So you've got the gym blues?
Dreading the thought of hitting that treadmill? Tired just by looking at a protein shake bottle? Looking at your trainers with nothing but contempt? Most of us who have a long-term relationship with the gym (or at least an on-again-off-again thing) have felt it at one point or another. The gym blues are real, but if you let them take control, they can get you stuck in that rut of skipping days until owning a membership is little more than a paid formality. Here’s how to get back up out of it.
Stop comparing yourself to the gym bunnies
If you’ve been going long enough, you’re going to start recognising faces that are there are regularly (if not more so) than you. For many people, being surrounded by fit, healthy people can be plenty of motivation. However, others look to their accomplices in exercise and to themselves and might feel little inadequate by comparison.
Gym envy is far from an uncommon feeling, but it’s one that’s rooted in pure wrongheadedness. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the yourself from last month and last year. Fitness tracking apps can help you do that, showing your progress over time so you can see just how far you’ve come.
Remember why you’re there
After enough time, the motivation for working out can get lost in the mists of time and it becomes a matter of course more than anything. At that point, you have to have a good think about why you’re really there. Some people have an obsession with self-improvement solely for the sake of itself, but having real goals to identify in the long-term can help you stick with it.
If you’re looking to make healthier changes to fix your sleeping pattern and get rid of the stress in your life, so be it. Even a goal like wanting a beach body in time for summer is a good goal if it gives you the energy to work on your health habits.
See the funny side
Exercise can seem pretty humourless, but it doesn’t have to be. Rather than being stuck in your own world of gritting your teeth and bearing the effort of it all, finding a community you can have a laugh with can make a big change to your mindset.
Making some friends and sharing some jokes can make you feel like you’re really part of something, not just your own efforts. Plus, you get in on all the hilarious bodybuilding memes that can show you that you’re not the only one dealing with those gym issues you got going on. There are plenty of fitness, exercise, and bodybuilding forums and communities online and on social media that can help you see the lighter side of working out.
Bring a buddy
If you’ve been ingraining yourself in the community at your gym, joining classes, or simply have a friend who’s always going on about their intentions to start, then you should take the opportunity to make your very own gym buddy. For one, just about anything is more bearable with the right company.
However, working out together has real benefits to offer your efforts, as well. The distraction takes your mind off the natural aches and pains of exercise, helping you go on harder for longer. It also helps add a little accountability to your regimen. When you might otherwise be tempted to skip a day, knowing your buddy is waiting for you can change your mind.
Spice up your gym routine
Simply put, you might be bored by the gym. It happens all the time. People commit themselves to certain routines for much longer than they should simply because they think it’s a matter of discipline and that they fail if they can’t hold to it. That’s not true, however. The people who stick with the gym for the longest are those who know it’s important to give their routine a shakeup every now and then.
Find new exercises by talking to a fitness coach about your goals and how to better reach them or by joining a new class or trying a new machine. Even changing the order you do your exercises in can help it feel fresher.
The gym blues hit us all at one point or another, but you don’t have to let them with. Sometimes it takes a simple change of mindset, sometimes it takes finding a new class or getting yourself reorganised. Hopefully, the tips above help you get back the motivation you need to hit the gym.
This is a contributed post.