Let’s be honest here. Staying focused at the gym isn’t always easy when we’re surrounded by 20-year-old bodybuilders and model-sized marathon runners. We often forget that the gym is a place for everyone to come and work on their fitness goals. These five tips will help you stay positive, motivated and focused while working out at the gym:
Find a workout buddy
The easiest way to be accountable is to have someone to be accountable to. Whether it’s a coworker, an old friend, or even a member of your family, having a partner to workout with can make your gym feel a little less intimidating. It can also offer a chance for friendly competition. Don’t be afraid to ask around at your office or friend group. You’d be surprised how many other people may be looking for a friendly gym companion to help them stay motivated.
Set small goals
While it’s great to have overarching goals for your fitness, sometimes we need some shorter, simpler goals to get us going each day. While your long-term goal may be to lose 20 pounds, that isn’t something you accomplish within one gym session. Before you head to your gym each day, decide what goals you will complete while you’re there. Will you run a 15 second shorter mile than last time? Will you increase the weight you lift by five pounds? Setting smaller, more manageable goals to accomplish within one gym session can help you stay focused and feel more accomplished after a workout.
Take a class instead
Many gyms offer group exercise classes as part of their membership or added on for a small fee. Cheaper than a personal trainer, you still get the instructions of a pro and built-in workout companions. You’ll learn new exercises that go beyond your typical solo routine and have an instructor to correct any errors in your form. You may even meet new friends with similar goals who will support you along your fitness journey.
Change the time of your workout
One mistake we often make when going to the gym is assuming the most convenient time is the best time for a workout. The gym may be right off the road on your way home, but trying to focus on your workout immediately after a stressful day in the office might be impossible. Maybe you hit the gym in the morning, but you find yourself preoccupied with all the things you need to get done that day. Experiment with going to the gym at other times of the day than those convenient before and after work hours. You might find that cardio room is far less crowded later in the evening or that you’re more motivated doing short workouts during your lunch break. Once you find the time that works best for you, schedule it in as part of your daily routine.
Make your own playlist
Few things can get us up and going the way our favorite song does. Instead of plugging your headphones into the television hook up on the treadmill, harness that motivating power of music at the gym by creating a new playlist for your exercise routine. If you’ll be focusing on cardio, put together your favorite upbeat, fast-paced songs that you can jog along too. Lifting weights? Put on a slower, rhythmic playlist so you don’t overexert yourself. Choose music that gets your mind and your body in the zone for whatever workout you have planned that day. Not only will it help you stay motivated, it will help you focused on your own progress instead of what’s going on around you.
Keep these tips in mind next time you head to the gym and rock your next workout!