Happy Friday everyone! Now that we are a couple weeks into the New Year, I am sure some of you are having issues keeping your nose to the grindstone on your resolution. Are you finding yourself to be too tired to go to the gym? Was the free membership trial up and now you aren’t sure what to do? Did you try the gym and realized that it felt like everyone was staring at you? This week I am going to focus on how to get you back on the horse and keep your motivation high!
If you are looking for a list of exercises to perform at home then go ahead and check out this article by Men’s Health, I agree with what they are saying and they have some good video clips to go along with their descriptions. If you have any other questions about specific exercises or adjustments to make shoot them to me or Dr. Brianne Showman Brown on Facebook as she puts out quality material constantly on fitness.
However for the rest of you that have a general idea of what you should be doing, but are lacking the wherewithal to get after it, here are some things that I find helpful to keeping one’s motivation up.
First and foremost look at your sleep pattern. I am not saying that everyone needs more sleep…honestly some people may need less. I find it much easier to maintain my drive throughout the day on 6-7hrs of sleep and found that if I get more than 7hrs of sleep that I am sluggish and have a hard time waking up. I would suggest you play around with times of day and maintaining a habit. Personally, I prefer getting to bed early and getting up early because I am able to get more done when the world is quiet.
Next, find out if it is better for you to get your dreaded workout in first thing in the morning so that you feel like you have cleared your largest hurdle--or if you should save it as a release/reward for the end of the day. I have found out that both can work well depending on what else is scheduled for the day. I am currently on an internship where we start at 6:30 am so while it would be possible to get up at 3:30 to get a workout in, it is just not feasible for the other things I want to do during the day. However, with the early start we get out around 3 so I have found out that I can get a great workout in right after work. If your workday doesn’t start until 830 or 9am though, you may be able to find a couple of hours to get to the gym.
Branching off of that idea I would say a large factor for me in terms of getting to the gym is making sure it is close to your house or on your way to/from work. If you can always look to the excuse of the gym’s location being inconvenient, you are likely to give into temptation if you are having issues getting serious about your health.
Another hack to getting yourself to go to the gym that I have found is to pack a gym bag that is ready to go the night before. Even if you only need headphones and your water bottle to workout, having a small drawstring bag to me is a little mental trick that gives you something concrete to look at and makes you think about working out.
After finding your desired mecca of gainz or temple of toning, make sure that you create a workout plan. Do NOT walk into the gym without anything planned and expect it to be a great workout. I am not saying that you need a journal while you are walking between machines. However, you should at least have a general outline of what you want to accomplish. Make sure to set aside time to warm up with cardio and some stretching before getting into your workout. No one wants to injure themselves trying to load cold tissue. Having a regimen for your workout can make things much easier as you have something to keep you honest when it comes to your time in the gym. When done efficiently, working out does not need to take up several hours of your day. Even just a short workout is better for building routine than no workout at all.
Once your bag is packed and you’re workout is planned for the gym, I have found that having pre-workout or just plain black coffee really helps me get in the zone. It is much harder to find excuses to not go to the gym when you get those pre-workout jitters or when you feel the coffee buzz. While the best pre-workouts is a topic for other blogs by professionals, my advice for picking one is to look at the label and know what you are putting into your body. I typically stick to chugging a cup of coffee about 30mins before I plan to work out because I know that coffee has been around much longer than pre-workouts--without causing much harm. If you are thinking that black coffee is gross or pre-workout isn’t for you, just chug it cold and get ready for your workout…there are always excuses to be found if you look hard enough.
While physical therapy is my passion, fitness is something that keeps me centered. If you are thinking that you are too tired to workout, just try making it to the gym for a week straight and see how much better you feel. I know it is hard at times to get into the gym but I promise once you are in the door and start moving, your energy levels will rise and your mood will improve. Just reading this is already a step in the right direction to maintaining your fitness habits.
Don’t be afraid of what people are looking at in the gym. 9/10 times it is themselves and not you or anyone else. If you are insecure about getting started just realize that everyone had to start somewhere. For me my journey started as a freshman in high school where I was 107lbs and benching 65lbs for a 2 set. Everyone is pathetic when they first start. Fitness is a journey, but it is one that you will find brings about a better you. The network of people you meet who are willing to help you is limitless, if only you ask. No matter how long the journey is, it can’t be completed without taking the first step.
Keep on grinding. #neverhitsnooze
I am a new graduate DPT and am interested in personal growth and becoming a connector within my profession.