The beginning of the new year is the time that gyms normally fill up with well intentioned people who have finally decided to get fit as a New Year’s resolution.
The problem is, by the end of the month of January, most of those who started off with such good intentions have given up and, once again, the gym is back to the regulars, plus maybe a few newbies who have found a way to stick it out.
Normally, I’m one of the ‘regulars’ who watches the New Year’s resolution crowds come and go, but this year, I had the opportunity to be one of those showing up with the New Year’s resolution…
In my 20 + years of working out, I’ve taken plenty of breaks, sometimes for weeks, and sometimes for months. I’m not one who is hard on myself when I take time off. If I want time off, I take it.
Well, last year, in the late summer, I found myself bored with the gym, my muscles telling me they would like a little break (I listen to my body), looking outside at the gorgeous weather and wishing I was out there. And, with no guilt, I switched my workouts up, and I began walking 4-6 miles each day and doing more yoga and stretching outside in the beautiful outdoors. I loved it and had a great time doing it, but because I was no longer doing any kind of weight training, I did know that I would lose some of my strength, especially as the weeks of enjoying the beautiful outdoors turned into months.
So, a couple days into the new year, I, once again, listened to my body, my muscles telling me it was time to get back to lifting weights, and, of course, the beautiful outdoors had grown a bit cold for my enjoyment anyway, and I decided to hit the gym again… along with the New Year’s resolution crowd.
And here is where I want to share some tips for getting to the gym, or getting back to the gym (as in my case), and for making sure you’ll want to go back again and again.
After taking all that time off, I knew I wouldn’t be as strong as I had been before, and truly the idea of lifting heavy weights sounded absolutely exhausting!
So, in order to get myself through that door, I didn’t set any big goals or make any big charted plans. I went to the gym with the idea of just getting there.
And that is Tip #1: Just get to the gym. Go to the gym with the idea of just walking through the door and staying there for as long as you feel like being there.
And once I got there, I decided I would just do 3 sets of a light to medium weight of every exercise I felt like doing.
And that is Tip #2: Don’t set goals so high or so difficult that you end up talking yourself out of ever going or ever going back.
For those who are not motivated in this way, who may need the chart or the plans that define what you are supposed to do and on what day you are to do it, that’s okay, go ahead and use them, but in doing so, it’s still okay to be a little flexible with yourself as you get started, to listen to your body more so than the chart.
Remember… the most important thing is that you walk through that door… and then you have to make it a habit by walking through that door again and again.
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