Motivate Yourself To Hit The Gym
It’s November – just one more month to Christmas gifts time; you probably want to get into shape for your favorite dinner and party clothes. However, although you know that working out is the best way to achieve this goal, a day spent with our mates, or checking out the latest movies on Netflix sounds more attractive. Don’t worry we have all been there.
Even though we all know that exercise and activity are good for us and beneficial to our bodies, it isn’t that easy to just get up and go to the gym. But there is no denying that exercise offers us many benefits that we must tap into; from improving our brain function to helping us sleep better. If you are craving the well-needed motivation to just ‘get up and go’, we’ve come up with ten different methods that help you get off the couch, beat those winter blues and break into a sweat during these cold days.
1. Get rid of all barriers
During the summer, it is relatively more comfortable for us to wake up and drag ourselves to the gym. On cold winter mornings, this is harder to do especially after we realize just how cold it could be outside. It’s more exciting to curl yourself into a ball underneath your blanket than it is to put on your workout clothes, right?. The cold weather is, no doubt, a barrier that stands between you and the gym. However, to make it to the gym, you must clearly outline the required steps that will get you there and then eliminate any possible barriers that will exist.
Lay out your gym clothes and keep them close to your bed, if waking up to look for an outfit is one of your barriers. Get an alarm clock or use an annoying song on your phone to get you out of bed, even if it’ll be the put it off. Additionally, becoming a regular member of the gym and signing up 3 months in advance gets easier… after realizing you are out of pocket. When you find simple ways of removing all your intangible barriers.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Most often, many of us start at the gym with our body or health goal set so high up, a little delay in our progress leaves us discouraged. Aiming to get a six pack within two to three months, for example, maybe a little over ambitious. If you’re not able to achieve this feat in your set time limit, you may not feel motivated to keep working out or going to the gym. Goals are essential in any activity as they help keep us focused. We do, however, need to ensure that they’re easy to achieve within a set limit such that it will positively impact your motivation and keep you pushing harder.
If possible, set goals in phases such that it doesn’t take a toll on you in the long run. After you’ve achieved the first phase, you then set another goal as a build up to your initial one until you reach your overall target. Don’t forget to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way!
3. Love your gym
Or simply put, sign up to a gym you like. You may love the ambiance of a small gym that doesn’t have that many pieces of equipment but has people who help keep you motivated. Others may prefer bigger gyms where they have access to other facilities such as pools and a sauna. Don’t try to move from one gym to another in the name of pricing. In choosing a gym, ensure that you opt for an environment you feel most comfortable in. This in itself is a motivator for you to keep coming, as the environment always leaves you better than you came.
Many individuals have opted for cheaper gyms because of their pricing, only to quit going due to their level of comfort; that gym was a place they didn’t want to be, and the money lost in not going wasn’t that much. To make your experience better, choose a gym you know you will love to wake up to. As an alternative, you can always set up your home gym, if space and money allow it.
4. Get a workout buddy
Working out alone can be tedious, and you may not feel motivated enough. Having an exercise buddy makes workouts more relaxed and more fun. Your workout buddy may be a friend, a sibling or someone you meet on your first day at the gym. No matter who they are, their existence removes all forms of laziness within you and also provides you with an accountability partner daily. Also, with someone is counting on you to be present at the gym, it is harder for you to miss a session. If your buddy’s membership is about expiring, make sure to remind them of getting it renewed, more for your sake than theirs!
This may be a stretch, but many may prefer to get a personal trainer. They can be considered professional workout buddies, as they help you get through your workouts in addition to drawing up your workout programs and giving you nutrition tips. The sad thing is, you may not need their assistance after a while; that’s when you’ll need an actual buddy to get you through what they started.
5. Arrive early
If time is one of your barriers, consider going to the gym first thing in the morning. Why? Getting there early and going through your workout before your day will prevent you from spending eight hours or more trying to talk yourself out of going to the gym after work. Making the trip in the morning also wakes you up and gingers you up for your entire day, whereas an evening trip to the gym may be a tiring one, due to the hectic day you had at work.
When starting, waking up in the morning to make it to the gym may seem extremely difficult, but as soon as it becomes a habit, your body gets in sync, it will improve your morning routine and you’re happy about your decision. If you do prefer going in the evenings, you can also make it a point to arrive early to get maximum attention from the trainer at hand and also have the chance to use some equipment before other users come.
6. Dress up!
Fake it till you make it. Going to the gym is an easy thing to do. The hardest part may be finding the right thing to wear. The yoga pants or sweatshirt you choose may determine whether or not you will make it through your house door and into the gym. Getting dressed up for the gym can psychologically gear you up and motivate you into going for a workout session. It could be dressing to a color theme or brand, or merely having fancy gadgets that make exercising more exciting.
Dressing up has proven to help us complete various tasks, apart from sporting activities. Whenever we are well dressed, it boosts our confidence and we are more likely to undertake certain activities with ease. So get that gear, and match those colors. Crush the dressing code barrier like a pro and step out of your house feeling geared up and ready for your workouts.
7. Log your Progress
Keep track of your fitness progress on paper by recording your weights, distances, and all essential milestones while you undertake your fitness journey. It may be difficult to notice the gradual process physically, which is why documentation is vital. You can set up timelines, such as weighing yourself after every two or three weeks, keeping records of all weigh-ins. You can also use fitness apps to do this in a shorter time plus they’re free and easy to use. Apps such as MyFitnessPal is famous for this function and is used by many exercise enthusiasts around the world.
Being able to see the extra miles added or increase in weights after a month is one way of motivating yourself on days when waking up and getting dressed for the gym feel like a chore. You may even laugh at the memory of you panting after running half a mile when you currently go two or three without breaking a sweat. Logging your workouts will keep you going back to the gym for more progress.
8. Keep your workouts interesting
Nobody can withstand prolonged periods of monotonous activity, even if they are creatures of habit. Undertaking the exact workout routine or using the same equipment day after day all week and all month can get annoying eventually, and you may not put in as much effort as when you started. To relieve yourself of this boredom and moments of monotony, the first thing you can do is the rearrange the order of your exercises. This switch is an easy way to get the same effects you’re working ft.
Another option is to try alternatives to your list of exercises. For example, instead of an incline bench press, you could work a flat bench. You can also create a timetable where you concentrate on a particular body section daily, to ensure a full body workout at the end of the week. For example, you could dedicate Mondays to aerobics, Tuesdays to leg workouts, Wednesday for cutting up your chest, among others. This will keep your routines exciting and will keep boredom at bay.
9. Take time to recover
Just as machines receive days off, your body demands it. Many people want to leave no room for laziness; thus, they go to the gym every day. This can affect your body negatively, cause sore muscles and most often, your body may send you signals that it needs to rest. Listen to your body’s desires early to prevent an exercise breakdown, which may keep you out of the gym for days or weeks. It’s better to have rest days in your routine, as they reduce your level of tiredness. It could be days of no gym or days where you turn down the heat on your exercises.
Recovery time is undertaken by all athletes and sportsmen, as its essential to their total survival. But you need to beware; there is a difference between feeling lazy and feeling exhausted. Learn to decipher the two to avoid creating excuses that prevent you from keeping active. While enjoying your time off, don’t skip healthy snacks and meals, as this will ensure that you stick to your fitness goals nutritionally even if you’re not physically active.
10. Reward Yourself
Everyone loves being rewarded for doing something great. For those who like to exercise, this remains the same, as it is also a motivation for them to keep pushing against all the odds to make it to the gym and exercise. Some people always feel motivated to, but for many others, the prospect of no reward at the end of all their toil and struggles can be draining, especially for those who aren’t fans of exercising, to begin with.
With every gym visit you nail, you can offer yourself a little treat. It doesn’t have to be something tangible. It may be an hour of rest or sleep after your workout session, a spa day at the end of the week or a mini chocolate bar after two weeks for staying true to your exercise goals. Rewards help your actions develop into habits, and once your visit to the gym becomes a habit, you won’t need to derive motivation from many places; waking up will feel almost automatic!
Exercising or visiting the gym can be an exciting activity when you have the right motivation. By clearing all your obstacles, selecting your preferred gym, choosing a gym partner and setting realistic goals, you’re allowing yourself to get into the healthy habit of being active. It may be for three days in a week, or five days if you so wish. No matter what you decide, you must note that being healthy or achieving your fitness goals will not rely only on being active, but also by what you put into your body. Invest in nutritional meals and energy pills if you wish, to help you reach your goals faster. Sleep is also a factor that has been proven to contribute to the overall health of an individual. If you’re a morning gym person, make sure to have enough rest before you need to work out, since it is crucial to avoid sleep deprivation. For those who prefer to go after work, your workouts must be completed in time for bed, as this will help your body rejuvenate for the activities of the next day.