News Alert: Using fitness equipment to dry laundry will not make you fit!
You’ve heard it in the media, seen the studies from credible sources, and felt the difference in your own body after a consistent run of challenging workouts—regular exercise is essential to a toned, strong, healthy body. It boosts your brain capacity, improves your outlook, keeps muscles pliable, and, of course, keeps you lean and lovely.
So you took the plunge and purchased a lifetime gym membership, overpriced sneakers, snazzy fitness apparel, and maybe even your own personal Cybex Arc Trainer for home use.
Unfortunately, life got in the way. The sneakers are still in their box, the home exercise equipment is draped with drying laundry, and you don’t have time in your chaotic mornings to get to the gym before work. I can relate, and I am one of those people who, if I don’t get my exercise in before work, it won’t happen after a draining workday. So, for those of you who have let your exercise routing lapse, here are 5 tips to get back to the gym and back into a regular exercise routine.
- There are no guaranteed tips to get you to the gym everyday. The title was a teaser to get you to read the rest of this. One lesson I have learned from life is that there are no guarantees. Our faith in a magic solution to fitness and health keeps us from doing what we really need to do NOW. Fitness is a journey, not a destination.
- Motivation is overrated. Let’s be honest, how often are you “motivated” to get up early and jump on the Arc or strength-train at the gym? I go to the gym regularly, and there are many times that I really don’t feel like being there. I feel tired, cranky, preoccupied by pressing problems, and/or sore from a previous workout. My head buzzes with to-do lists, contemplates what to make for dinner, or fumes about wishing I were still curled up under my covers. But I show up and exercise anyway. I remind myself that “Discipline is doing the right thing even when you don’t want to do it.”
- Don’t focus on immediate results. Just like there are no magic pills for a fit body, don’t expect a week or two of amazing workouts to give you a toned, taut body at its “ideal” weight. Focusing on external results will only sap your energy. Of course we all want to see positive results from hard work and commitment. But, if you instead remember that each workout is one brick in the foundation of a fit body, your perspective will adjust.
- Exercise before breakfast. This is the only tip that resembles a technique that I can offer. Have a small snack if you are famished, but if you have that imminent reward of a healthy breakfast to look forward to, you will find a way to make that appointment with Mr. Arc.
- Wake up half and hour earlier (and go to bed a half hour earlier!). You have a jam-packed schedule. So do I. So does the CEO of Cybex. But when I made the commitment to maintain a fit body, I looked honestly at what I did in the evening that really wasted time. Checking status updates on Facebook, streaming DVD’s online, shopping, watching TV—these are really not essential to my leisure time. So I revised my schedule to limit computer time and get myself to bed earlier. Now I have an extra half hour in the morning to wake up and get my gym clothes on.
In closing, think of exercise as essential as brushing your teeth or bathing. It is not necessarily fun or motivating, but we do it anyway because of how much better we feel afterward. A clearer mind, pliable muscles, a sense of empowerment, and a better mood—these are the fruits of our exercise labors.
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast