The gym. It can either be your biggest enemy, or your best friend. A place that induces stress and insecurity, or relieves anxiousness. Hell on Earth or a heavenly escape.
You get the point.
For many people, finding the motivation to step into the gym or muster up a workout pattern sounds far fetched. My outlook on working out is quite different though. Motivation and mindset is so important. The gym is my stress reliever, a place where I want to work on getting stronger, and somewhere I can push myself. I don't just work out to be more physically fit, I exercise because it gives me energy, I sleep better at night, and because it makes me happy, I look forward to working out, mostly because of the community, variation in workouts, and the individual challenges that my gym presents me with. I feel accountable for my workouts and there are always people there to cheer you on and recognize the hard work you put in. I literally look forward to the gym, making the regiment so much easier to follow (shoutout to CrossFit Wicked). For those of you struggling to get in the groove with your workouts, I'll present to you some ideas to get motivated for the gym, but ultimately this relies on you. I can't force you guys to exercise, but I can give you some suggestions that helped me along the way.
Making goals in an underrated habit. I try to make monthly and weekly goals/intentions on flashcards and sticky notes and put them in places where they are visible. Start small. Make goals like:
'taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator'
'stretch every morning after I wake up'
'park further away from the store in order to get extra steps in'
'go to the gym once a week' or 'take a walk every Sunday around the neighborhood'
Goals don't have to be long term unless you want them to be, but you have to start somewhere. I strongly suggest making a list of monthly intentions, regardless of the topic. I have been making one every month since the summer and it's helped me tune into my actions.
Pencil the gym into your daily schedule
I always get asked "how do you go to the gym as much as you do?" The answer is simple. It is a part of my weekly routine. I put it on my daily to-do list, and I give myself days off when I have class or if my body is sore af. I'm one of those people who is crazy about to-do lists, so crossing the gym off of my daily list always makes me feel a little better.
'Fitspo' or fit-spiration. Fitness inspiration or just general wellness inspiration. Instagram or YouTube will be your best friend for this one. I admire Revie Jane Schulz (@reviejane), Lee Tilghman (@leefromamerica), and Jeanette Ogden (@shutthekaleup). Each of these women are wellness centered, inspirational, and honest. They share their struggles and their accomplishments through their social media. Revie and Jeanette are both mothers too, and watching their journey into motherhood was pretty damn cool. It proves that taking care of yourself should never stop your ideology on wellness may shift many times throughout your life (I mean I don't plan on having a child ANY time soon but you get the point lol). All of their content is inspirational, from their food, their attitude, and their uniqueness. Having these outlets to admire makes my own journey really easy.
Try out different places
To your surprise, a workout doesn't have to happen at a gym. There are many online platforms that offer workouts, and even apps too like Nike and Kayla Itsines. You can workout at a yoga studio, orange theory, or your home. On my off days, I usually do stretching or bodyweight workouts in my room on a yoga mat. If you try out a few different gyms, you will know which one you feel comfortable at, what provides the best resources, and what price is the best. If you're a student, school gyms are a free and convenient place to workout and many cater to students through different fitness classes. Obviously I'm biased towards CrossFit, but I highly suggest trying out a box. Many places have free weekend morning classes, or will even let you drop into a class for free if it's your first time trying out a gym. When I was trying to find a CrossFit gym in Maine, I also found deals on groupon and tried out a couple different boxes until I found the one that worked best for me.
Get a gym buddy
Gym buddies are so important. Group fitness is an even better way to keep motivated and to stay accountable for your workouts. My two roommates in college were my gym buddies and I loved working out with them. Whenever one of us felt a little tired, the other always pushed to get both of our butts to the gym and just sweat a little, even if it was just a walk on the treadmill. Having someone as a motivator is really helpful. Now, I work out with my mom many days and it's great to have that bonding time with her for an hour a day.
Invest in some cute, comfy workout clothes
Having a few key pairs of workout clothes is a good idea. I try to stick with the same color scheme, mostly black. I absolutely LOVE Old Navy workout clothes. Their leggings are honestly the best. Second in line is Athleta. Their leggings are also amazing and their customer service is fabulous, they are always so helpful in store. C9, Target's brand, is another good company. All three brands are pretty affordable, Athleta being the most expensive for a student budget, but best sweat-wicking material. Having a few nice pairs of leggings and sports bras is important. Sorry guys...I'm not sure how to help you out with this one. OK long story short, invest in some good clothes that will last you. Comfy sneakers are always a priority too. My favorite brand of running shoes was either Asics or New Balance, and for trainers I love Nike Metcons.
Like I mentioned before, these are just a few ways that I keep motivated for the gym. Some days it's harder than others to motivate myself to workout, but I always know that I will feel better and stronger afterwards. Of all the ideas that I mentioned above, the one that resonates the most with me is goal setting. If you don't have a goal or something to work towards, it's hard to stay mindful of the things you want to accomplish. Set goals for yourself, always work to get better at something, and be proud of your accomplishments.