Every year, it`s an intention, and every year, it is a struggle.
In summer, I don`t need the gym – I walk everywhere and enjoy running at the beach. Winter however is a different matter. I don`t like to be outside, but soon, both body and soul are missing the activity. Gym should be calling my name – but I just don`t want to go.
When I reduced my working hours, I vowed to go finally re-establish a regular gym routine and wrote down a list of the most compelling reasons why I should get over myself and just go, no matter what:
- I always feel good as soon as I enter the gym. As soon as my body is in there, my mindset will follow suit. And I feel amazing afterwards!
- I set myself a goal of 30 mins (for the beginning). That`s not much, but it`s more than nothing, and a small step towards establishing a habit and being able to do more again eventually, as I get fitter.
- Every journey starts with a small step. The first visit is always the one I`m most likely to postpone over and over again. The second (and third, etc) visit however will never be as difficult again, as once I started something I want to keep it going. So just go!
- Too busy? 30 minutes of gym will cost me about an hour including travelling, getting changed and shower. What else would I do with these 60 minutes? Probably mainly berating myself for not going to the gym.
- The time and effort is an investment into my health and wellbeing, for now and for the far away future. I remember what it felt like to be overweight, and I can only imagine what it will be like to get the first ailments of old age and knowing that I could have held them off for a few years if only I had taken the time to exercise more when I was still able to. Remember the benefits of exercise go beyond weight loss.
- Being happy with my body and going to the gym regularly feels great and nourishes a positive mindset and self esteem that spread to other areas of my life: nutrition, general activity levels, alcohol and how I dress and care for myself in general. Not going to the gym affects the same things, in the opposite way.
- Money – I pay the same fee for my membership, regardless of how often I go. One visit can cost me anything between £1.20 and £40.00 – choice is mine.
- Exercise releases endorphines and enhances my sense of self worth and confidence, which makes me happier (and easier to be with) altogether.
Even though, it lasted about 3 weeks. Finally, I acknowledged that I simply dislike it – and cancelled my membership. And the guilt (point 7 above!) fell off as soon as I handed in the letter!
I now exercise at home. I already had a treadmill, and I also bought myself a mat and a kettlebell. Now, a 30 min session isn`t difficult to fit in at all – no travelling,, my own bathroom, and then straight into my comfies. My own music. I often preper dinner before I go, so it`ll be ready for me coming out. So far, this seems to work for me.
I really think you have to enjoy exercising in order to stick with it, and if you don`t, you`ll have to go and find something else, until you discovered the activity you`re actually looking forward to.