By Jessica Kupetz

Some days are harder than others to get through a workout. Maybe you can’t get your mind away from the office or you’re stuck dreaming about your date last night. Whatever the case may be, it is important that you focus during your workout. When we lose focus during exercise, it is easier to cheat ourselves through our run, or even injure ourselves. On those days that you just can’t get it together, practicing mind over matter can be easier said than done. The Beauty Bean has you covered with a little trick that makes it easier to get through a tougher-than-normal workout: Count down!

Pro trainer Paul Pisani gives us a new use for our exercise ball!

When you are on the treadmill looking to run for 30 minutes, watching those last seconds go by is like watching paint dry. To change up your routine, try setting your machinery to start from 30 minutes and count down. This way you are looking at how much time you still owe yourself, instead of making excuses to convince yourself 20 minutes is close enough. This is also a wonderful way to challenge yourself by competing with your own personal records. Last time, in 30 minutes, you may have been able to run 3 miles, this time go for 3.5. Use the countdown method to increase your time and confidence in your personal strength. If you are a freeweight lovin’ gal, use the same method as you count down your repetitions per set. For instance, if you are completing 3 sets of 12 repetitions, count down from 12 for each set instead of counting up from 1. It’s all about accountability.

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This is your workout and your health. If you don’t do it for yourself, who’s going to do it for you? Setting and meeting personal challenges can be wonderful self- motivation.

Do you stretch enough after your workout?