I’m no fitness expert – far from it, but I have been trying to get into a more active lifestyle so I don’t have to feel as guilty for eating out far too regularly. I think that finding the motivation to go to the gym is really hard, but I don’t want to talk about that here. I want to discuss how to make going on a regular basis a lot more sustainable – so you don’t get bored after a few visits.
I’m still enjoying going, and if anything like it a lot more now than when I first started. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and here is how I justify ‘gym sustainability’:
Going to the gym needs to be part of your lifestyle, not just an afterthought. Build time in your routine to go and don’t make plans on those days. Going to the gym is your evening activity, so tell your friends you’re busy. For example at work I put my gym visits into my calendar in advance so I can’t double book those evenings.
I’m a bit of a geek and I find gadgets help me along the way. I like data visualisation and statistics, and there are plenty of fitness apps on the market to monitor and benchmark your progress. I have invested in the new Nike Fuelband which tells me when I’m active, how active and helps me set goals and have fun whilst living an active lifestyle. I find it helps with my motivation.
Always set goals that you can edge towards. It doesn’t have to be lifting certain weights, but it can be running a certain distance. I’d love to get to the point where I can run 10km comfortably in an hour. That’s my goal at the moment and it drives me to keep going. Setting personal goals should help you with going regularly and improving yourself each time.
Go to the gym with friends, make friends there, or seek out work out buddies that you can bounce off from and get inspiration. Socialising at the gym makes it a much more enjoyable experience, and if I know I’m going to be seeing friends down the gym it doesn’t make me dread it so much. Turn the experience into a fun and sociable event and you’ll forget that it’s even a chore.
Don’t use the same machines over and over. You’ll get fatigue and you’ll get bored. Mix it up with new machines you haven’t used before, or change the routine you make in order to ensure all your muscles are trained. Use tools such as Google to look for new exercises you can be doing and how they will benefit you.
Always think of the long term benefits
There are loads of other benefits that the gym helps me with, and this spurs me on to keep going and ensuring the lifestyle is sustainable:
- Joints become lubricated and healthy;
- Limbs become more flexible and movement is made easier;
- Day to day energy levels are improved, with fewer lethargic periods;
- Muscle strength is improved;
- General fitness levels are higher meaning you can partake in sport and other events without so much strain;
- And finally and most important to me – SELF ESTEEM. You start feeling more confident about who you are, what you look like and how you interact with people. I’m not very confident on the whole, but the gym is starting to help me.
I hope this helps you with a sustainable active lifestyle, and you reach your goals