If, like me, you have a fraught history with the gym, deciding to get back into that on again, off again relationship can be pretty daunting. Like most people, once I get myself inside the building, more often than not, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that I’m actually enjoying myself, but it’s always a struggle to remember this feeling when faced with the prospect of a workout at 6pm after a long day at work.
Avoiding the gym might be having a bigger impact on you than just your lack of a six-pack; many studies have shown how leading an active lifestyle can improve a person’s overall well-being due to bringing about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control, and the ability to rise to a challenge. Physical activity has also been proven to help people struggling with mild depression! This means that regular exercise could actually help you succeed in other aspects of your life such as your career.
So it’s time to get rid of that mental block that stops you from getting out the door and into the gym and feeling fabulous! Here’s my tips to help you change your attitude towards exercise.
New Workout Clothes
First things first, it’s time to hit the shops. How can you be expected to get excited about working out without the right attire? The perfect pair of gym leggings can make or break your workout and the more you love your workout clothes the more likely you are to get yourself down to the gym. This might be the first time you’ve set foot in a gym before, but no one will know when you’re rocking a killer look – fake it til you make it, darlings! There are so many great brands out there, but if you’re currently on a budget take a look in any big Primark for a surprisingly great selection of active wear.
Go at Your Own Pace
Some days you can run solidly for 30 minutes burning hundreds of calories, other days 5 minutes is a struggle; don’t beat yourself up when you have bad days like this, even a small workout is better than no workout. And try not to worry about what anyone else might be thinking; chances are no one is looking and if they are then that says more about them than it does about you!
Mix it Up
Doing the same routines each time you go to the gym will not only get boring very quickly, but it’s actually not a very good way to workout at all. When you train a particular muscle what happens under the surface is you create small tears in your muscle fibers which your body then repairs – this is what leads to increased muscle mass. Your muscles require at least 48 hours of rest in between workouts so avoid doing the same routine day after day.
The gym can seem like a scary place when entering alone, but everyone in there was new at one point in their life. Good gyms have great staff who are friendly and helpful and remember that the more you go, the more familiar faces you’ll see and the more enjoyable you’ll find your gym time.
Take a Class
Most gyms offer classes within your monthly membership with no extra cost. Try something you’ve never done before and you might find you love it! Plus, working out with others will push you to do your very best and it’s a great way to make some new gym pals!
Remember that exercise is just another form of self-care so don’t forget to make space for it – be selfish, darlings!