Most of us would like to improve our physical fitness, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to stick to the commitment. Below, we’ve offered you five top tips to getting started going to the gym in the first place, and making the most out of your workouts once you’re there.
- Make it easy to get out the door
As they say with most difficult things, and especially fitness, the most difficult step is the first one. Anyone who’s ever been for a run knows that the hardest bit is stepping out of the front door, just as the hardest bit of a bike ride is getting the bike out of the shed and digging out your helmet. Humans are naturally reluctant to deliberately put themselves through physical difficulty, and we often build it up in our heads to be much worse than it actually is which is why we delay. One easy way to combat this tendency is to make it easier for yourself to get out of the door; when it comes to going to the gym, this means having all your equipment ready to go in a tennis bag by the door, so you don’t have the excuse of putting off hunting around for your trainers or leggings!
- Ensure it fits into your schedule
Making a vague mental commitment to go to the gym is a great first step, but you’re unlikely to follow through if you never make any actual concrete plans to go. When you make that mental commitment, have a look at your schedule straight away and think about when the best time to slot it into your life would be, and actually write it into your schedule the same way you would a meeting or drink with friends. Having it noted down as a concrete idea will make it mentally more important, and increase the likelihood of you going.
- Know what your goals are
You may have a general dream of being physically fitter, but without definable goals it becomes hard to take action to achieve that dream. For example, you might decide you have a goal weight you want to be able to lift in two months. Alternatively you might be interested in losing two inches from your waistline, or a goal running distance. Whatever you want to achieve from going to the gym, you will get a lot more out of your time there if you know exactly what you are trying to achieve because it’s easier to take active steps to achieve a specific goal than just a vague idea.
- Plan your workouts
Similarly to the previous point, it’s important to plan your workouts. We are always hearing jokes about not skipping leg day, but it is important to know what you’re getting out of your weekly schedule of workouts. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any areas you want to work on, and additionally means that you will be able to keep track of your progress towards your workout goals if you implement a well worked out plan.
- Implement a buddy system
This is a well trodden trick, but that’s because it’s effective! It’s one thing to ket yourself down and bail on one of your workouts, but it’s another to let down someone else when they are waiting for you. Creating a buddy system where you always plan to meet someone at the gym for your workout is a great way to reduce skipped workouts to times when it’s genuinely unavoidable.
Working out doesn’t have to be the trial it is sometimes made out to be – if you approach it with the right attitude and ensure you get some planning in place, you could be well on the way to achieving your fitness goals and enjoying your time at the gym as well. Good luck!