Image by: By Binkwilder
By Richard K. Noots
Let’s face it, not all of us are hardcore gym rats. Going to work out on just a semi-regular basis is hard enough to accomplish, let alone trying to master a full gym schedule. Generally speaking, it’s at least an extra 1-2 hour commitment that is out of your way four to six days a week. I mean, you’re literally giving yourself an errand filled with physical activity. It’s no wonder why obesity is a top concern in America.
However, it doesn’t always have to be like that. The best thing to do to keep a work out schedule if it’s been difficult so far, is to find a way to make it resonate with your mind. By that, I mean you need to make working out either slightly more enjoyable, or an easier errand that doesn’t take hours away from your important day. It can be hard to find an equilibrium, but today is your lucky day.
#1) Play Sports!
This idea may not be for everyone, but if it appeals to you, it’s a great addition to any workout. Parks, rec centers, designated fields and a variety of other places where you live all have sports-related resources at your disposal. Basketball, football (or rugby …), or tennis. Hell, you could even practice Olympic-themed activities, should you be so inclined. Expand your horizons and pursue your interests. Need a friend? Sporty for the iPhone is one of a million ways to find people with similar interests.
The point is, having something you’re obligated to do with people is a strong motivational factor, especially the more interactive it is. So anything, from boxing to dancing. As long as your doing some physical activity that keeps your heart rate up, you’re doing great. This isn’t meant as a sole replacement for your regimen, unless you’re planning on being an athlete. Add this with some of these other ideas as well …
#2) Incorporate it in Your Lifestyle
How do you spend your free time? It doesn’t always have to be spent going to the gym. Bring the gym to you! There are various body-weight exercises you can perform in the comfort of your own home and neighborhood. If you can, see if you can spend more time jogging than driving. A five dollar jump rope can give you endurance like Bruce Lee, and you didn’t even have to deal with the sweat of someone else. That’s worth something, right?
It’s at least worth mentioning that a nice bench set ordered from the internet can be as cheap as 150-700 dollars, which will cover mostly any machine a regular gym has. Not only does that save on gas prices, you can work out anytime. A good way to trick yourself is to force yourself to do some curls or any other exercise and then reward yourself with an easy activity. Like a video game or movie. Plus, it’s a lot easier to ignore a twenty dollar membership than a giant Smith machine in your apartment.
#3) Record it
Yes! It’s time to channel your inner writer. As you change your regimen, whether you include more outdoor activities or dedicate yourself to throwing up in the gym, the main idea is to be creative when it comes to your body’s health. So annotate it! Keep a journal, pen or smartphone, doesn’t matter. There are various notepad-like apps available, but you only need to write down what you want to do and what you DID do. This way you can mark to the day each improvement noticed.
It’s the same concept behind keeping track of what you eat. Your brain will easily convince you that it’s OK to be lazy or take it easy. Now you can catch yourself when you start to slack off too much. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably already recording some measure of your physical activity.
It’s hard to stay consistent with anything, especially when all we want to do is relax. I’ve always found it’s easier to stick to a exercise regimen when I add friends or do it between my usual hobbies of wasting large amounts of time. As long as you pay attention to your accomplishments, and not where you slack off or fail, your motivation will rise. Eventually, your brain will begin to crave working out, to some extent.
That’s the biggest trick. Making exercise a regular habit, like smoking. Instead of taking ten minutes to gamble with cancer though, you just do sprints for ten minutes right outside your house. happy work out, everyone!
Do you prefer the gym or home for exercise? the Trials of Sweat below!