With every new year comes new resolutions. Without a doubt, two of the most popular resolutions are getting in shape and becoming healthier. The January rush at gyms is proof of that. But no matter what time of year people decide they want to start exercising, many of them fail to stick with it long-term and they never reach their goal. There are plenty of reasons as to why this might happen, but let’s talk about some things that might help you stick to it this time. As always, consult a dietician for diet advice, and your doctor before starting an exercise regimen, especially if you have or suspect any health problems. I am not a medical professional.
YOU’RE ON A BUDGET
Not everyone has the money to invest in lots of equipment to build their dream home gym or have extra money to go to an expensive commercial gym. If this is one of the reasons you give up, don’t worry, there are plenty of other options for you.
Find a gym that offers membership at $10 a month. There are so many options out there, but if you’re a beginner or on a budget, a basic and affordable gym works fine. I know plenty of bodybuilders who go to these types of gyms and they all look incredible. If it works for them, it can work for you. Not sure of what to do once you get to the gym? Look online for free workout plans and instructions on how to do each move if you don’t have money for a trainer. Or ask a friend who is already living the lifestyle if they can give you tips.
Exercise at home for free or with minimal equipment. Walking and jogging outdoors are free. If you have a bike, use it. You can look up free workout videos online from yoga to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to bodybuilding tutorials. Bodyweight exercises don’t require any equipment, but if you can afford bands or a kettlebell you’ll be able to work your muscles a little more. Check yard sale groups on social media or websites where locals sell gently used equipment and see if you can slowly add to your home gym.
YOU DON’T HAVE TIME
For those with time constraints due to working a lot of hours and commuting, you have a couple of options. You can either wake up earlier to hit the gym before work or exercise at home using the tips above. Break up your workout into as many days as you need to. If you want to start lifting weights, do one area each day of the week instead of spending an hour or more working multiple areas and trying to fit total body into three days so you can have four off. If you’re more interested in cardio, consider doing quick HIIT or Tabata workouts instead of long steady-state cardio sessions on the treadmill or bike.
Depending on what type of workout you want to do, there are different solutions to the intimidation factor. It’s easy to tell someone that there’s nothing to worry about, but that’s not so easy for everyone and I understand that because I’m also a little scared of gyms. You can exercise at home if you’re that fearful of going to a regular gym (see above tips). If you’re a woman afraid to work out around men, search for a gym that has a separate area specifically for women. Some even have a dark room full of cardio equipment and they play a different movie each day. Watching movies while in a dark room and walking or jogging doesn’t seem so scary, does it?
Find a workout buddy to go with you so you’re less likely to worry about what others are thinking. Ask a friend to start walking with you or working out at your home so you have an accountability partner. Try fun two-person workouts like tennis. If budget is not an issue, consider hiring a personal trainer. Personal trainers aren’t only found at gyms; many don’t train in gyms at all. You can work out in their home, outdoors, have them write you a plan and you follow it on your own and check in online, and some will even come to you. Some offer group classes which is great if you’re comfortable in small groups but not doing your own thing in big, open areas like commercial gyms. A good thing about group classes is you’ll likely make new friends.
Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program if you have or suspect any health problems. For those with issues that limit mobility, have breathing problems, or other issues that prevent you from doing what you used to do, just take it easy. No workout is worth causing yourself physical pain or future problems because you pushed yourself too hard. Try starting slow with things like gentle yoga for beginners, walking, or swimming.
IF YOU HATE EXERCISE
I get it. I honestly do. Not all of us love being sweaty and out of breath when we could be happier sitting on the couch eating and watching tv. But a big part to sticking to an exercise program is to find one you enjoy. And I’m sure you can. People typically equate exercising with hopping on a treadmill (or “dreadmill” for some), and it’s easy to see why that could get boring and you could begin to hate it.
Try things you haven’t tried before. Try lifting weights, aerial yoga, kickboxing, HIIT, CrossFit, or even martial arts. If you give more physical martial arts like jiu-jitsu or judo a shot, for example, you’ll not only get a workout, but as a bonus you’ll learn self-defense. Many gyms offer different types of group classes that you may find more tolerable than some you’ve done before.
Are you making a resolution to get in shape? Remember that the key to sticking with something is to enjoy it, so don’t be afraid to try new things. If you get tired of doing one type of workout, switch it up the next week and do something new. There is no program that is right for everyone. Just find the best one for you and it might just turn into a new hobby that you can’t get enough of.
Great ideas! You Tube is also definitely a good place for finding free workout routines you can do at home or in the gym!
It definitely is, Cyndee! Workouts of every kind can be found on there for free. Thanks for your comment!