You are reminded every time you open your front door or put the car key in the ignition… Your gym keytag is dangling there: a guilty reminder that you haven’t worked out since before Labor Day.
Your “on again, off again” relationship with exercise not only affects your waistline, but it can affect your health as well. Research shows that periods of exercise followed by periods of inactivity can increase your body fat percentage and put a strain on your cardiovascular system. And then there is the psychological component: It’s hard to maintain motivation when you have failed to be consistent in the past.
Try these tips to help keep you going to the gym, even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing!
1. Set realistic, short-term goals: you most likely will not be able to lose 10
pounds by the end of the month, but you will be able to last five minutes longer
on the treadmill.
2. Understand that this is a lifestyle change: what you are doing this week is
going to have to be repeated next week, next month, next year, and so on. So
maybe working out for two hours a day six days a week is not sustainable, but one
hour three times a week certainly is -- and that is all you need to do to reach
and maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness.
3. Plan your workouts like you plan everything else. Don’t try to wing it: you're
setting yourself up for failure. Come up with a weekly fitness planner and
decide exactly what you will be doing each time you go.
4. Switch out your workouts the first of every month: it will help avoid exercise
plateaus and gym burnout. If you did cardio boxing and the treadmill last
month, try Zumba and the Arc Trainer next month.
5. Keep your gym bag “locked and loaded” in your car, so it’s one less excuse not
to work out.
6. Focus on the reasons to go to the gym, rather than why you cannot go. It’s
guaranteed there will always be excuses why not to workout.