It’s January, and the pungent smell of New Year resolutions is in the air. Lots of us will be thinking about working out more, losing weight and toning up – here’s a few tips to turn those dreams into decisions.
The first week of the year is almost over, and gyms across the globe are packed with people breaking a sweat in the name of New Year, New Me. The machines may be a little busier than normal but I think it’s great – it’s so good to see more people exercising and working off the Christmas mound of mince pies.
The issue with New Year goals is that they tend to diminish after a few weeks. What was once a solid stone idea somehow becomes an excuse, and soon you’re swapping cardio for the coach again. But it doesn’t need to be like that!
As someone who works in the world of food, eating is a big part of my life – and so is the gym. I’ve managed to shift quite a lot of weight without too much hassle across the last 6 months, whilst still dining out 3-4 times a week.
There’s no secret to it, & it’s not rocket science either. I don’t have a super fast metabolism and I have occasional blood sugar issues from a previous eating disorder history. But I know what works for me! I go to the gym daily, I pay close attention to my diet and I stick to these principles like glue.
Far more than weight loss, I changed my lifestyle for my health. I asked myself questions – why was I bloated? Why was my face puffing up? Why did my body not feel good? And I started changing things.
But when I’m eating out, I like to indulge. I taste everything. I don’t hold back – food should always be enjoyed.
Similar to my love affair with food, I adore exercise. It’s a part of my routine, especially when I’m travelling. I get cabin fever without it and I never regret dragging my ass across that shiny threshold. And that’s the secret – you have to turn exercise into enjoyment!
Recently, I received a truly lovely message from a fellow journalist who told me I was her inspiration for going back to the gym. I was so touched – to me, my lifestyle habits have become second nature.
So, here’s five easy ways to keep motivated to work out.
Gym worshipping awaits!
1 Treat it like a diary appointment
When you’re first starting to work out, getting to the gym can actually be the hardest part. Schedule your sessions in as you would a doctors appointment or a coffee meeting. Write them down – with the time – and stick to it.
Soon, it’ll become more regular and a part of your routine. But until then – set the notification!
2 Figure out if you’re an early bird or a night owl
Are you a morning person or do you feel more alert in the evenings? This is key to a successful exercise routine. If you’re more awake first thing, set your alarm for the first session. Plus, this means your exercise is out of the way before the day even begins.
If you manage more later on, make room for the gym after work or during lunch. It’s about figuring out what works best for you. I personally do better first thing – even if that means a rather vicious 5.45am alarm!
3 Come prepared
Bring the essentials and you won’t feel out of place. I always take a towel, earphones and most importantly, a big bottle of water. Build yourself an amazing playlist filled with your favourite songs.
It’s amazing how the little things can make a big difference to a session, but they count! Soon, your gym kit will be as easy to grab as finding car keys.
TIP: Packing your bag the night before can make the mornings oh so much easier. Lay your clothes out if it helps!
4 No excuses
If you’re going to be a gym bunny, you’re going to need to be dedicated. This means no skipping sessions, making excuses or giving it a half effort.
Be the one that shows up. Be the one that makes the effort! You’ll feel so much better for it – and you will never regret not skipping a gym trip.
5 Keep it varied
Don’t fall into the downfall of sticking to one single machine or the same plan. Shake things up every once in a while. Try new equipment, a new class or new styles of training.
If you prefer working out in the great outdoors, go for a run or a hike. Try yoga, try swimming, try tennis – try everything! The gym works really well for me because my working days are long and I don’t get home until late – but if you prefer something else, do that. As the great lord once said, “Just do you.“
Hope these help, and enjoy the work outs!