Here’s a quick (ish) story about my experience at the gym:
A few months ago I signed up to a gym membership even though I’ve always been the kind of person who scoffs at going to a gym. I used to say I just wasn’t a ‘gym person’, whatever that means, and said that I would keep fit by running and didn’t need to pay to stay fit and healthy. I ran in the morning, evening, with friends, on my own… I still really enjoy running. But what about when it rains or you get bored of running the same route over and over? I wanted to try something a bit different, and, drawn in by the mixture of gym classes and the fact that there is a ladies gym (perfect for the self-conscious gym goer) I signed up to Welcome Gym in Cheltenham. It started off well, but although I went to classes with a friend, I found I wasn’t going on my own. I also wasn’t getting into a routine because I was ‘too busy at work’. After skipping the gym for a month and paying for something I wasn’t using, I decided to take action and finally get into a routine. So, here are 15 tips to help you do the same…
1. Have your gym kit easily accessible.
One of the reasons I used to hate going to the gym was because I thought it was a faff to get up and sort out my gym clothes on top of my normal morning routine. It seems silly, but by getting little things like this done the night before, it doesn’t make it seem such a chore in the morning.
2. Buy fun gym clothes.
And…make sure your gym clothes are comfy and fun! You know that excitement you get when you’re going out in a new outfit? You can feel like that in gym clothes too.
3. Make yourself accountable.
Recently I’ve been listening to a fantastic podcast about living a happier more productive life, and one of the things mentioned was making yourself accountable to get more stuff done. I tell my boyfriend when I’m going to the gym, and so he’ll ask how it went. Feels a bit crap if you don’t go, doesn’t it? We’ve also timed my gym sessions at the same time as his bike rides, so we leave the house and come home at roughly the same time…so we can tuck into post-exercise food together with a smug look on our faces.
4. Avoid the rush and go at quieter times.
Mid-morning or mid-afternoon are the best times to go wherever possible. I’m lucky that my working hours are later than the usual 9-5 in some ways. As I work 11-8, I have enough time in the morning for a gym session. I’ve even done classes with my friend at 7am. I tend to go on my days off and lieu days wherever possible, as I can go a little later. As I have Mondays off, I go at around 10:30am, when most people are at work. I tend to avoid weekends. If you’re a 9-5 worker, perhaps try later evenings around 7-8pm? Most people tend to go to the gym either straight before or straight after work, so avoid the rush and plan your timings in advance.
5. Plan ahead.
Talking of planning… telling people you’re going to the gym works well, but putting it in your diary/on your calendar works just as well. You’ll have officially scheduled in time to do it, making it even more likely that you’ll follow through with your plans. Setting a reminder on your phone can help, too.
6. Make a fun playlist or listen to a podcast.
I love going onto Spotify and downloading fun playlists. Take a look at their gym workout playlists or even create your own based on what you like to keep you motivated. I also recommend listening to podcasts. It’s like having someone talking to you while you’re there and makes your gym session go much quicker.
7. Start off slowly.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything all at once. I’m by no means a gym know-it-all (I mean, I’m at most a beginner) so I tend to go on the cross-trainer and dabble in a few other bits depending on what I feel like. It’s better to do some research and see which exercises are best for your goals than to injure yourself!
Top: Primark / Bottoms: Karrimor / Grl Pwr Hoody: H&M / Trainers: Skechers
Bottle: Karrimor / Watch: Fitbit / Headphones: Bose
8. Go to classes to mix it up.
I’ve gone to a couple of classes and my friend and I arrived late to both of them. They were at 7am, which did not agree with us. A lot of the fun classes are at 6:30pm, a far more enjoyable time of day I feel, but I can’t make a lot of them as I work until 8pm. We did some boxing and a spin class, both of which were incredibly hard, but made me feel like I’d had a very thorough workout! I’ll talk more about gym classes another time, but they’re worth trying to mix up your sessions and can be a laugh if you go with a friend. I was terrible at boxing, FYI.
9. Don’t weigh yourself every day.
Although it can be really tempting, try not to jump on the scales every day. You won’t see much progress day-to-day and this can be demotivating. Instead, try weighing yourself weekly in order to see how the gym and some healthy eating has contributed to your weight/fitness goals.
10. Reward yourself after the gym.
I do this when I head to the gym on my days off and have no time constraints, but definitely reward yourself whenever possible after a gym session. I tend to put a face mask on before heading into the shower and sometimes I paint my nails afterwards. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just needs to be something you’ll look forward to when you come back. You could be making a great lunch, settling down with your favourite book, or meeting up with a friend. But, as they say in Parks and Rec: treat yo’self. (P.S. If you haven’t seen Parks and Recreation, you must. Seriously, go and watch it now. Right after reading the rest of this blog post.)
11. Too busy to go to the gym? Try multitasking!
Lots of people say they’re too busy to go the gym – yes, I was one of them. But…I wrote the key points of this blog post in the notes section of my phone while pedalling on a bike. It is possible to get little things done!
12. Look at your bank balance.
If you’re aware of how much money you’re wasting by not going to the gym, then this should give you the push you need to get yourself there. I didn’t go to the gym for a month and had a think about what I could have spent that gym money on. It’s not fun.
13. Remember: there’s no such thing as a bad gym session.
It doesn’t matter if you go for only 15 minutes…there is no such thing as a bad session. At the end of the day, you’ve got out of bed and exercised, which is better than sitting on your arse watching TV, isn’t it?
14. Go to a gym as close to your house as possible.
I’m very lucky that my gym is just around the corner from where I live. It can be off-putting to think that not only do I have to get out of bed and get ready, I have to drive to the gym, do a session, drive back, blah blah. My gym is a two-minute walk away, so once I’ve left the house I know I’ll be on the cross-trainer in no time and there’s no going back.
15. Be prepared – stay healthy and hydrated throughout!
My final tip is to be prepared – pack a water bottle and make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout. If you get up early enough, maybe have a piece of fruit before you go just to keep you going before breakfast? Otherwise, your energy levels can dip and you may end up feeling awful.
Hopefully you’ve found those tips useful! What motivates you to get to the gym? If you have any tips, comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Now, go forth and release some endorphins!
P.S. We’re now on Bloglovin – the best place to follow blogs. You can keep up to date with our latest posts by clicking here.