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Monday, March 28, 2011

Gym Tips for Those Who Hate to Workout

I hate the gym. I hate working out.

Especially in the beginning. If I can get myself into a routine, I actually enjoy get used to going and want to be there.  But, until I get myself to that point, I moan and complain about going and find a million excuses not to go.

But, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to get to the gym on a regular basis. And the weather is warming up, so I feel a need to be bikini-ready sundress-ready. 

I'm now on week four of going to the gym on a regular basis(3-4x/week).

So, if you are like me and have a hard time getting into a gym-going groove, I'll share my tips with you.

*Pick a time of day to go to the gym and stick to it. For me, this works best if I'm already out of the house. I usually go right after I drop off my oldest two boys at their schools. Youngest and I go directly to the gym after this. If I head back home to try to get "a few things done" before going to the gym, time will fly by and I'll never get there.

*If you can find a workout partner, that helps A LOT. Even if you end up doing different things, knowing that you are supposed to meet someone at a certain time will help you get there.

*Start SLOW.  Do not try out the hardest class that the gym offers on your first visit in a while.  You will feel like you are dying both during the class and maybe for the next few days and have no desire to go back. If all you can do at first is 30 minutes on the treadmill, then just do that- it's still much better than not having exercised at all.

*Drink LOTS of water. It's important to drink lots before you start working out, too. Starting when you are already dehydrated is not going to help.  If you drink all the water in your water bottle, do something to lay claim to whatever machine you are on by leaving something on it or yes, walk out of class, and go get more water. My first week, I felt the need to fill up my 16oz water bottle 4 times in an hour. I needed it.

*Gradually add time on to your workout or try something new.  I'm a fan of the elliptical, but was shooting hateful glances at admiring this woman's legs and realized all she did was the stairmaster, so I decided to try that. For 10 minutes, which made me feel like collapsing.

*When you do try a class, don't feel bad if you need to take a break.  Even if no one else is.  Most people are too wrapped up in themselves and how they are doing to care what you are doing. Go drink some water.

You notice I'm just talking about working out at the gym and not at home- I really admire those of you who can do this.  It doesn't work for me because I can ALWAYS find a distraction at home.  I need to actually be somewhere where all there is to do is workout. Even though I'm sometimes tempted to use the gym as a place to shower without children walking in on me.

This is what works for me. Do you have any tips to add?

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Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

Oh God I am trying so hard to get into the work out routine. I love the classes, but unfortunately nothing is working schedule wise for me (this is my latest excuse).
I love your tips, especially the last one. Seriously people start worrying about what everyone else thinks and do what is right for you!

March 28, 2011 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Great tips! Luckily, I generally like working out. We can't afford a gym anymore, but we have all sorts of free weights and a treadmill at home. mostly, though, I just like to run :-)

March 28, 2011 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I need to put this to good use! I have been walking the track at the Y. Now it is time to add in a class.

March 28, 2011 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Lady Estrogen said...

I think I'll just let you do it for the both of us. I can be like a "virtual" partner. LOL.

March 28, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great tips, I am the total opposite, if I'm going to workout it is at home. I find way too many excuses before I actually drive to a gym. Right now I am not doing either .

March 28, 2011 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm with Jessica - work out at home with P90X. I won't go out if it's too cold or too hot, or if t's raining - the weather ends up being my "excuse" A LOT! Lol! :)

March 28, 2011 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I can usually work out at home but I've been toying with the idea of actually trying a class at a gym. Thanks for the tips! :)

March 28, 2011 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger jules said...

I absolutely have to have a partner!

March 28, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I totally agree - trying to work out at home doesn't work. Not to mention the kids think it's playtime on the floor with mommy. Great tips.

March 28, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

So sad I have a treadmill and workout center downstairs and I can't get my butt there! I need to stop making excuses and do it! Thanks for giving me the kick in the butt I need :)

March 28, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Good tips.
I always try to "front load" my week and go every day, so that by the time the week is coming to an end and I am tired it isn't a big deal because I have already done some time.

March 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger TerriG said...

My fitness strategy is walking in my neighborhood. And, yes I have my cell phone and I am catching up with my friends. They don't mind my heavy breathing. Time flies when you are chatting. The downside is the weather here. It gives me many excuses to not go.

March 28, 2011 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

Yeah I have totally failed at that whole working out at home thing. I have only done it a couple of times now. I need to get back in the routine of going to the Y to workout at least 3 times a week. It always made me feel so good and gave me so much more energy!

March 28, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

Good tips. I wish we had a gym that had classes included in the fee. Right now, the only place close to us has equipment, but classes are extra. So I tend to just do the classes and not sign up for the gym.

March 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so wish a gym membership was in our budget! When we had our membership to the Y I actually did go and work out - now it is hard to keep myself motivated at home.

March 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do something you enjoy! If you'd rather take an aerobics class than run on the treadmill, then don't run on the treadmill. I hate running, but I could dance all day long if you'd let me! So I'd rather take a Zumba class and stick with it than run on a treadmill because that's what people think a "real" workout looks like.

March 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Great tips. When I was working I would change into my workout clothes before leaving work, so I had to go to the gym or feel like a loser if I didn't. It worked for me.

March 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are GREAT tips and I'm in need of motivation...but, but, but....yeah--I'm an excuse maker. HELP!

March 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

I've honestly just recently remembered exercises greatest benefit: stress relief. We were membership shopping all weekend. Which absolutely did not lead to a fight about money. Nope. Not at all.

March 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

I really prefer zero publicity during my workouts, which means no gym for me. However, I'm finding that working out with a toddler in the same room with me (he doesn't nap anymore. ugh) isn't that easy. It's cute that he tries to mimic the moves on the videos, but half the time I feel like I'm working out on a child-laden obstacle course. ;)

March 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I really needed a kick in the pants to get back in the gym. Miss H starts swim lessons two afternoons a week, so I am going to try to start going then.

March 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

A workout partner does help!

I love working out, it makes me feel so much better and I sleep better too.

I think you covered the tips that I would have given. I don't know that I have much more to add :)

March 28, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I wish I had the inner fortitude to do the stairmaster.

Or, you know, to work out at all.

March 28, 2011 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I have started working out, too. I agree with your points. I will be supporting you as you get summer dress ready. :)

March 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger John said...

You'll find that I'm a pretty militant workout freak. However, I'm super busy and that meant that I'm working out when only the truly insane would be caught awake.

My tools are:
- keep everything accountable. I post, annoyingly, to twitter, with my workout details. I don't keep up my blog like I should, but I make sure that everybody knows what I'm doing. I used to keep my workouts private - who the heck cares what I'm doing? But, I find that I wasn't always honest with myself then -- if I'm honest with Facebook & Twitter, I'm honest with myself

- find workout buddies on Twitter. There isn't a single person who should be awake when I'm awake (I'm typically running before 4:30 in the morning, east coast time, meaning that there might be some night owls on the west coast who are still bar hopping. Everyone should be asleep, but there are a few crazies up...I check up on then, they check up on me. We can't work out together, but we make sure we're working out.

- Keep a bigger goal in mind, marathon, triathlon, 100 pushups . . . SOMETHING, just to ensure that I'm keeping my eyes to the future.

The trick is to just keep at it until it becomes a routine - once you trick your body into working out regularly? You actually have to consciously not work out.

March 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I just joined the gym a couple of weeks ago and I love these tips. I need tips. Right now I'm still in the "I spent all of this money so I have to go" phase. I'm hoping I will have built up a habit before that wears off.

March 28, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Try lots different things until you find what you love (or at least don't hate). I stay much more motivated by doing classes: pilates, zumba, yoga. Machines bore me to tears.

March 28, 2011 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger natalee said...

you my friend are a genius.. i never thought as the gym as a place to shower sans kids.. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Fields said...

Great tips! I miss going to the gym because I cannot seem to ever get motivated to work out at home. I dream of the day I can get another gym membership. And yes, it is so much better with a friend to keep you in check!

March 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Elena Wollborg said...

Great tips! The first one is so important - at least to me. I go right after work every day and that helps. If I went home, I know I'd find excuses not to get back. Making it a part of your routine is essential!

March 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Macey said...

I go to the gym every day.

Okay, I drive PAST the gym every day.

But it's at the same time every day, does that count??

March 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

These are good tips- I usually work out at home, because I get nervous (stupid, I know). But I still stick to a routine, and drink lots of water. When I AM at the gym, my iPod is invaluable to me!!

March 28, 2011 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Tracie Nall said...

I'm always distracted at home....mostly by the seven year old who things it is hilarious to pretend I'm a horse when I'm in the middle of doing a pilates plank pose.

You make the gym sound kind of nice.

I keep hoping that talking to people who go to the gym about the gym would help me loose a few pounds, but so far, no luck.

March 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger PBJdreamer said...

great tips

My trainer (free by the way--from the apartment complex) wants me working out one hour five times a week.

I am trying to do this but it is HARD.

Good ideas on your post!

that is all

March 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Joy@TPMG said...

These are great tips! I have to go to the gym to work out or I would never do it. I have no motivation at home and to many interruptions. I'm actually glad Madison gave up her morning nap so we can go when Em is at pre-k now.

March 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

I have yet to share this on my blog out of fear that I would fail and then I'd look like a total loser but eventually I'll cough it up....a friend and I have been working out with a personal trainer for the last 9 weeks and it's been freakin' brutal. BRUTAL!

Like serious Biggest Loser style workouts, with her arguing with me in my face, "You can do this! Don't give up...finish those freakin lunges NOW...pick your ass up off the floor and do it NOW!"

While my kids are running amuck in the gym, tripping over weights and throwing huge stability balls at one another.

I've lost 17 pounds and I've gained a bunch of muscle that I never had before so it's working but...man, it's brutal. Oh wait, did I already say that?

Your tips are awesome and SO true! I couldn't work out at home...I tried and I failed. So my friend and I figured that if we joined a gym (and committed to working out with a trainer where we were pretty much forced to keep our appts), we'd have no choice but to succeed.

Still, I hesitated to write about it because I had that little fear that I'd give up. Going on 9 weeks though and still haven't quit, even though my ass muscles hurt like an SOB right now.

Good for you on working out! Keep up the great work!

March 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent tips! Going to the gym is my ONLY break during the day until the kids go to bed. Therefore, I LOVE going to workout!

March 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

I hate working out too! I find I am more likely to work out if it is more a natural part of things. I do squats and walking lunges and such in the backyard while my son plays, I take walks, I do crunches before work. THANKS SO MUCH for your kind comments on my SITS day!

March 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Stopping by from SITS. These are great tips! I usually have the hardest time just getting up the motivation to go. When that happens, I just make myself put my gym clothes on. Pretty soon, I'm ready to go. It works every time. Keep it up!

March 28, 2011 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

A partner can be a big help in staying motivated to work out. Great list of tips1

March 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This was awesome, Shell! I go about 3 times a week. You said it perfectly that you swing by the house to take care of something, you'll never get back out! I went to the gym this morning and was going to come back home to do something before taking care of another errand and never got back out for that other errand...

March 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Kelly L said...

Great tips.. I am trying to get stamina for my summer vacation - going to DC, NYC, and Boston - all walking tours and cities... I am so out of shape! My goal is to go to the gym starting tomorrow after I drop off my youngest at school.. I'm in the car anyway, right?
I've Become My Mother
Kelly's Ideas
Amazing Salvation

March 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great tips! I also need to make my way into a gym with some regularity. i agree that it's easy to continue going once you get into a groove. It's just getting into that groove that can be tough at times.

March 28, 2011 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

Great tips! For now working out at home works best for me but I think when there is more then one kid I will need some type of membership with daycare.

March 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Look into your community classes. I take Zumba through mine. It is the Zumba Gold class with the seniors. I go with my mom. It's awesome, but there are also regular classes offered and not just Zumba. In the summer most public pools offer water aerobics and adult swims. There is a site called "map my walk" and you punch in your zip code and it gives you all kinds of interesting walks to take.

March 28, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

I definitely can't do the gym thing, but I can work out at home. I put my fitness clothes and shoes right by the side of my bed so as soon as my feet hit the floor, they're there. I go to the bathroom, get dressed and head out to the DVD player and tv. I do the whole thing in the dark.

March 28, 2011 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger jayayceeblog said...

Those are all good tips but our gym is at home and it's so easy to walk by that room really fast with my eyes averted. Hey, at least I'm walking fast for a second! I'm giving away a copy of Kristin Hannah's "Night Road" this week if you're interested ...


March 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good for you! I'm on my thrid week of regulary using my brand new elyptical at home(Thanks Mom!)!! I LOVE IT! I read while I'm on there. Sometimes I'll even do my Bible study. LOL I love to plug in my iPod too. All of the above helps the time fly! I do much better at home. It seems like leaving is next to impossible for me, and it works for me to have access to it at anytime, as I find it hard to stick with a set time for working out. I'm hoping to stick with it!

March 28, 2011 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I could NEVER go home before the gym when I belonged to one. Once I sat down, it was done.

I do now work out at home, but that's b/c I work at home, so I can just bang it out during my lunch. This works for me because when it's crappy out, I have no excuse.

March 28, 2011 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

Sadly, I've yet to find anything I can stick to permanently. My primary exercise is playing with my daughter!

March 28, 2011 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger A Mommy in the City said...

I just started going back to the gym at the beginning of this year. I worked out everyday up to the week that I had my daughter and after that I just couldn't find the time. Now that she is a little bit older I go at the same time every morning with a friend. We hold each other accountable and I feel so much better about myself once I finish. I especially love when my husband notices the results. That makes all the sweat and pain worth it!

March 28, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Whenever I don't feel like working out, I go to the bathroom and pull up my top and look at my ugly body, and that does it every time.

I leave skidmarks on the mirror.

March 28, 2011 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Yes I think I need to get a gym membership as I just don't do it at home. And I love what you said about taking the water breaks. I know when I started doing Zumba I felt so stupid having to take so many breaks but then the more I did it I realized I did not notice when others took breaks as I was just caught up in doing it.

March 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Uh. I'm so jealous about gyms with childcare. And gyms period. It's so hard to find anything here outside of Curves-type thing.

March 29, 2011 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

If you're going to wear short shorts, make sure you have some full coverage undies on...pilates was very uncomfortable today! LOL

I love love love the childcare at my gym, but also go when the Crazies are at preschool...it's found hours!

March 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

These are great tips, Shell! I agree with all of them, especially the one about having a gym partner. Having someone else there for motivation really helped me when I was going to the gym on a regular basis.

Also, I think it's important to note that gym may not be for everyone. Maybe you'd prefer yoga classes. Or zumba. Whatever it is, if you're not really jiving with the workout, I think it's okay to try something else you think you might like better so that you don't discouraged.

March 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM  

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