I hate going to the gym.
There, I said it. I figured it’s best to get it off my chest early on so you don’t start wondering why I never talk about going there.
I’ve had two gym memberships in my life. The first time I went for about two weeks before I stopped going yet, like most others, I kept paying the monthly fee for a while until I finally quit. The second time was about two years ago when I didn’t have outdoor clothes to run in the winter so I got a six month membership at the community centre. I went faithfully, three times a week, for about four months until I went stir crazy and refused to step foot into it again. All gym and no play makes Therese a dully and crazy woman!
(Don’t be knockin’ The Fonda! She knew what she was doin’!)
Don’t Do It If You Don’t Want To
Now, I’m not bashing the gym and I don’t want you to hate the gym either because I know lots of people who love going and have friends who need your attendance to help pay their bills! I only say this because had I felt that going to the gym was the only way I could exercise I never would have gotten myself into a consistent routine. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when starting to exercise. If you don’t like it, don’t do it! A lot of people say that sometimes we need to do things we don’t like to get what we do want. This is true to a point but, mostly, I think this is a load of crap! If you want to get healthy you need to set yourself up for success and forcing yourself to do workouts that you dread on a daily basis is a sure-fire way to get you to just quit, and then beat yourself up about it. Trust me, it’s not your fault!
Find What You Enjoy
We’re naturally going to stop doing things we don’t want to do or, worse, hate doing. If you hate what you’re doing you won’t put as much effort into it, you’ll get negative and crabby and quickly find an excuse as to why you really don’t need to be doing it anyway. But if you choose activities that you actually enjoy doing you’ll put lots of effort into it, you’ll be ready and antsy to do it and you’ll want to do it every day! This is what you need! You need an activity that excites you as much as possible, or at the very least, you love what it does for you and therefore you are more apt to do it even on days you just want to stay glued to the couch. Better yet, find a few activities you enjoy and switch it up frequently. Not only will this stave off boredom but it’ll prevent repetitive injuries (these are injuries caused by using the same muscles over and over again)!
But what if you’ve never exercised a day in your life? What if you don’t know what activities excite you? I’ve totally been there! With the exception of a short stint in eleventh grade when I did 20 minutes of aerobics every morning for eight months (and then summer break started and I never did it again), I never did any sort of exercise until I picked up running in 2007. I had no idea what I enjoyed so I just started experimenting! I found that running, although not something that makes me jump out of bed with total joy, makes me proud of myself. It gives me constant goals to strive for and options for improvement. It helps me to clear my head and just be. Through experimenting I found that I really only like to strength train when it’s done in a circuit training format. I get bored when I strength train as is but once I mix it into some sweaty super-sets and intervals, I look forward to picking up those weights! I found out that I love spinning and yoga but don’t like dance classes (I’m so not co-ordinated). I’m always up for trying new forms of movement simply so I can see whether or not I like it and will add it to my list of fun activities or put it on my life of “never again” activities!
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of activities you can try, just pick a few (many gyms and clubs offer free trials or cheap day passes so you won’t break the bank with your experimenting) and create your own list! Who knows, maybe you’ll find that grabbing your gym bag and doing circuits around the gym floor is what floats your boat! If so, rock on, I left the treadmill empty just for you! 😉
Give These Activities A Try:
- Circuit training
- Get a personal trainer
- Dance Trance
- Bootcamp classes
- Nordic walking
- Water Polo
- Tai Chi
- At home DVDs
- Join a sports team
- Martial arts
- Rock climbing
- Trapeze (this is really hot right now)
- Pole dancing (this totally has an extra benefit ifyaknowwhatImean…)
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and move!