I was an on and off gym goer for years, because it’s hard, isn’t it? You’ve gotta find the motivation to actually get up and go to the gym, and as if that’s not hard enough, once you’re there it’s boring and hard work. But it doesn’t have to be!
The first step is finding the right gym. I went to a fancy one I could barely afford for a while, and hated it. I went to PureGym, and hated that. Back in December I found out about a council run local sports hall, so come January I signed up, and I love it. The staff are amazing, and way more friendly, there’s a sauna and steam room, which even the fancy one didn’t have, and there’s way more of a community than any other gym I went to.
It’s council run, so it’s cheap, and doesn’t have loads of equipment, but it’s such a nice environment, which no other gym I’ve been to was. Look around, maybe you’ll love, and be able to afford, a really fancy place, just find the one you feel comfortable with, and it won’t be so much effort to actually go!
Once you’re there, figure out a routine you can actually enjoy. Riding on an exercise bike for half an hour is boring, so I do 10 mins, followed by some weight stuff I enjoy, then another ten minutes and so on. Breaking it up, finding the exercises you enjoy and not forcing yourself to spend forever on a machine you don’t like is going to improve your gym experience ten fold.
As well as finding the exercises you enjoy, utilise your time while you’re there. I listen to podcasts or albums I’ve been meaning to listen to, sometimes I even download shows I’ve been bingeing and watch them while I work out. I’ve written blog posts while cycling! The gym can be a place that you get to relax your mind for a bit while your body does the work, or a place to be extra productive in the ways you can be (provided you can be productive from your phone like I can). Just make it yours.
Finally, you’ve just gotta change your perspective sometimes. We all have days that we just can’t be bothered. On these days, I try to take things one at a time. I’ve just gotta get dressed for the gym. Once I’m dressed for the gym, there’s no point staying at home, I may as well go to the gym. Once I’m at the gym, I’m there! No point not trying my best if I’ve managed to get there.
Find your own way to lay it out, once you’ve managed to make the gym into a place you (as much as you can) enjoy going to, it’s not so hard to convince yourself to go. I enjoy my time there, I feel great when I’m done, and that’s how I’ve managed to go at least three times a week for all of this year!
If you really, really hate the gym, that’s okay! Maybe it’s not for you, and that’s fine. Try out some classes instead, go swimming, take up running, the gym is not the only way to exercise, and if you can’t figure out a way to at least not hate it, what’s the point in going?! Do the things that make you feel good, theres something out there for everyone, you’ve just got to find it!
How do you motivate yourself?