Are you headed to the gym for the first time in many years? Are you reaching the realization that you need to take steps to better your health or to lose those unwanted pounds? If so, you are among many beginners trying to find their way in the fitness world. Entering the gym in those first days can be empowering, but it can also be intimidating. If you have your eye on the prize, you can overcome the fear and enjoy the feelings of excitement. There are a few things to remember as you move forward in order to ensure that you stay motivated and able to maintain those positive thoughts.
One of the first things that should be addressed is scheduling. A huge mistake made by millions trying to get in shape is trying to fit workouts in between other obligations. It is best to create a schedule a week, a month, or even a year in advance. Block out the times that will be used for the gym and don’t allow them to be changed. Exercise is important for healthy, well being, and even stress relief. It should be considered a priority and shouldn’t take a backseat to other obligations. Obviously work and family will have to come first, but having the time blocked out well in advance will allow you to shift other things to keep that space for yourself.
A second common misconception of beginners is that having one goal in mind is enough inspiration to continue moving forward. Rarely is that the case. Whether you are hoping to lose fifteen, fifty or even five hundred pounds, it is best to have smaller marks in mind first. Perhaps you goal should be simply to stick to your routine for one month without missing a day. Once that goal is accomplished, move on to something like adding two minutes to your cardio routine for the week. Small motivators like these will make the process seem manageable and give you reason to celebrate more often.
On top of these two things, it is important for you to remain honest with yourself regarding your current and continued state. If you are having difficulty keeping up with your original schedule, if it’s not fun, or if you simply aren’t finding the motivation to continue, it is likely time to make a switch. There are so many different forms of exercise available and they are offered at so many different times that you don’t need to torture yourself. It might have seemed smart to run at five o-clock in the morning, but if you just keep hitting snooze until 5:30 and then need to scramble to get ready for work, then it simply isn’t going to work out. Perhaps you could walk on your lunch break instead. Even if you only have half an hour and the nearest gym is twenty minutes away, that doesn’t mean defeat. Bring your sneakers and do a few laps around the building. You might feel silly doing so, but chances are, if you are to ask a few co-workers, you can find new recruits to join you for the mid-day exercise and suddenly you won’t feel so odd. The point is that it is important to make your workout match your lifestyle, rather than trying to force it in.
Finally, try to avoid the reward system. Though you may feel wonderful about doing such a great job and the occasional gift to yourself is fine, if you do so for yourself after every workout, you will soon find that it is not as rewarding as you had once thought. Instead, set month long goals and when they are achieved do something nice for yourself, but skip the ice cream. Many people reward themselves for a good workout with junk food – ice cream, a bowl of chips, or a candy bar. This won’t make you feel good. It’ll do just the opposite. Find some other way to have a treat.