Going to the gym is great. It can do wonders for your health, both mentally and physically. It can help you lose weight, put on muscle, gain confidence, decrease your risk of injury and disease, and overall improve your quality of life.
But chances are, getting to the gym in the first place is easier said than done. It probably seems like the only reason athletes and celebrities are in such good shape is because they literally get paid to workout. What about working class people who have to try to find time for the gym amongst taking care of kids and a family, working a full-time job (or two), taking care of pets, running errands, seeing friends, and any number of other responsibilities. It may seem next to impossible to make it to the gym at all. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make it easier to get there in the first place, and everyone knows that getting there is half the battle.
Schedule Your Workouts
Instead of treating work outs as an after though, make them a priority. Schedule them into your day like you would an important meeting or picking the kids up from school. Treat it like a mandatory event and you’ll be less likely to skip out on it. Write them into your planner in pen and then don’t go back on it. The work out will seem more official if it’s scheduled and written down and you’ll be less likely to bail at the last minute.
Sit down at the beginning of the week and look at the upcoming week to see what obligations you have and when you have them. Schedule your work outs around the important things and remember that you don’t have to have a long time chunk in order to get in a good workout. Even 15 or 20 minutes at a time is better than nothing, so don’t make excuses about not having time. Find windows that will work and make them happen.
Just because you know when you’re going to work out doesn’t mean you’ll actually do it. You might have the best intentions but the day just gets away from you and next thing you know, your 30 minute window is down to 20 and counting. Being prepared will help keep you on track and prevent you from getting bogged down in stuff like finding your sneakers or packing a bag. Keep your gym bag packed somewhere very visible. Maybe somewhere so visible that you’ll literally trip right over it on your way out the door. If everything you need is in there, you’ll have no excuse not to work out. So the night before a scheduled workout, pack everything you’ll need, right down to the sweatband and iPod and put it somewhere you’ll remember it. Keep your shoes in or not top of it so you make sure to take those, too. Having a highly visible reminder will help keep you accountable and less likely to ditch your workout at the last minute.
Have Someone Hold You Accountable
This could be anyone from a neighbor who you like to take walks with, to a personal trainer at your local gym, to a group exercise class where the instructor and other participants will miss you if you don’t make it to class. Whoever it is that holds you accountable is just providing another line of defense against your brain getting the better of you. If you know you’ll be losing money (personal trainer) or letting someone down (neighbor or instructor), you’ll be more likely to lace up the shoes and get out the door.
This person doesn’t even have to be local, your sister who lives across the country could be just as helpful at keeping you in line. You could have a bet about who can lose the most weight or put on the most muscle before Christmas and use one another as a support system to stay consistent.
Make Sure You Have Enough Energy
This encompasses a lot of factors. It’s important to get a good amount of sleep if you want to get the most out of your workouts. 7-9 hours each night is ideal, though may not be entirely possible if you’re very busy. Regardless, try to get as much sleep as you can so that you’re well rested when workout time comes.
Having a snack before the gym will help you feel alive and like you can conquer the weights or the world. If energy levels are a struggle, consider at pre-workout energy supplement like BSN’s Hyper FX that will increase your energy levels, mental focus and alertness, endurance, and fat-burning capabilities so that you can have a great workout.