I've been picking up speed getting back into my gym routine lately, and I wanted to share some of the tips that really helped me get motivated and stay motivated. So here you have it: my wisdom on conquering the gym:
1) Push through those first five minutes: The first five minutes after my alarm goes off and before I head out the door to the gym are hands-down the absolute worst five minutes of my day. There is literally never a time when I don't hate my life for the first few minutes I'm awake. For awhile, I was letting my morning grouchiness be enough of a reason to crawl back in bed. Not anymore. Now I coach myself through those first few minutes, force myself out of bed, and spend a few minutes before the gym doing mindless things like looking at Instagram to ease into my day.
2) Find a friend: I've said this before - going to the gym with a friend will increase your attendance rate by about 1000%. If you don't have a friend that you can drag to the gym with you, make friends with the people who are at your gym. Just knowing that someone expects to see you there will make you feel obligated to show up, which is a GREAT thing when it comes to exercise.
3) Snack, snack, snack it up: There are two considerations here - 1) You need to find the right pre-gym fuel to keep you feeling good through your workout. My pre-workout food of choice is currently KIND bars - they're healthy, they're small, and there is no preparation needed. 2) You need to plan carefully for your after-gym snack. Unfortunately, an hour of spin class can be totally negated by the 30 seconds it takes you to stuff a brownie in your mouth. So plan ahead, pack and prepare a healthy post-gym snack, and don't put yourself in a position where you feel like you just have to get that pastry - because you earned it, right? (Wrong.)
4) Love your look: I know this sounds silly, but don't discount the power that great workout clothes can have in getting you to go to the gym. Knowing that what you're going to wear feels good and looks great is an easy, effective motivator. Invest in some quality items in fun colors and put another point in the "I'm excited to go to the gym!" column.
5) Variety is the spice of lifting: If I lived in an ideal world, I would do a completely different workout every day. CrossFit one day, swimming the next, yoga the day after that, a morning run after that, and so on. Variety is nothing but positive when it comes to fitness: your body will burn more calories if you keep it guessing, and you'll be much less likely to get bored and quit if you're changing it up every day. So check out the fitness classes your gym offers, find a fun new route to run, or learn how to do a new kind of weighted exercise. Staying entertained is half the battle!