We’ve all been there: you get a random spark of motivation and you start going to the gym every day, eating as healthy as your wallet will allow you to and you’re on the greatest health kick of your life… but it only lasts for a week. Suddenly, you’re back in a slump and you can’t bring yourself to go back to the gym to save your life. Trust me, I know the pain—I have repeated this process almost a million times now.
Although health and fitness is a never-ending lesson that I am still in the process of learning, I have finally gotten into the habit of going to the gym four to five times a week—something I thought would never happen. Of course, I still have to learn to curb my cravings for Hot Cheetos and all things carbs, but c’mon, baby steps.
Here are a few tips to help you get into the habit of working out regularly (or semi-regularly. After all, we’re taking baby steps).
First thing’s first: stop viewing your body as your enemy. Previously, I was working out as a means of getting rid of the parts of myself that I despised. This led to a lot of self-resentment and hatred. Ultimately, it didn’t help in getting me to go to the gym. If anything, all I wanted to do was stay in bed and think about how much I didn’t like my body. When I finally accepted the fact that this was the body I was given and it’s a body I should be 100 percent grateful for, I started to appreciate going to the gym because it no longer felt like I was there to recreate my entire self—an impossible feat.
Which brings me to my next point: start to view the gym as your personal playground instead of a chore you need to take care of before the day is over. Sure, working out is exhausting, but after you find what you like to do and what’s best for you, working out starts to feel like a game. How much can you personally lift? How long can you run for? How much fun is that new group fitness class going to be? Sometimes it really does feel like an obligation, but as long as you try to remember that it’s supposed to be fun, then you will already be a step ahead.
And what better way to have fun at the gym than with your best friend? I realized that the most effective way of getting my behind to the gym was having a buddy that would hold me accountable for ditching or slacking off. Having a gym buddy was the easiest way for me to learn about the best exercises for me, plus I had someone spotting me at all times. Of course, as college students, we all have crazy schedules that may conflict at times, but your best bet is a friend who has the same goals as you do!
Having a buddy will also distract you from the other people at the gym. I can’t be the only one who feels self conscious about working out in front of other people—Am I doing this right? Is that pro judging my form? Do I look silly? I’m not sure when, but at some point, I realized that everyone was way too focused on their gainz to even glance at me. Listen, we’re all at the gym for the same reason: to improve our health. It’s time to stop thinking about whether or not people are judging you because they’re probably not.
I used to make excuses for not going to the gym. I have way too much homework. I’ll be too tired after work. I need to sleep; I can’t wake up that early. After I forced myself to admit these were all pathetic lies, I started to tell myself it was time to stop finding time and start making time for my workouts. After all, that time I tell myself I’ll spend studying is usually spent browsing Netflix for a movie I don’t want to watch—might as well get a quick workout in! A 20-minute session is better than nothing anyway.
Of course, finding time is easier than ever with our very own Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC) right here on campus. Have a lengthy gap between classes? The BRIC is just a short walk away!
What are a few things that help motivate you to get a good sweat going? Share with us using the hashtag, #CampusCropChat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and remember to follow us on Snapchat @asicpp!