With the a new year comes new goals for many of us, and working out more was #3 on our list of most common New Year’s resolutions. One popular solution to working out more is to sign up for a gym, but we’ve likely all heard how gym memberships rise at the start of the year, then quickly drop off throughout January. If you’re interested in joining a gym this month (or you’re trying to make the most out of your new membership), here are some tips to help you keep it up all year long.
- Take advantage of new member benefits. Many gyms have special promotions, especially in January, to attract new members, such as free personal training or health assessments. Find out what’s included with your membership and take advantage of it all! A good personal trainer will help you assess your fitness level and show you some workouts that are right for you. If you aren’t interested in using the benefits after your trial, that’s okay too! Just let your trainer know up front what your goals are for the number of sessions you have, be it to learn to use equipment or figure out a new routine. If you end up signing up for services after a trial, even better! It can help motivate you to keep up your fitness routine.
- Make a plan and write it down. We recently shared some info on the importance of making plans to reach your goals, and that’s true for the gym too! Figure out how many times you can realistically get to the gym each week, and plan ahead for which days you’ll go. Then stick with it! It may take a month or more for the gym to become a regular part of your routine, but once it is, we think you’ll find it hard to stop going. It may also help to think of it in terms of how much you’re paying per gym sessions if you go a certain number of times each month, e.g. your $50 membership means it costs $4/session if you go three times a week, or $6/session if you go twice a week, etc.
- Find a class you love. Many gyms offer free classes with your membership, so take some time to explore what classes they offer and find one you love! Whether it’s kickboxing, zumba, or spinning, there’s sure to be something that makes you feel great, or an instructor that you find especially encouraging.
- Reward yourself. We talked about the importance of rewarding yourself in general recently, but you can use this as a tool to help you go to the gym more too! If there’s a day when you’re having to really talk up the gym to yourself, try and find something you’re okay only having post-workout. Whether there’s a particular smoothie shop on the way home or a way to indulge yourself a little at home, tell yourself you can’t have it unless you go to the gym for a little extra motivation. Just make sure it’s something still somewhat healthy.
- Don’t overdo it. Everyone has their limits, and if you’re just starting a new fitness regimen, you’ll need to find yours. Give yourself rest days when you need them, and take the time to work up to running longer distances or lifting heavier weights. You can always work your way up to doing more, but injuring yourself will only set you back.
- Work on eating healthy too. Working out and eating healthy go hand in hand for making you healthier overall, so pair the two together. The trick is to create a sustainable plan. So rather than cutting out something you love altogether, work on limiting certain foods or plan healthy meals to help you make the most of your new fitness plan.
Try as many of our tips as you can, and let us know how you do!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.
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I appreciate that you mentioned to plan ahead, figuring out how many times you can go to the gym in a week. As far as I know, this plan is important for not only planning out your daily schedule, but also to see how much work you can/will put in. Sometimes, once it’s fitted into a schedule, you’ll create a habit of it and it can become hard to break. Having that plan will help you keep organized and start developing those habits that will help toward a healthier lifestyle.
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