You know all of the reasons why you should go to the gym. Strength training builds muscle, promotes weight loss, protects your bones, and even improves your mood. Cardio improves your heart and brain health. Group classes are fun, can add variety to your routine, and give you a chance to meet new people.
How to get to the gym can be a bit tougher subject. Have you ever had the best intentions to go and workout, but found yourself at the end of the day in bed with no exercise to show for it?
Life can get in the way of the best plans.
Here are seven sneaky ways to make it easier to get to Milestone!
1. Set an Appointment
You schedule dentist appointments, vet appointments, PTA meetings, and important client meetings; be sure to schedule your gym time, too.
Whatever time works best for you, put it in your calendar and give it the same priority you do all your other appointments.
2. Get Up Earlier
Make your workout the first thing you do each morning, and set your alarm clock earlier to be sure you fit it in. By making your workout the first thing you do each day, there is no way you will run out of time to do it.
Another bonus to getting your workout over with first thing each day? Regular exercise boosts energy and helps fight fatigue, so you will feel more energized for the rest of the day. Think of it as an alternative to your morning cup of coffee. It also sets you up to make healthier choices all day long.
3. Buddy Up
Find a friend with similar workout goals who can join you on the same schedule, and hold each other accountable. The “buddy system” can be amazingly effective. Psychologically, you are more likely to follow through on a commitment if you feel a responsibility towards another person.
Picking a buddy with similar exercise goals and habits is most effective; a 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that the exercise habits of people you know have a positive influence on your own exercise habits.
4. Set Rewards
Give yourself a small reward for going to the gym. Something small but significant that you would really enjoy getting, and would be upset to miss out on. This could be as small as a hot bubble bath after, an episode of your favorite TV show, or even reading a chapter from a book you love.
Create a list of meaningful ways to reward yourself for working out (that don’t involve food!), and you will be more likely to get to the gym.
5. Plan Ahead
Get ready for the gym the night before, so you have everything in place the next morning. Gym clothes laid out, tennis shoes next to the door, water bottle filled and in the fridge, iPod filled with your favorite songs, and any equipment you need packed in a bag that is ready to go.
Plan your pre- and post-workout meals and snacks, and have those ready to go, too.
6. Bet on Yourself
For some people, the best motivation is a little bit of cash. Your smartphone is the perfect tool for “betting” on yourself; new apps allow you to earn cash for working out or even eating healthy. Apps like Pact allow you to set weekly goals, track your progress, and earn cash from other members who don’t reach their goals.
The motivation to not lose out on something can sometimes be more powerful psychologically than the motivation to win a reward, making these apps a great way to help get you to the gym.
7. Sign Up with a Trainer
Committing to a trainer benefits you in multiple ways. First, you get an experienced and professional expert who can custom design a workout program to help you reach your individual goals. Second, you will learn how to do exercises the right way, avoiding the potential for injury and improving your performance. Most importantly, having an appointment with a trainer is like setting a calendar appointment and working out with the buddy system, all-in-one.
You know why you should go to a fitness club regularly, so don’t let the how stop you from making it happen. Follow these tips and it will be nearly impossible not to get to the gym. Better health is waiting, so set your alarm and make a date to welcome it.