more fun when you know the shortcuts. Check out these five ideas and see which one works best for you and your needs. Best of luck with your training!