I am a diehard gym fanatic. Health and fitness has been part of my lifestyle forever. I know that I’m on one side of the fitness spectrum, making challenging goals that the average person may think they could never do, but they can.
Every year in January, health clubs become packed. Sales in athletic footwear and attire excel and personal trainers get a boost in salary. I admire people who set healthy goals and do all the preparation to get started. But than February and March come and the crowds at the gym start to diminish. Why? What is pulling them away; is it a busy life, scheduling, vacation, relationships, illness, kids?
Here are a few tips that can help you stay motivated to reach your fitness goals
Start with small goals: It is much easier to set small realistic goals that can be accomplished every week or two versus a mass transformation all at once. For beginners, work out three days a week and try cooking a healthy meal. Stick with it for the first two weeks and once accomplished bump up to a new goal.
Workout buddy– It is always easier to try something new when we aren’t doing it alone. Ask your friends, coworker, spouse or kids to join with you. If you don’t think that they will stick with it and it will cause you to stop as well, than pick someone else. Maybe there is somebody who already belongs to a place and will show you the ropes.
Try a group exercise class– There are some amazing classes that can fulfill all fitness levels in 45-60 minutes. Be adventurous and try a cardio class like zumba, spin, step, or kickboxing (one of my favs) yoga, pilates, body sculpting and boot camp styles will be sure to get your heart rate up and burn calories, while having fun doing it. The added bonus, you can meet new friends who will encourage you to stay with it!
Weight training– I know for many people (mostly woman) the weight floor and machines are incredibly intimidating. People avoid it because they are nervous that they will injure themselves or just look ridiculous doing it. Here is what you do, either workout with someone who is comfortable using the equipment and will show you how, ask a trainer or take the strength training group fitness classes. Your confidence will get built up over time and then you can start to venture out a little onto the floor.
Meet with a trainer– Usually during an initial sign up at a health club they offer a free introductory personal training session. Do it! They can explain how to use the equipment and get you started on a workout regimen. If the gym doesn’t offer a complimentary training session, than consider saving up a little to purchase a small package. I would ask other gym members on their recommendations to get the best fit for you.
Weekly/Monthly Pictures– Many people document their weight loss or increase in muscle tone with pictures. I think that having a photograph of the transformation that occurs can be incredibly empowering to yourself and others. You will have an awesome story to share with your friends, family and fellow gym buddies.
Eat Healthy– I get asked all the time, “what diet do you use?” I don’t diet, I eat healthy. It’s simple, lean protein, healthy carbs, fruits, vegetables and plenty of water. If it is too overwhelming at first, than exchange a few bad food choices for some good ones. The easiest one to go, sugary drinks, like soda. Once you cut it out, your body will stop craving it, making it easier to make another healthy food/drink choice.
Don’t give up– If you feel like you are in a rut, than reach out to someone who will motivate you to stick with it. Read inspiring stories of others, change up your workout routine or look at the small goals that you have already accomplished and keep pushing forward.
I hope to hear back from some readers in a couple of months on the fitness goals that they are accomplishing in 2014!