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How I motivate myself to go to the gym.

March 14, 2011

My love for Plinky keeps growing. This post was very much inspired by two of their prompts: “What does your fitness routine consist of?” and “Share your preferred form of exercise.” They got me thinking…What is it that keeps me motivated to drag my ass down to the gym? In september I joined said gym for the first time in my life. I, like many new members, was very motivated the first month or so. I was there 4 times a week, spinning, dancing, yoga-ing and loving it…But then real life hit me, and all of a sudden it had been a month or so since my last visit. It was tough starting up again, and I’ve had breaks, but I’m still active there to a certain degree. I try to work out at least two days a week, and I’m comfortable with that. Now back to the topic at hand: what can I, and you, do to keep motivated?

1. Get a work-out buddy.

This was really crucial to me in the beginning at least. One of my neighbors had joined and convinced me to try a yoga lesson during a trial-period the gym had. When I joined, she was the one who dragged me over there, sending me texts. Knowing that I had planned to meet someone else made it easier to get out the door and on to the bike, because I didn’t want to bail on our agreement. And the fact that I had a friend with me made working out a lot easier.

2. Make yourself comfortable.

Very important to me at least! Find clothes that you feel comfortable in. It doesn’t have to be expensive fitness-clothes. My first month there I used a pair of cotton leggings and a sweater. It wasn’t too tight and didn’t feel restrictive, which has always been a problem for me when trying on gym clothes for school. Everything felt to small, even if it was  2 or 3 sizes too big in reality.

Wear make-up if you feel like it. If a bit of foundation and mascara is what you need to keep motivated, then why not? I have a tendency to get very red-faced when I get warm, and I’ve always felt very self-conscious about it. It was one of the reasons I disliked P.E. classes so much in school. So now I always put on some foundation before I work out. Yes, my face still does get red, but not as drastically so, and I feel much more comfortable.

3. Ignore the others.

One of my main concerns before I walked through the doors of the gym was that I would feel uncoordinated, fat and silly compared to everyone else there. Luckily that didn’t happen. There were all kinds of people there, from the young supermodel-lookalike to the beginner grandfather. In group workouts I just decided that I would ignore what everyone except the instructor was doing, and just do my best. So what if someone pedals faster than me during spinning, is more flexible in yoga or is a better zumba-dancer? I’m still doing the same workout and I’m still there, which is a big step for me and a lot of others, I’m sure.

4.Write/don’t write down your progress.

This is something I was very torn about. In the end I decided not to write down how much I work out and my measurements, simply because I would get so disappointed in myself if I didn’t see any progress, or had a week where I skipped a spinning class or two. It would just be really demotivational for me to see that in writing. Also I think I could easily become too focused on working out more each week, and loose the casualness I need to keep working out.  It’s the same reason I don’t keep a food journal. It would be far too easy to for it to get out of control for me. Others might need to keep track of their progress in writing, and I can understand that. Everyone is different, and what works for me might not work for others.

*blinks* Wow…I actually wrote a post on fitness…and a relatively long one at that…I’m seriously baffled right now.Who would have though…?  Not me, that’s for sure.

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