Exercise is naturally a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, with many of us in the UK devoting not-insignificant amounts of time to gym classes, running and other kinds of exercise in the battle to keep fit. But forming exercise habits are also uniquely difficult, as New Year’s resolutions quickly fall by the wayside and gym subscriptions go unused. What can you do to stick to a good gym routine?
Source the Right Kit
It is well-understood that high-quality equipment does not an expert exerciser make – but getting the right gym kit is still crucial to ensuring you get the most out of your new gym regime. Old, uncomfortable trainers will not inspire you to get running or Stairmaster-ing, just as old and itchy workout clothes are more likely to make you feel baggy than energised.
By investing in the right kit, whether some new, comfortable loose-fitting clothes or a matching sportswear set, you can invest in your own comfort and self-esteem. By rocking a powerful and practical ensemble, you can embolden yourself to tackle your session that little bit harder. You may also find yourself ready to go a bit more often, too!
If You’re Not Having Fun…
Fun is often overlooked as a factor in exercising. There are those for whom the effort and eventual gain is reward enough, but a great many people ditch the gym simply because they aren’t getting anything out of it but discomfort and even pain.
The key, then, is to find the exercises and gym classes that inspire you. Exercise doesn’t need to be drudgery; find something that exhilarates you, or that engages your brain in the right way. There has been a recent trend in indoor climbing, with new bouldering gyms cropping up and subscription rates on the rise; this is because climbing is an effective workout, a fun activity and a mental exercise as much as a physical one.
You may not be much of a climber yourself, but is there an activity or discipline that speaks to you more than plugging away at the rowing machine? Of course, more stimulating activities like these usually come with new challenges and risks; where you might be perfectly comfortable lifting weights in glasses, for activities like bouldering you should swap your glasses for contact lenses to avoid injury. Clothing, again, is important here – without the right fit for your activity, you could hurt yourself.
Keep Track of Progress
Last but certainly not least, it is important to keep track of your progress as you continue to visit the gym. If you do not have proper metrics for growth, or do not know quite what ‘success’ looks like with regard to your own personal health journey, you are much more likely to lose heart in your gym habit and drop off your plan.
Keep score each time you go, with short-term goals for each session and an over-arching long term goal. This goal could be as simple as being able to perform one full pull-up, or it could as grand as aiming to lose a certain amount of weight. It could even simply be to maintain a level of strength – the choice is yours!