I'm a girl who hates exercise but now goes to the gym 3/4 times a week...and I love it. I have days where I can't be bothered (don't we all) and just want to collapse on the treadmill but I push myself to keep going because it will all be worth it in the long term.
I used to hate the thought of going to the gym for 3 reasons; 1) People can see me, 2) My sweaty body is not a sight anyone wants to see, and 3) is it even worth the money? Now I don't really care about any of that stuff, well apart from the money part...I wish gyms were free (or at least a little more affordable!). But everyone goes to the gym and will sweat - it's the sign of a good workout. And no one really cares what you're doing, as they're there just doing their own thing and just minding their own business.
I used to be a member of a really big gym and the only reason why I went was because it has a women's only gym room which was so quiet and you didn't have all these muscly men right in front of you doing 249874kg weights. It put me off when I left this gym and found out all the gyms around me weren't like that. After about 6 months of whining about my weight and laziness, I finally had the motivation to join...but what helped me do that? And what encourages me to stay motivated each time I go to the gym?
How do I stay motivated?
There's nothing more motivating than having a gym buddy with you to encourage you to keep going and work your hardest. That is what motivated me. I was hesitating whether to join the gym for weeks and then one of my friends said she's just transferred to a local gym, and that's all it took. I joined within 2 weeks and now we go 3/4 times a week. And it feels great. We don't judge, only support and motivate one another. Honestly, we know we're going to leave the gym each time looking like sweaty messes but we don't care...that just means we're working hard, and that's what we want to do. Take my advice; grab a friend, join the gym together, create a routine each week with times you're both free to go, and get gymming!
Tracking my progress
Gym technology is so advance these days, I'm still in amazement the APP I use for my gym and what it tracks/how it works. In pretty much every gym now there is a way to track your progress and it is another great way to keep you going, as it shows that your workouts are in fact working out. At my gym we have an APP to install and there are barcodes on each piece of equipment. You log in by scanning the barcode and select your type of work out, length of time, and you can enter your age and weight to increase the accuracy of your results. It's honestly so satisfying knowing you're making progress and it motivates you so much to keep beating your previous results.
Set personal goals
This isn't my main priority at the moment because I have only just joined the gym a few weeks ago so I am focusing on building up a routine and getting used to a solid workout. I think after another month I may start creating small goals like burn 500 calories each session or reach 1000 moves, something simple to start with.
I do think it's motivating to create personal goals as you know you're working towards something. You have a reason to keep going. Make it a competition to beat your last result and then reward yourself for achieving the goal. My friend has set herself a goal of losing a certain amount of weight each week, and then she'll reward herself with new gym clothes. You can make it fun, interesting, and maybe compete against your friend but in a relaxed, humorous way...no need to quit when you lose, right?
New gym clothes
Gym clothes makes everyone feel better right? Or is it just me?...
New gym clothes just make you feel more confident and ready to smash it! You'll feel like a different person, motivated and energised, urging to get onto that treadmill and show off your moves, walking or running that is.
Go regularly for it to become a habit
Making time each week to go the gym will allow you to eventually stick to a routine. Choose the same times, same days, same amount of time each week, and keep it that way. It will eventually sink into your brain and you'll find yourself automatically going to the gym without even properly thinking about it. BAM, it's a habit.
I currently go three days a week, Monday Wednesday Friday, which I think is all right for a new gym member. I don't want to do too much too soon but I want to go enough each week to see a positive outcome. We started off twice a week but then realised we had a 4 day gap in-between which would make it hard to get back into it. Now we have a day in-between and the weekends, a great balance me thinks.
Find exercises you like, and do them
There are some machines in the gym I will avoid at all costs, and others I don't necessarily enjoy but know it'll do me good. But the majority of the exercises/machines I use I like. The one thing I've always liked but growing out of more and more each day is the bike. Damn are those seats uncomfortable or what? What is that about? I like cycling but not when it feels like my bum is bruised all over... Anyway, I suggest you do trial and error on your first few days of gymming. Find the machines you like and you'll figure out the ones you cannot bare to even look at. I have that with the hip adduction and arm adduction, but I still put my body through it every time (don't ask why..).
Mix it up a little each time
Unless you're happy doing the same routine every time, perhaps mix it up a little and add in a new piece of equipment every time. Add weights into the mix, maybe your gym has a room to do stretches in. Our gym has a room which is free the majority of the day and we've decided to do a video in that room every Friday. The gym has a variety of videos from Zumba like videos to yoga. Our aim is to get through one of them each Friday without changing it halfway through...something which may have happened last week about 5 times!!