Why do you go to the gym? I bet in the last ten years gym membership is at an all time high. Why is that? Especially this time of year. The gyms are packed. Weight loss is probably the most common reason people work out. Some do it for improved health as they get older, others just to socialize or be a part of something. There are many reasons people work-out but then there are plenty more reasons why people don't! That's why I'm challenging you to show some ownership! Take charge of YOUR fitness! It's yours, no one else, so if you're not happy with it, change it. Do something about it. When is the last time you found yourself wishing you could lose some weight or get in shape? I bet it was within the last week. Then why don't you? Even though membership is through the roof there are still a lot of people that don't go to the gym. I want to address some of the reasons I hear and how not to fall victim to these excuses.
I was talking with someone recently about fitness and goals and I asked them how often they planned to go to the gym. They really didn't know they just said that they were going to "try" to go 3 days a week. Well, trying is often times not good enough. Our intentions are great but our actions sometimes don't match up. What you need to do is make exercise a part of your day or week. Schedule it. Write it down. Put it on your calender. Make it as much a part of your day as eating or brushing your teeth. I hear people all the time say that they just don't have time. I have to call BS on that one. Take a day or a week and think about where you spend your time. Is it on the Internet or surfing Facebook? Careful on that one. I just started a FB account and I know the answer! Here's a good one, how about watching TV? You will be surprised when you take a close look at where you are spending your time. I think that what you'll will find is that you do have time to fit in exercise if you make it.
What about those New Year's Resolution's? So many people set these and never follow through. They may go to the gym for a week, maybe two but then stop. Some may even hang in there for a couple months but then slowly fade out. Why is this? One reason is that most people think that they have to work as hard as they can or work-out like they did back when they were playing high school sports. Then they find themselves very sore and unable to walk for a week and say "forget that", I'm not doing that anymore. I can't blame them, heck I wouldn't either. I'm too old for that. The answer is to start slow. You didn't gain all this weight overnight and you sure aren't going to lose it overnight. In fact, it's going to take a lot longer than it use to. Sorry to break that to you, but it gets harder as you get older. So hang in there. Take it slow. Don't try to kill yourself at the gym. If you use to be a runner back in the day but you haven't ran in years, WALK.(read my "Harder is Better" Post) Don't try to go out and run 5 miles the first day back. What happens is that most people start out too hard and try to pick up where they left off. Then they get discouraged and quit. Don't make this mistake.
There are even those that are faithful and workout 3-5 times every week and still aren't getting the desired effects. Is this you? Have you been working out for a year or so with minimal results? Why do you think this is? The biggest reason I see is that people don't have any goals. I love the saying "If you aim at nothing, you normally hit it" That is so true. What about this one? "You tend to miss 100% of the shots you don't take". I ask my class often why are they there. Why do you get out of bed at 5:00am in the morning to ride a bike that doesn't go anywhere? You have to have a reason for going to the gym. It doesn't have to be that your training for an Ironman or the Olympics or something. It just has to be something. It can be as simple as weight loss. If it is, then how much (see my Post on New Year's Resolutions about SMART goals) do you want to lose? How long do you want it to take to lose this weight? Set some goals. Be specific. Then track your goals. You are so much more likely to even go in the first place if you have a good reason.
I could write about this forever but I think these few things are enough to get you started. I know you have good intentions. I know you really want to do better. Well, what's holding you back? Don't let anything stand in your way of your own fitness. It's yours! You have to be the one. Don't let time be an excuse. Make time. Do away with some of the things in your life that do not add value. Make fitness a priority. Take it easy. Especially if you are just getting back into the swing of things. Don't try to be a hero. The odds are against you if you do. The chances of you quitting are really good if you do this. Then lastly, set some goals. Maybe you can set a long-term goal with plenty of short-term goals to help keep you focused. The bottom line is that YOU have to TAKE CHARGE of YOUR FITNESS! I'm no fitness professional but I've been doing this long enough to know a little bit about it so if you have any questions or need any help, let me know. Hang in there. Stay positive. When you get discouraged or tired and think you want to quit, think about why you are doing it.