Expert Tips for Gym Motivation & Maintaining Your Fitness Journey
Between work commitments, family obligations morning noon and night, and social events, it may seem daunting, and downright impossible, to add anything else to your plate. As a result, people tend to sacrifice the one thing they might enjoy doing the least — exercise.
Perhaps it started with a busy week, and then one week turned into two and then before you knew it, you hadn’t visited the gym in a series of months. Whatever the culprit, there are ways to pull yourself out of a workout rut and create a lasting routine.
The thing about fitness is, you have to want it for yourself. Getting your gym motivation back and wanting to get healthy must come from within. And it’s not just about finding the motivation, but about having the right kind of motivation to get in shape.
Here are some top tips to on how best to stay motivated on a daily basis
Take Your Time Getting Back into a Routine
Just a short amount of time off from the gym can undo some of the health gains you’ve made, and a week of full inactivity is going to cause some detriment in your physical performance.
Taking a break from physical activity for just two weeks can result in a rather substantial reduction of muscle strength and mass — and it can take even longer to gain it back. In other words, if you were diligent about your routine a month or two ago, don’t expect to hop back into it right away like nothing has changed. Instead, take it one step at a time to decrease your risk of injury.
Don’t Try to Change Everything at Once
When getting back into a fitness routine, you may also be tempted to overhaul your eating habits, too. Oftentimes, people tend to fixate on making too many changes at once, but it’s best to focus on one thing at a time.
Health professionals suggest slowly changing your nutrition patterns over time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed and then give up out of frustration. But if you do want to make some changes to your diet, start adding more water to your daily routine to ensure you’re hydrated as a first step.
The more active you are, the more you sweat so replenishing your water levels will ensure your body isn’t depleted of key minerals, and in turn, can help you recover faster.
Take a Holistic Approach to Your Workouts
Rather than logging a certain number of miles and then calling it a day, it’s crucial to start thinking about your workouts holistically — that includes your cool down, stretching and recovery too, experts say.
A recovery routine is vital. It should include daily stretching and adequate cool down time after workouts. And, if you can, try to incorporate regular massages or an occasional visit to a physical therapist to ensure every part of your body is working just the way it should.
These tactics will help mitigate injury risk, so you won’t have to take weeks off from your workout routine again.
Redefine What Exercise Means
The good news is you don’t necessarily have to join a gym or spend hours a day running outside to get a good workout. Rather, you can do it all in the comfort of your own home.
There are simple ways to start thinking outside the box when it comes to workouts.
Look into how you can incorporate more activity into your normal day. Try to avoid taking elevators and escalators when possible, and also try to log as many steps as you can each day. It could also be as simple as getting up and walking to a
co-worker’s desk to chat instead of sending them an email, or taking a five-minute break to stretch your legs.
How to Keep Your Fitness Journey Exciting
Did you know that doing too much of the same workout decreases the physical benefits you get over time? Furthermore, your mindset is just as important as your physical fitness when it comes to maintaining a workout routine. If your workout is starting to feel less like a challenge or you find yourself losing interest in exercising, here are some tips to help you reap the best outcomes and stay motivated on your fitness journey.
Change Your Workout Schedule
If you find yourself dreading an upcoming workout, perhaps it’s time to switch your schedule. Although establishing an exercise routine generally helps to keep you committed to your fitness journey, altering it can give you renewed excitement for working out. Do you normally start your day with a hot yoga class? Maybe it’s time for you to sweat out the stress of the day in the evening instead. If you normally do a Pilates session during your lunch break, perhaps you should try a morning session so that your lunchtime can be freed up and can be spent on other activities.
Vary Your Workout Regime
Just like your mind, your body needs to be constantly challenged in order to reap the full benefits of exercising. Instead of working on your cardiovascular endurance from Monday to Friday, perhaps you can do it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and pepper in a yoga or Zumba class on Tuesday or Thursday. Mixing up your exercise agenda on a daily basis will help keep your body on its toes, and will make way for a more holistic fitness routine.
What’s more, if you’re beginning to find your regular 30-minute run or 1-hour yoga class less challenging, perhaps it’s time for you to alter the duration of your workout. Whether you’re considering incorporating High Intensity Interval Trainings into your cardio session, or doing back-to-back Zumba classes, modifying the duration of your workout challenges both your mind and body in new ways.
Set Short-term Goals and Celebrate Small Milestones
Whether your fitness goals involve losing weight, building lean mass, or something different altogether, your fitness journey is more like a marathon than a 100-meter sprint. It can sometimes be discouraging when you don’t immediately attain your ultimate goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the many milestones you achieve along the way. Set checkpoints and celebrate when you achieve them; recognising that you’re one step closer to your ultimate goal provides ample amounts of inspiration as you progress on your fitness journey.
Look Great to Feel Great
A great way to celebrate your achievement of one of those short-term goals is to treat yourself to new workout clothes. The opportunity to show off your new gear can help give you that extra push to visit the gym when you’re not feeling too motivated. Research has also shown that investing in new workout clothes can increase your exercise performance by boosting your confidence, so it’s definitely worth looking great as this can make you feel even better about hitting the gym!
Try Something New
One of the best ways to keep your fitness journey exciting is to try new workouts. Pick an exercise you’ve been wanting to try but never have. For instance, if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to try a Pilates class, or you’ve been getting more and more curious about incorporating weightlifting into your routine, it’s best to try new things now before your current exercise routine bores you to a halt.
Not only will trying out something new keep your body motivated, it will most certainly keep you entertained. Drop stereotypes and misconceptions, and be open to new experiences. By doing so, you get to learn new moves and exciting workout ideas that will keep you motivated to workout!
A little bit of friendly competition can do wonders for motivation, and having a like-minded workout buddy can help you stay positive on your fitness journey. If you already have a gym buddy, perhaps invite a third or fourth person to your squad.
While different people approach exercise differently, exercising with your friends strengthens the bonds amongst you.
But most of all…
Essentially, enjoying your workouts can be as simple as adopting a positive mindset to anything that comes your way. Plan an assortment of activities that excite you, surprise yourself with new exercises, and go further to attain your fitness goals. Open yourself up to opportunities and challenges and you’ll surely reap the benefits in the long run, and don’t forget to keep us informed of your progress in the comments section below!
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