It’s that time of the year. New gym hopefuls have squeaky clean tennis shoes and a newly turned leaf that drives up gym membership sales like crazy. The new year new me attitude is strong with this group. They will achieve their goals. They will not back down. And they will certain last at the gym longer than a week. Are you with me?
Now, hear me out. I’m all for people making healthy life changes. It’s kind of the goal of this blog to encourage you to be your best self. However, I think we can be an impatience bunch of people as a society. And I want you to stick this out for the long haul. Even in the moments when you’re struggling to hit that goal, I want you to know you can do it. I also don’t want you to get bored before then and give up.
I would describe my workout habits as inconsistent at best the last few years. Personally, it’s a goal of mine to be more consistent in my workouts this year. But the thing I’ve learned along the journey is what I don’t like doing as a workout.
Working out can be an outlet for stress or emotions but if you hate what you’re doing it’s only half helping you. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself in determining what workout you might prefer.
- Do you prefer a group or to be on your own? Maybe you need a zumba class to get excited. You may love all the people and dancing with your friends. Maybe you need the solitude of a run on your own. Decide where you feel energized and focus your workouts on that.
- How mentally engaged do you need to be? Personally, I need music or a podcast to keep me going for a run. I need to be mentally engaged to forget that I’m running. Don’t get me wrong. I like running but I have to be focused mentally on something. It helps me get through and want to go farther. But maybe you need quiet. If you aren’t sure, test out a few options. From audiobooks to music, decide what creates an environment you want to run in.
- What kind of intensity are you looking for? I’ll be the first to admit that HIIT workouts can be a bit more than I want to do. Are you looking for crazy amounts of sweat? Or are you looking to relax and connect with yourself? If you’re in a bigger city, Classpass is a great way to try out options. Many gyms offer trials for the first class. Don’t be afraid to try it out before you commit. You may find that you love something you’ve never even considered. Whatever you end up doing, picking something that is the on the level you’re looking for will be more encouraging than workouts you hate to go do.
- What time of day will you workout? When I lived in Atlanta, my apartment had terrible hours for our gym. I’m the type of person who needs to workout first thing and be done with it. Because of this, I found every excuse for putting off working out. But over time, I started incorporating home workouts into my life because of my crazy schedule. Decide what time of day you can commit to working out and be realistic. Maybe sunrise yoga is your thing. Or you could enjoy a boxing class after work. Being honest with yourself about when you’re going to workout rather than setting unrealistic goals will help you keep being consistent.
Once you’ve gotten a better idea of what you think you’d like as a workout, I’ll say this. Try everything. Do every workout once. You may have no clue that you like pilates until your friend drags you to the class. Maybe you’re a yogi in the making. Or even better, you’re one of those crossfit people and you don’t even know it. Be open minded in your journey.
Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Do everything you can to prevent getting bored. Grab a friend and try a new dance class. Get a group together for Saturday frisbee in the park. Just because you are exercising, it doesn’t mean you have to be tortured. Sometimes you have to get out of the gym box and that’s okay.
But the most important thing I can tell you is to listen to your body. You are your own best advocate. If you need a lighter workout day, take it. Switch in a day of swimming or yoga instead of running or HIIT. Let your body be your guide on those days.
What are some of your favorite ways to workout? Do you have a class you’ve tried and loved? Leave me a note below and let me know.
Whatever workout you decide to do, I’m with you! Let’s make this year the healthiest of them all.