Starting any long term task can feel daunting. It is often hard to conceptualise the result of your actions before you have even taken the first step; losing weight and toning up is no different. Finding the motivation to power through when results come in such minute increments can be difficult, so the routine setup is important.
Many people, when starting down the fitness path, simply dive in head first. While this is admirable, it more often than not leads to dissatisfaction and lack of motivation. By spending a little time doing some research and planning, an individual’s rate of success drastically increases.
Choose Your Battleground
When working out, there are three different “areas” that you can use. These are the following: the gym, the home, and the outdoors. Each area has its own advantages and disadvantages. It should be noted that you don’t have to stick to only one area. Many people use all three, each for different reasons.
The gym is the quintessential workout area. It conjures images of muscle–bound men throwing lumps of metal around. These days, however, the typical gym environment is different to the traditional image. While there are still many people using it for weight lifting, gyms have expanded to include all kinds of workouts and classes. Many are also now 24 hours, allowing round-the-clock access to excellent equipment. Chris Thomson, club manager of anytime fitness, says “With the rise of the 24-hour gym, working out and getting trim has never been so easy. It used to be that any worker was limited to working hours or the weekend. Now, people can choose a time to work out that suits them.”
- Great variety of equipment, allowing for a variety of workouts.
- Often 24-hour access, allowing flexibility in scheduling.
- Access to exercise classes.
- Access to personal trainers.
- The most expensive option – many gyms have signup fees, as well as minimum contract lengths.
- Can be difficult to work out during peaks times.
- Depending on the distance from home, can be difficult to get motivated to attend.
Your home can be many things: living space, office, biohazard site, and workout location. Home gyms are incredibly helpful; they remove the need for a monthly membership, they’re literally on your doorstep, there will never be a wait for equipment, and it’s stocked with the exact equipment you require. The downsides are that, although it’s possible to do it on a budget, they can be expensive to set up, and rarely do they have as wide a variety of equipment as a gym. There won’t be many gyms with cable machines, for instance. Think free weights, benches, squat racks, and a bike and you have a general idea.
- No monthly maintenance fee.
- Equipment is specific to your needs.
- Removes travel and wait times.
- Easy to be motivated to work out at home.
- Can have high setup costs.
- Potential for equipment to cause damage to the surroundings.
- Lacking in variety.
- No social support or connections.
Nothing quite beats a lungful of fresh air when it comes to exercise. Exercising outdoors can be an incredibly pleasant and motivating experience; it can also be a wet, cold, demoralising slog that will test the limits of any athlete, professional or amateur. Handy more for the cardio side of things, exercising outside costs next to nothing and allows you to see a little bit more of the world.
- Free to use.
- Can be a beautiful setting.
- Handy if you have pets, as they can be exercised at the same time.
- Have you ever tried to go for a long distance run or cycle in the pouring rain?
- Easy to be put off by circumstances.
What To Consider To Avoid Becoming Demotivated
Your Goals Must Be Realistic
There’s no point trying to lose 10kg in a week or decreasing your mile time by a minute over a month. Goals have to be realistic and achievable; expecting too much in too little time is certain to kill your morale and end any fitness push before it has a real chance to begin.
Do Not Judge Yourself Against Others
This point is similar to the above but relates to outside influences as opposed to internal ones. Everyone has been working out for different lengths of time – be it ten days or ten years – and for different reasons. Looking at someone else and thinking “Why haven’t I achieved that yet?” simply doesn’t make sense. It’s natural to want to compare our progress against others, but avoid this at all costs.
Make Sure Your Scheduling Works
Setting aside an hour after work to go to the gym is great, assuming you’re actually getting most of the hour to work out. If you spend most of your scheduled time travelling, changing, washing, and signing into the gym on social media, you’re not going to be getting much time to do the actual exercise. This is a waste of your time and money – make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to work out during your workouts.