One of the biggest questions I receive almost daily is how I stay motivated to go to the gym. The answer is fairly simple although not always the one that people hope to hear, sometimes I need to force myself. I like every single person in the world lacks motivation to stay healthy every once and awhile. I have a big weekend or exhausted from work and the last thing I may want to do is go to the gym, but no matter what I make sure to work out my body 6 days a week in some way or another. I promise you some days that is a very limited amount but even then I feel so much better after. Here are a few of my tricks to getting to the gym even when you really don’t want to.
- Set yourself a goal. As a personal trainer I ask all of my clients what their next goal is. Of course some are exterior like getting ready for summer or a wedding, but many are much more individualized. I have one woman who wanted to pick up her bag of 40 lb bird feed, after she accomplished this it was turning on her lawn mower. No matter how big or small I really recommend coming up with some kind of goal for yourself to work towards. Setting specific milestones helps you work towards something as well as realizing your progress over time which is often difficult to see.
- Find your own motivation. I think this one is really important. Similar to setting a goal you need to find your motivation for going to the gym every week. This should be made for yourself. If you feel forced into working out by a friend or boyfriend, ask yourself truly why do I want to do this. Maybe it is to live a long healthy life or look better in a bikini. For me it is so many things but over anything else it is keeping me happy and keeping my anxiety at bay. When I work out I am happier, more confident and less stressed than I could ever be without it.
- Figure out the best time for you. Everyone is different in terms of when they like to get moving and finding your best time frame is essential to the process. I am 100% a morning person if I wait until even the afternoon I know my motivation goes down substantially. Even when I work at 6 A.M. I would rather wake up early than go after work to the gym. Because I know this about myself I do not set unrealistic goals. If I work out later in the day that’s great but I know my strongest, most intense work outs are first thing in the morning so that is when I schedule almost all of the sessions.
- Buddy up. Find someone who is on a similar path to yourself and hold each other accountable. If you know every week at 1 P.M. on Tuesday the two of you work out together you will be a lot less likely to skip the gym that day. Accountability is key! Also a slight bit of competitiveness can be beneficial too. If your workout partner is seeing progress you will be motivated to see some too and it can be really inspiring to your overall health to have someone to talk to about new exercises, recipes you’re trying out and that new meditation practice you have picked up.
- Make it a habit. I have talked about this point before, but it is so important to mention again. Working out is something that needs to become part of your schedule. If you plan to work out 3 days a week, put them into your calendar just as you would a work meeting. Once you get into the habit of it you will crave the feeling and want to keep it up. When I don’t work out for a few days I miss the endorphin rush and the calm that it gives my mind. It may take a little bit of time to get the point of actually craving the soreness, but trust me it will happen. Once you give your body movement it will constantly crave it. Schedule your sessions, create workouts beforehand and pack your clothes the night before, allow yourself no excuses to get your butt to the gym!
- Lastly go easy on yourself. You are not always going to be head over heals excited to get your butt kicked at the gym and that is OK! Motivation ebbs and flows and I always try to listen to my body and what it is telling me. Things happen, life gets busy and some weeks are just hard, take it easy on yourself and truly listen. Why is my body so tired and what is it trying to tell me? When the energy levels are particularly low I still make myself go to the gym even when it is hard. If I get there and begin stretching and feel like this is all I need for the day I will stay there for 20 minutes only foam rolling and doing small yoga flows. Other days the motivation starts low but once I get moving my energy levels instantly perk up. Some of my hardest workouts have come from days where I had absolutely no motivation to start. My advice is do something, even stretching, to spend time moving your body. Especially if you have a desk job where you sit for 8 hours a day, your body is craving movement even if your mind is tired. Go and do what you can, a walk on the treadmill while watching your favorite show or a 15 minute circuit will have you feeling better in no time. But over anything know when to take a break. If you get there and your body truly is just exhausted take a break for a few days. Listen and love your body for all that it does for you.
Working out does not have to be something you dread every week. Make it fun for yourself, try new classes and find what speaks to you. Getting stuck in the same routine every day can lead to failure to commit. Experiment with different times of day and different styles of exercise. I love to change up my routine every day and switch off between high intensity work, strength training, yoga and running. I feel it gives my body the best work out and I am always excited for something new. I would love to continue to expand on personal training and help you find what works best for you! For workout plans, motivation and health and wellness tips and tricks contact me, I cannot wait to help you experience the happiest, healthiest you!