Learning to Love Exercise
We’ve all been there. Thinking about the hassle of going to the gym, having absolutely no clue what you’re going to do there, feeling awkward and lost…and just, UGH. Exercise in general.
No one is born loving exercise, it’s more of an acquired taste. Mentally preparing yourself to go exercise is one thing… actually getting there is another.
How many times have you woken up motivated, TODAY IS THE DAY… then it’s 5 PM, you’re getting out of work and all you can think of is food and your couch. I know it’s not easy…I have personally been there. It took me years for it to become a habit for me, and now it’s not only a habit but a way of life.
- Make it your priority
The problem with many people is that the gym is not one of their top priorities. This is one of the first things we have to change if we want exercising to become a habit. I don’t make any plans during my gym hour, I usually go around the same time everyday, so I don’t make any plans during those hours, either before or after, NEVER during. My gym time is my gym time and the rest can wait. Look at it as your second job, you don’t just miss going to work one day… so don’t miss going to the gym either! If you’re a morning person, I highly recommend you get it out of the way before work and then you’ll have all the afternoon free, I’ve tried becoming a morning person… sometimes it has worked and sometimes it just hasn’t.
- Set some goals
Goals are what motivate you. I’ve always had an idea of the body I want and that’s what keeps me motivated. If I want that body, I know I have to work for it and work for it everyday. Think about your well-being in general, the more you exercise and eat healthy… the longer you’ll live. Healthy eating is KEY. Yes I could eat burgers and fries everyday but I have my goals in mind and if I eat all of those things all the time, there is no way I’ll ever have the body I want. Before eating that piece of cake or greasy burger, THINK for 15 seconds about your goals and believe me if you just take those seconds before eating something, there is a higher chance you’ll change your mind. Write down your goals and have them in mind ALL THE TIME. This helps you keep yourself motivated and prevents you from making the wrong decisions.
- Finding something you LOVE
It takes a lot of trial and error to finally find something that works for you and that makes you feel motivated to go again and again. If you do something you don’t enjoy, the gym will become a punishment. Then comes making up excuses and avoiding going there at all costs.
I’ve tried dozens of programs, sports, gyms… I can’t even tell you how many. But what has helped me are my goals. I’m one of those people who loves trying new things. Things that I said I would never try or do have become a goal for me. Like crossfit or running. I used to say I’d never do either of them and I ended up loving both. One of my new years resolutions one year was to start running, I started running every morning until it became a habit. But this is because I pushed myself to try new things even though I had already told my mind I didn’t like it. So just because you have convinced yourself you don’t like something or you won’t be good at it doesn’t mean it’s true. Before judging something or yourself, try it first and if you really don’t like it then on to the next one. There’s so many different things you can try, don’t give up if you don’t like the first 2 or 3.
- Ask yourself what you’d want to do
Sometimes we like to follow the crowd… but this doesn’t always end up our way. What do you like doing? Any sports you liked when you were young? Do you like indoors or outdoors? You can ask people for advice but in the end it’s YOU who’s gonna be doing it, not them. There’s a different fit for every person. As for me, I love INTENSE exercises, don’t ask me why… but I’d rather be jumping around and sweating like a pig than doing yoga. I always recommend doing HIIT workouts because they increase calorie burn and increase your metabolism but if you’re not about doing high intensity exercises, it's understandable and I’m sure you can find something less intense you’ll like.
- Make a list
Try different things, make a list of the ones you like and decide which one is the right fit for you. You can choose one or even a couple…I know many cities have Class Pass and you can do different ones throughout the week. This way you can choose classes or gym’s according to your mood that day.
- Aim to exercise 3-4 times a week
If you don’t go at least 3-4 times, you won’t see the results you want. I’m a fitness addict and love exercising so I usually do 5-6 days a week sometimes even 7, but I’m obviously an extreme case and not everyone has to exercise this much, you should always have at least 1 rest day, those muscles need a break. I’ll go to two different gyms and sometimes go out for a run, I alternate my days so my weeks are always different. I definitely recommend doing 2 different things because this way you’ll always be entertained and never get bored of the same thing. If you do the same thing every week it’s more likely you’ll get bored and will want to give up.
7. Lift Weights
Most people think doing cardio is enough... well it's not. You’re not going to get bulky just because you lift, this is a myth. It takes a while to actually get bulky. PLUS, it has to be combined with the right nutrition for this to happen. Lifting weights actually increases your metabolism which is exactly what we want to lose that extra fat and tone up and unless you're lifting real heavy weights everyday, you have nothing to worry about. You'll start loving exercise because you'll start gaining strength, seeing results, and pushing yourself to lift more as time goes by.
Once you start seeing exercise as a choice and as something you like, it will be easier for you to keep yourself motivated. Never force yourself to do something you don’t like. Forcing yourself has to evolve into desire. If you WANT to do something and you LOVE it, actually doing it will be easy. If you keep your goals in mind, you’ll likely stick to it. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t like something or you didn’t finish one of the workout programs you started. What’s important is that you keep trying to find the things you like so your gym time is not a hassle but your top priority. Don’t overthink, just DO IT. Commit… because if you don’t, you’ll quit again and again. Commit for yourself and only for yourself. You’re doing this for YOU and nobody else.