Yesterday was my three-year anniversary as a personal trainer. Yay! Thirteen-year-old Ashley would be so proud! That poor girl hated gym class, with all the wheezing, failed attempts at climbing that stupid rope, and the whole getting picked last for dodgeball. She grew up to be a skinny-fat chick with spaghetti arms and a squishy midsection. She dreamed of having rock hard abs and being able to do a push-up. Take a look at her now:
So how do you go from being a gym class zero to someone who actually enjoys working out? Let’s see:
- Find your motivation. Maybe you want to look good on the beach. Maybe you want to run a mile. Maybe you want to bring down your high blood pressure. Maybe you want to catch the eye of the hot guy at work. There’s something you want that exercise can give you. Write it down and look at it daily.
- Find a gym close to you. Especially in the beginning, you will find any and every excuse to skip gym day. You’re tired. Work was awful, so you have to go home and decompress. Work was great, so you have to go out and celebrate. Don’t let “it’s just too far away” be one of your excuses. There are so many gyms out there these days. I’m sure you can find one that’s either a five minute drive or ten-minute walk from your house. You might even find two.
- Try everything. And by everything I mean lots of things. I don’t have to strap myself upside down and do inverted sit-ups to know they are not for me. But I have surely tried my hand at yoga, kickboxing, aerobic dance, running, crossfit, pilates, lean barre and even aquatic aerobics. Why? I get bored easily, just like you. And I don’t want to be one of those people who says exercise is boring. Next you’re going to tell me sex is boring. You just have to try new things! Then you find something that really excites you. Going to the gym is no longer about waiting for the numbers on the scale to move. It’s about perfecting your squat, dance routine, dive, or roundhouse kick. Find what you love, and it will keep you coming back for more.
- Do something social. Humans are wired to interact with others. We feed off of each other’s energy. Find a buddy to go to spin class with you. If you are like me and can’t always get your friends motivated to move, make friends in spin class. Have conversations after class with the instructor. He or she will show you proper form to make the most of the movement. Ask the girl in the locker room where she shops for her leggings. You might make a friend and update your fitness wardrobe. Connect. Those connections, those tpeople that you know are waiting for you to come to class will get you out of bed, even on the crappiest of mornings.
- Just keep trying. Exercise is always going to be essential to your life. Keep finding reasons to stick with it. Remember what motivated you to work out in the first place. Even if your reasons have evolved, you have to keep that initial drive in the forefront. There are days that I just really don’t feel like working out. But I remember the thirteen-year-old in P.E., and I have to push for her.
So I just told you how to get motivated to work out. Share with us why you don’t work out. We’re interested to know. Thanks!