We get it. You are busy and the gym is not always the most fun part of your day. You have stuff to do! Nevertheless, working out is vital to both your physical and mental health and should be something you aim to do at least a few times a week–especially while in school. Exercise is a great stress-reliever and hello, your university has an amazing free gym! So whether you are trying to shed a few pounds or just stay healthy, here are our top eight ways to motivate yourself to head to the gym.
Upgrade Your Workout Gear
New flattering leggings, cool sneakers, your favorite colored sports bra–treat yourself to a few new workout items! Get excited to wear your new gear to the gym and know you look amazing, even when breaking a sweat. Oh, and if you really want your new purchases to pay off, do not wear them unless you are heading to the gym. Those leggings were made for running and squatting, not lounging.
Make A Hype Playlist
The gym without music is just…weird. To avoid calling it quits halfway through your workout, spend some time making your ultimate motivational jam. If you do not have the time, just search “workout” or “gym” on Spotify and enjoy finding your new favorite pump-up mix. Bonus tip: fast-paced playlists designed for partying or dancing can be the best to run to.
Mix It Up
Your workout does not even have to be in the gym. If it is a nice day, run outside around campus, on the track or head to the local nature trail. Focus on arms one day and legs next. Maybe you love cardio, do one day with no impact and hit the elliptical. Search fitness Instagrams or blogs for inspiration and make every workout slightly different. This strategy will not only help you avoid injury but will also keep you from being bored with your gym time.
Another way to mix it up–head to an exercise class! Most colleges offer free or cheap classes such as kick-boxing, spin, and yoga. These are another way to branch out and keep your workouts fun and different as well as a way to meet new people. Sign up in advance to incentivize yourself to go and do not stress if you are a beginner–college is for learning new things, isn’t it?
Find A Gym Buddy
If you are too anxious to hit the gym alone or want a little extra push, talk to your friends, roommates or classmates and find someone who feels the same way! Figure out what time works best for your schedules and head to the gym together.
Also–about being nervous to go to the gym alone, don’t be. Everyone is just doing their own thing and anyone who judges in the gym needs to grow up and focus on their own workout.
Find Your Time
Take a look at your schedule and figure out what time works best for you to head to the gym. If you have a few options, consider when you have the most energy during the day. Are you an early riser or a night owl? Do you like to watch tv in the afternoon? Maybe substitute that Netflix hour for gym time. Exercising in the morning has plenty of advantages but anytime is better than no workout at all. Consider meal times and if you will have time to shower before your next class. Do not worry if you have to wear your gym clothes to class–hey you wanted people to see you in those new leggings, didn’t you?
Set realistic goals and be proud of yourself when you reach them. Do not expect yourself to suddenly be a workout junkie if you were previously struggling to get to the gym. Maybe set a four-days-a-week goal at first, then kick it up to five. Be kind to yourself and do not quit if you slip up on your workout goals–just get back into it tomorrow.
Set a simple goal and a nice reward when you reach it. For example: when I go to the gym 15 times this month I will get a new makeup palette. You are working hard and deserve to feel good about yourself! Pick something you will be looking forward and on those early mornings and long lifts.
A new school year is a great time to start fresh. Remember, working out should be fun and make you feel better about yourself! We hope at least a few of these tips will help you grab your sneakers and get sweating this year!