All of us want to be in shape, and probably resolve every year to hit the gym and start working out. Be it joining a gym, zumba classes or free hand exercise, only about 30% of us succeed with it. I myself have tried hitting the gym several times but failed measurably. Did you know, over 70% of the people who joins a gym, leaves within 3 months of joining? Probably January to March is the best season for the gym because we want to start the year with a resolution to hit the gym and remain fit. But most of those who join in January discontinue the gym within two to three months. Not that their fitness goals are achieved within two or three months, but they actually fail to find the motivation to continue.
World Health Organization has estimated that “in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 600 million adults were obese. Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult populations (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2014. In 2014, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (38% of men and 40% of women) were overweight. The worldwide prevalence of obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2014.
Obesity is the mother of innumerable diseases like heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, indigestion, and also mental disorders like stress and depression. You can avert the obesity and the related problems if you work out and hit the gym. Healthy and balanced diet and physical exercise is the only mantra to keep yourself fit and healthy, and there is no shortcut to it.
The motivation to keep yourself fit and knowing what’s on stake are the two most important factors that could have a positive impact on your lifestyle. And the best way to get motivated is not to set fitness goal and achieve it, rather knowing what’s on stake if you discontinue.
Rewards can be a great motivator for most of us, but when we know the risk of not going to the gym, which become even bigger motivation factor. Motivation to workout has to come from within, and no external force will work on you permanently. When you feel the need of working out and hitting the gym, then you will do it.
Working out and hitting the gym will give you desired result after a certain period of time. But if you continuously hit the gym and do proper workout, results are guaranteed.
But if you set unrealistic fitness goals, chances of failure will be high and when you fail, you may not get the motivation you need to hit the gym every morning. Set realistic goals, work towards it and know the rewards and the risk of not continue.
What is Obesity and how is it caused?
Obesity refers to being overweight, where the body weight exceeds the limit of, as it should be. Your age, height and gender determine the ideal weight of your body. Obesity is caused due to intake of energy and calories, and not sufficient physical activities to match the intake.
When you consuming plenty of calories, but not burning extra calories, you will put on extra weight and that’s the beginning of obesity. But when you do the regular physical activities, then these extra calories will burn and you will feel rejuvenated and active throughout the day.
Is it really necessary to join a gym, you may ask?
No. There are other alternate ways to work out and keep yourself fit and healthy. If you are a morning person and you go on for brisk walking, jogging or do light exercise and yoga, you may not need to hit the gym. There are many around us, who workout in open with good results. But then, that requires lots of dedication and motivation. But still, most of the people will resolve to hit the gym in December and January and some of them will succeed and other may just walk away and be as usual.
The ultimate goal is to find the motivation and to resolve that you will work out regularly and keep yourself healthy, happy and fit. And if joining a gym helps you do that, join a gym with the strong determination and with a goal.
Best ways to motivate yourself to hit the gym
The best thing about joining a gym is you get the flexibility to choose the days, hours and time for workouts. Depending on your lifestyle and availability of time, you should choose the days and time that suits you the most. Those who resolve to hit the gym as a New Year resolution usually prefer the evening hours. But the best time to workout in gym in morning I suppose, it works perfectly well and you will have no excuse to miss a session.
There are many such tricks that actually work. And if you are planning to hit the gym and wondering if you will be able to continue, here are the best tricks that will help you keep going.
1. Keep your goal in front of you
I do not just mean it in a figurative way, but also in a literal sense. Whether your goal is to lose a few kgs of weight, or you strive to shape your body or get a six pack abs, know what you want to achieve. Write it down and paste it somewhere you can see. It will automatically remind you of your health goal.
If you have any celeb in mind whose physique you covet, then you can paste his/her picture on the walls of your room, so that you know where you want to reach. You can keep the picture with you when you go to gym. You will be constantly reminded of your goal, and you will not deviate from your path henceforth.
2. Think long term
You have think the matter through time and then decide which road you want to follow. You are now eating junk foods, binge watching the Netflix series, avoiding the physical exercise giving lame excuses, becoming a lazy couch potato, and thus becoming obese. On the other hand, you are waking up early, doing exercise for one hour, having healthy diets, and also enjoying the awesome Netflix series while eating oatmeal. This is how you are reducing your pounds, but also enjoying your life. Which option do you think is better? You can have a gorgeous physique, you will look good in everything you wear, you can get the perfect body for summer, is it not attractive? Hell, yeah it is. Now that you have thought long term, you know what you have to do, and act accordingly.
3. Amazing gym accessories
When you relax at home wearing a simple t-shirt and a pajama, this attire is itself very comforting and not suitable for the purpose of the gym. If you are getting ready for working out in these kinds of dress, then you will find no motivation. Have you seen the TV commercial and the magazines where the men and women are wearing typical work out dresses and jogging and hitting the gym?
Similarly, if you have the proper dresses and accessories, then you will be motivated automatically to hit the gym. The attractive gym dresses, like tights and leggings, will motivate you. Purchase them, and you will feel like working out. Once you purchase them will you want your hard earned money to go to waste? No, of course not! You will then put these things to use; you will hit the gym in your home every day.
4. Make friends to accompany you
Nobody wants to toil alone, if you are accompanied by your friends, then you will enjoy the work out sessions more. You will then hit the gym with a thought that you will be able to meet your friend who will be working out on the same slot. If you do not have any such friend who can join in with you, then make new friends in the gym. Talk to them, challenge each other, discuss, collaborate and continue. Socializing can help you a lot in continuing the gym sessions.
5. Reward yourself
You can get very motivated to work out and hit the gym if you follow the system of positive reinforcement. Psychologists often refer to this as a very effective source of motivation for doing any kinds of tasks; be it hitting the gym, or scoring good grades in exams.
I will give you an example, you have worked out and hit the gym for 20 days in a month, and you are already feeling good about yourself. So, now you can reward yourself by going for a pedicure or a manicure, or buying a book for yourself, or even plan a hangout with your close buddies. Thought hitting the gym is itself rewarding, still you can give small rewards to yourself and celebrate your success.
6. Plan a schedule
You can plan a schedule for yourself and include the healthy activities in your daily routine. If you have work in the morning, and find no time to hit the gym or yoga, then you can do so after the work hours. After office, you can got to the gym in the evening, and then work out for two hours and then return home. You can make the schedules like how many days in a week are you going to the classes, and also the timings. For example, you are going three days in a week, and also Sundays. Sundays, you can go to gym in the morning too as you have no office, and keep the rest of the day for yourself. Write down the schedules, and paste it on the wall in your room, so that you are constantly reminded of the things that you have got to do!
7. Make a playlist
Music is like magic, it can remove the pain, and it is true in this case. When your body is aching due to the workout and sweating like hell, then rocking and motivational music can set you charged up. Do not listen to slow romantic tunes during workouts, rather listen to some hard rock, heavy metal, songs of Linkin Park and Eminem, and also of Iggy Azalea can make you forget the pain. You will then groove, and complete all the squatting and the running on the treadmill. Prefer some fast rocking music, like those used in aerobics, and you will feel better. Make your own playlist, and put it on when you are working out or hitting the gym.
8. Enroll in a class
You can really feel motivated and enthusiastic about working out if you enroll in a gym class or yoga class. It is very difficult to follow a routine at home, because you will always end up finding excuses for not doing the exercises. If you enroll in a class, then you will pay for the activities that you will be doing, and you will be in a system. You will hate it if your money is wasted and then you will feel that you must not bunk the classes. Enrolling in a class will help you to socialize with others who are also like you, who are also trying to lose their weight or bulk up, they are sweating like you, and in such scenario you will not feel alone.
9. Maintain a fitness decor
In your room, and also in your office cubicle, you can keep some motivational quotes and images in front of you. This will remind you constantly about your goal and there you have to reach, there is no other way. Quotes like “If you can do it today, then why tomorrow”, “Keep calm and work out”. You can find some more inspirational quotes here. You can paste the posters on the walls, and also the images of your idol or favorite start from whom your draw inspiration. Keeping these inspirational lines will surely motivate you to work out and hit the gym.
10. Read the inspirational stories
You can find many inspirational stories of people who actually reached their goal and are happy about it. You can read books, and also their blogs and sites. Go through the fitness blogs and websites in Internet, and you will surely feel motivated. The inspirational stories will give you hope and boost your confidence; you will realize that achieving your goal is not an impossible task, and you can reach there within no time. Where there is will, there is always a way!
11. Watch inspirational movies
Watching movies like Karate Kid, where Miyagi will inspire and train the aspirants, then Rambo, Rocky, these movies will inspire you to come into a proper shape, as here too your favorite stars will toil hard and reach their goal. The more inspired you are, the more motivated you will be to hit the gym and work out.
12. Have a self image
There is no harm if you are harsh on yourself, as you can then do a greater good. Try your old clothes and jeans when you used to be in shape, you will fail to fit in those dresses now as you have swelled up. You will feel sad about it, and this sadness will trigger you to work even harder. Everybody wants to look good, each and every one of us want to wear beautiful dresses and show off our physique in parties, then for that you have to work hard. Keep in mind the image of your present “you”, and the goal you want to reach. You can also click a picture of your own self and past it beside the image of your favorite star. The stark difference will motivate you to work for it.
13. Document your journey
From resolving to hit the gym to joining and continuing the gym, you should document everything. Today we are living in the age of social media and selfies. Publish your journey through a blog or social media. Write about the monthly or weekly goals, challenges you are facing, success you are achieving and everything in between.
When you commit to do something socially, chances are you will do a little more to continue it. So don’t just publish funny selfies, but use as a tool to stay motivated and hitting the gym without fail.
Over to you
Even a week of work out and gym can make you feel and look better. You will feel lighter, healthier and happier. You will also have a sense of satisfaction in your mind that you are taking steps towards your health goal. Joining a gym is easier, but in order to continuously hitting the gym every morning or evening is not going to be so easy. But if you know the purpose, and understand what is on stake and what the rewards are, you will most likely continue.
Ever felt like hitting the gym? What motivated you to hit the gym and continue it for months?
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.