I think we’ll all agree that the most difficult things about the gym are getting there and staying there. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of that gym session, whether we’re lying in bed or in work. It’s easier to find a thousand reasons not to go, than the few simple reasons to go.
I used to think of everything. I walked around the office a lot today, I probably don’t even need to go. I have only eaten a sandwich. I’ll definitely go tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll smash that gym up like I’ve never done it before! Until it actually gets to tomorrow, then the excuses start all over again. So here are a few tips I can think of that may help!
Think about why you’re doing it
The best advice I can give is one I had from an old friend. He was in the Army, and during those horrible months on tour, he would dread the exercise, the walking, anything in those horrible conditions. He then realised that he didn’t actually have a choice – and that made things so much easier. He had to do it. The moment he realised there was no option, it was much easier to get up and go.
I’ve realised that I do it because now I really don’t have a choice. If I want my health to improve, I have to go. And if I want to feel more relaxed, less stressed, then I have to go. It really won’t happen any other way.
So why do you go?
Entertain yourself while you’re there
The best thing I ever did was start watching Netflix at the gym. I used to love music, but when a song would end, I’d be picky about what would keep me going next, and end up feeling a bit deflated.
With Netflix, I challenge myself to watch a full episode whilst I’m running. It really does give you reason to stay, and also helps timing if you’re not sure how long you’ve actually been there (when I try to convince myself I’ve been there for 40 minutes when it’s actually only been 5!).
I’ve started watching The Divided on Netflix, which is between 43-45 minutes per episode. And it’s fantastic as well. So I don’t let myself watch an episode outside of the gym, I’m buzzing to go the next morning to find out what happens next!
Get a buddy
This can be a game changer for people who really can’t master the first step. Sometimes, it’s just too difficult to get off your butt and go – we’ve all been there. So if you have someone you go with, you tend to find on the days you don’t want to go, they do! And vice versa.
You can push each other to do well. And it’s also nice to gossip on the treadmills, am I right?
This kinda links into the first tip. Make the reason you go to the gym a positive reason. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “I want to lose a stone in a week!”. And when you go the gym once or twice, and you’re not magically Jennifer Lawrence, you can feel a bit defeated. Don’t let that put you down or make you want to quit.
Set yourself goals, realistic goals, and when you hit them – be proud of yourself. And more importantly, never ever punish yourself. Punishment will not make you go back to the gym or make you want to work harder. I used to do this all the time, and sometimes I still do – if I don’t go, if I have that extra bit of food, I would punish myself mentally. And guess what? It makes things worse.
Be proud of every achievement. Be proud that you went to the gym. And always leave with a spring in your step.
What are your tips for going and staying in the gym? Tell me your stories!