The idea of working out and being fit is attractive, sexy and intimidating. However, you can use these fitness habits to help you start. If you follow these tips, it will be much less stressful to get in shape and much easier!
#1. Prep Your Workout Gear The Night Before
I can’t tell you enough how much this one tip helps me. If I’m not ready to workout, it’s so easy to procrastinate getting my stuff together, and put it off a little longer, and then the day is done.
The night before, get all your workout clothes, shoes, and other stuff into your bag and into the car. Then tomorrow, all you need to do is decide to go to the gym and you’re off to the races!
#2. Plan Your Next Workout IMMEDIATELY After your Current One
As soon as you finish your workout, plan your next one. Get home and look over your workout card or book (you do have one, don’t you?) and plan how you will make your workout tougher next time.
This only takes 5-10 minutes, but mentally frees you up. Next time you go to the gym you will know exactly what you’re going to be doing and can go straight there. You will make progress regularly, and not noodle around doing the same workout over and over for weeks.
#3. Go When The Gym Isn’t Crowded
It’s hard to go when the gym is full of people. The treadmills for my warm-up are full, people are using the equipment I want to use, and the really fit guys and ladies make me feel afraid. Are they secretly laughing at me? I’m definitely not as buff as them.
Going when the gym is less crowded makes the whole experience much easier. In the late evenings around 8-10 PM, in the afternoon from around noon to 3 PM, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays are less trafficked days. You will get to use the equipment you want, and it won’t be so stressful. Make your life easy this way.
#4. Have Quality, Clean Workout Clothes
Working out isn’t that appealing if your shorts and shirt stink and your socks could be used as bioweapons. Have several pairs of each of them and launder them regularly, ideally when you get home from your workout.
If you’re always prepared with your workout plan, clean and nice workout clothes, and have them packed up together the night before it’s hard not to go workout. It becomes fun!
#5. Get A Big Calendar & Record Your Workouts
If you’re having trouble sticking to your workout plan, get a giant calendar and a big marker pen in a fun color. Then, each day that you go workout, fill in that day.
When you hang this someplace where you are all the time, this is a very in-your-face motivation to exercise. Once you’ve started a routine, you won’t want to stop and if you miss a workout, it will stare you in the face mocking you!
#6. Make It Routine
Just like waking up in the morning, picking up your kids, or taking medication, make sure to add working out to your routine. That way, even if you’re tired from work and on autopilot, you’ll simply drive to the gym. Once working out is regular, it’s easy to keep going.
#7. Make It Tougher
Keep making your workouts tougher. This might seem contradictory at first, but I firmly believe that once you start an activity, be it weight lifting, fiddle playing, martial arts, or historical research, your skills either wax or wane.
By making your workouts tougher somehow each time (e.g. a harder lift, more weight, more time running. etc.) you’ll feel accomplished each time you go workout. Don’t settle for mediocrity and focus on making progress every time you go exercising.
#8. Go To The Gym To Create The Habit, Not Workout
In the beginning, you’re going to the gym to form the habit of going to the gym. NOT to boost your bench press 20 pounds in 2 weeks.
Starting off really intense is a great way to injure yourself seriously. Don’t do this! Start with a workout you can do, and then increase it a little bit from there on out.
#9. Ruthlessly Define What You Want & Go For It!
- “I want to lose some weight.”
- “I want to look hotter.”
- “I want bigger arms.”
- “I want ripped abs.”
- “I want…”
Arggh! Be specific, commit to your ultimate goal and work like a demon to get there. Make the goal to drop 10 pounds of fat, and then measure yourself each week. If you want ripped abs, change your diet, workout, and measure your body composition once every month. If you have wishy-washy goals, I guarantee they will wish-wash away from you.
#10. Don’t Take It Too Seriously
Once you have set your goals, have a plan and are following it regularly, forget about it. Don’t agonize about whether you made enough improvement after every workout. Exercise is fun. Let it be fun. Once you’re in the groove, focus on the rest of living and don’t get hung up on something that’s really just a small part of a rich, enjoyable life.