Making it to the gym after a long day can sometimes be a bit tricky and going to the gym consistently after a long day at work or in class can be even trickier. Despite this, there are some easy everyday habit changes you can make to help get you on the right track to a more consistent gym routine!
Picking out your gym clothes the night before.
- Decision fatigue is a very real thing, especially after you’ve just gotten home from a long day at work or class. The last thing anyone wants to do is make more decisions just to get to the gym. Picking and laying out your clothes the night before allows for a greater amount of creativity and helps you to feel more confident going into your workout because the decision is already made for you! Believe it or not, how confident you feel in your outfit can make or break your workout.
Plan your workouts ahead of time.
- If working out isn’t an established part of your daily routine, walking into a packed gym around 5-6 PM can definitely be a little intimidating. Feeling intimidated, you might just turn around and leave or head straight over to the cardio machines thus avoiding any and all interaction with the other gym-goers. Here’s how to change the narrative. Every Sunday, sit down for about an hour to plan out your gym days and look up new or different exercises you may want to try. From there, write out some exercises you’ve tried in the past or want to try. You can practice the movements at home so when it comes time to do that exercise in the gym, you’re already a pro! You can also see if your gym offers classes. Group exercise classes are a fun and stress-free way to ensure you get that movement in.
Have a snack and water bottle ready to go.
- If anyone has ever gone to the gym after not eating for several hours or not drinking enough water, you know the tired sluggish feeling all too well. Those feelings definitely interfere with your workouts and can significantly affect how you feel about going to the gym altogether. This is because we have a tendency to associate how we’re feeling with the place we are instead of the behaviors that led to these feelings. One easy way to avoid this is to have a nutrient-dense snack ready to eat about an hour before you work out. So right after you pick out those gym clothes, head down to the kitchen, prepare tomorrow’s snack, and fill up a water bottle to sip on and refill throughout the day.
Set an alarm.
- Have you ever noticed that if you eat at the same time every day, you start to get hungry at the same time every day? This is because it’s your habit to eat at the same time, and the same goes for your workouts. If you exercise at the same time every day, it will naturally become a habit. Choose a workout time that works best with your schedule and start setting an alarm for that time every day.
Shift your mentality.
- The final habit change we can make is a shift in mentality. How you feel about yourself and about exercise will translate directly into your workouts. Exercise should be enjoyable. It should never be a punishment for things you’ve eaten. Start each day at the gym with a session of gratitude, for instance, taking the time to thank your body for allowing you to move today. You’ll be surprised at how peaceful you feel after doing this.
All in all, working out should be enjoyable but also something we do consistently -not only for our physical health, but for our mental health as well. These 5 simple habit changes can simplify your gym/exercise routine and shift the way you think about exercise. Happy exercising!
Written by GUADS intern Sara with contributions from (https://www.wellnessworkdays.com/)