This time of the year always seems to be what motivates us to get our butts in the gym – between new year’s, spring break, summer… it leaves everyone in a rush to play catch up with their bodies in preparation for the upcoming weather + days inevitably spent poolside. I’m not much different – I always fall behind once summer passes and the holidays come. I’m currently back at my highest weight – the struggle of going from an incredibly physically active college student to a painfully sedentary young professional. I, too, am working on making the gym more of a habit than a “have-to” – for the sake of feeling comfortable in my skin again + for my health.
So, if you’re looking for ways to make the gym easier, here are some of the tricks I have implemented either in the past or the present that have been successful in getting my booty out of the house and exercises that have gotten it in shape.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAYLA RATLIFF
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FIND A PLAYLIST THAT EXCITES YOU. Sometimes the best thing you can do is put together that list of songs that really energizes you and makes you feel unstoppable. Sometimes when I’m upset I find a playlist that helps me channel my frustrations to push myself harder (not sure if that’s good or bad, but if works for me lol). Sometimes I find playlists centered around female empowerment to remind myself I can kick butt. But it doesn’t have to be that deep, either – if you like EDM, hip hop, alternative, turn on whatever gets you going.
USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. Easily one of the easiest tricks in the book, but it really is 10x easier to go when you know you don’t have to be by yourself. Whether you just like the moral support or it’s someone who’s more familiar with the gym and can provide instruction and guidance, it helps to be with someone.
DISTRACT YOURSELF. I personally love watching Netflix while I’m doing cardio – focusing on a image/storyline keeps me from thinking about how tired I feel.
PACK GYM CLOTHES. Sometimes one of the hardest parts about getting to the gym for me is having to go home to get changed – but once I’m home, I end up getting comfortable and struggle to find the motivation to leave again. So, try packing a gym bag of what you’ll need and leave it in your car so you can head straight to the gym after school or work.
START SMALL. I can’t emphasize enough – if you’re working on making the gym more of a habit, it’s best to start small and work your way up. Setting large goals can lead to burn out and discouragement. It’s okay to tell yourself that you’ll just go for 15 minutes a day until it becomes more of a desire + habit for you.
WRITE OUT YOUR WHYS. It can be easier to get into the gym when you make it clear why you’re doing it. Whether it’s to better your health or to get ready for spring/summer, that’s up to you. But knowing why you’re doing it will help you envision your goals + know what you want/need to do to get there.