Tips for the January return to the gym
Posted on January 02, 2013
Are you returning to the gym this month?
With so many of us making January New Year’s resolutions to get back into shape, here are a few tips for making the most of your resolutions and for keeping them throughout the year.
Tip #1 - Why train like there is a marathon coming up when you’re not actually running in one? Instead, start off slowly. Talk to your gym instructor to get some easy work out ideas that are right for your age in your current physical condition. Remember, don’t overdo it! There’s no point going crazy injuring yourself at the beginning. Instead, start slowly, set clear goals, and manage expectations.
So, for example, if your goal is to walk 1 mile, then focus on achieving that goal first. Once you’ve achieved it, reward yourself with a star on your monitoring chart (see below), then go for 2 miles, and so on.
Tip #2 - Choose an exercise program or regimen that you actually find interesting. There’s no point starting something that you know is going to bore you after a couple of weeks. So, for example, if you like numbers, choose something where you can track your progress, such as walking or jogging. Use pedometers or software for your smart phone to track distances, speeds, and calories. Charting these numbers can provide a great motivational tool. Prefer weight lifting? Do the same thing by charting your reps, weight used, etc. Watch your reps and weight increase for motivation!
Bonus Tip: Also chart your weight if you’re trying to lose weight!
Tip #3 - Joining a gym or exercise program with a friend is a great idea, provided that the two of you motivate each other and encourage each other. Remember, you’re there to exercise, lose weight, and get fit. While it’s easy to socialize in the gym, socialization can often lead to poor discipline and bad exercise habits. So if you’re going to go with a friend, make sure you both agree that the chit chat can happen on the way to the gym and on the way home from the gym.
Tip #4 - If you think you’re going to get sore or experience pain during your workout, don’t take ibuprofen or other pain relievers before working out! The pain relievers can actually cause long-term damage to your intestinal tract. Instead, use topical pain relievers such as Imbue pain patches, Biofreeze, and many others that are available on our site.
Tip #5 - You don’t actually need a gym membership to get into shape! Look around on various websites and blogs for some great exercise tips that you can do right at home. Pinterest is a great source for some of these ideas. In fact, to start an exercise program at home, you really only need a couple of things, such as a good floor with plenty room around you, and some minimal equipment, such as a jump rope, dumb bells, mats, and an exercise ball.
Tip #6 - Keep things simple in the beginning. Don’t be convinced by your gym instructor to perform complicated exercise routines that take two hours a day. Keep it simple by starting with, for example, a brisk 30 minute walk on a treadmill, or 20 minutes of weight lifting and 10 minutes of jumping rope. It’s far more important to simply get started and get into the routine on a daily and weekly basis.
Tip #7 - We all really should plan our life around exercise, not the other way around. Too often we decide to exercise “when we have the time.” But that free time never seems to appear. Instead, flip this around and schedule an hour a day for your health. What’s more important than that?!
Tip #8 - There’s more to weight loss and fitness then just exercise. Remember, nutrition is also vitally important. So January’s a great time to clear out the cupboard of all those Christmas cookies and cakes. Instead make a commitment to a gradual change towards a more healthy balanced nutritional lifestyle
The most important tip: Get started! Once you make exercise a habit, the exact type of exercise that you do won’t matter much. What’s most important is that you get started, that you’re motivated, and that you can get yourself back on the road to long-term weight loss and physical fitness.
So stop reading this and get on the bike, or strap on those sneakers, or grab those weights and get started!