15 Ways to Add Self-Care to Your Workout Routine

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The fitness fanatics out there probably know the feeling of pushing yourself to the max in a workout. But a holistic approach to health and wellness involves movement, nutrition, andregeneration, says Alicia Agostinelli, a personal trainer and yoga instructor at Equinox Seaport Square in Boston. And while many avid gym-goers tend to be up to date when it comes to the latest HIIT craze or health food trends, most people falter when it comes to the recovery component, both for the body and the mind.

Practicing self-care strategies during your workouts and in your free time can help you come back stronger, and in a more peaceful headspace—not to mention they make exercise that much more enjoyable. Steal some tips from these top trainers who manage to sweat it out hardcore and still make self-care priority.

Try a breathing exercise

“In session, I connect to my breath. I try to practice 4-7-8 breathing [breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven, then exhale for eight] a couple of times every hour to help me reduce stress and regulate my parasympathetic nervous system.” —Matt Delaney, CSCS, innovation coordinator and a Tier X coach at Equinox

Be your own biggest fan

“It took years, but I genuinely view fitness as an opportunity to be a better version of myself, to build myself up, and let my strengths guide me, while looking at weaknesses with a sense of compassion. When I need to rest during a tough core series, it’s okay. I’m stronger than I was a year ago, and isn’t that the point? It’s so much more satisfying to push yourself to the tune of ‘yes I can’ than to be afraid of failing or feeling like you’re somehow not good enough if you don’t perform the way you wanted to. Your mental game affects how you feel emotionally and how you perform physically, so I always make sure my inner voice is pumped up, ready to rise up to a challenge, but is ready to celebrate every moment of the work I put in.” —Emily Walsh, a Boston-based instructor at SLT.

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