Are you already talking yourself out of going to that spin class? Not everyone feels motivated to go to the gym all the time. Sometimes it feels downright impossible to go. On days like that you need some hacks that will help make it easier to stick to your fitness routine. Make it harder to bypass your workout with our tips for making it much easier to hit the gym.
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Take a class you need to sign up for
Many group fitness classes require you to sign up for a spot, especially if there’s equipment involved or space is limited. Signing up for these classes holds you accountable and often, if you don’t cancel at least two hours before the class starts, you get charged for it. Sure, you can sign up and then cancel but chances are that if you commit, you’ll go.
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Keep a gym bag packed and ready to go
Make it as easy as possible to go to the gym (and eliminate any excuses) by always having gym gear at the ready. Keep a fully stocked gym bag in the car so you can easily go before or after work, or keep it by the door so it’s always ready and you won’t forget to grab it.
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Make it a date
Whether with a friend, a co-worker or your spouse or partner, schedule a gym date which makes it particularly tough to skip out on exercise. When you know someone is expecting you you’ll be more likely to actually go to the gym. Make at least one gym date a week in lieu of coffee or drinks.
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Find a gym near your workplace
If you can walk to the gym from your office rather than having to schlep across town you’ll feel a lot more motivated to actually go. You can even do a quick workout on your lunch hour if there’s something you can do that won’t leave you super sweaty.
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Set up a really great home gym
Having the space and means to put together a simple home gym (free weights, kettle bells, yoga mat, exercise ball, etc.) in an airy, light-filled part of your home can mean having more motivation to work out. Some people prefer getting out of the house to work out but others prefer a home gym.
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Set up a workout schedule
Sometimes getting organized can help make going to the gym easier. Whether you use an excel spreadsheet, a good old fashioned notebook or an app, set up a schedule for what days you’ll be working out, what you’ll be doing and for how long you’ll be doing it. That way, all you need to do is look at the schedule for motivation. If you write something down it can stick more than if it’s just an passing thought.
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Create a reward system
Everyone likes a treat now and again. For every month you hit all of your workouts or go to the gym X amount of times, reward yourself with a small item like a manicure, new lip gloss or healthy treat from your favourite juice bar.
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Keeping things interesting by trying out different fitness classes can be a great motivator to get you to the gym. ClassPass is available in 30+ cities including Vancouver and Toronto and the monthly pass lets you try fitness classes at hundreds of studios in your area, from spinning and CrossFit to yoga and Pilates. If going to the gym means trying a new (potentially fun) class, you’ll have an easier time going.
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Join a gym with perks
If it works with your fitness budget, think about joining a gym that offers more than fitness equipment and classes. If you know that going to the gym also means getting to lounge in the hot tub and eucalyptus steam room you might find it easier to get out the door. Just remember to actually work out before hitting the Jacuzzi.
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Tell everyone you’re going to the gym
Be that person that tells the whole office about their plans to hit the gym after work. Once everyone on your floor knows there’s a treadmill with your name on it, it will be pretty tough to slink home without going to the gym.
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Tell yourself you can leave whenever you want
Setting the bar low can be a great way to make going to the gym easier. Tell yourself you only have to go for 15 minutes and then if you feel like it, you can leave. Most likely you won’t take yourself up on this offer since it’s getting to the gym that’s often the hardest versus the actual workout.
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Keep lunch light
Eating a light lunch means you won’t feel sluggish right around the time you’d be leaving the office to head to the gym.
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Pack a snack
If you leave work hungry it’s very likely you’ll skip the gym so you can get home and eat. Make it easier to get to that workout by packing a light, healthy snack you can have as you leave work.
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Create a calendar reminder
How many times have you “forgotten” to go to the gym? Make sure that doesn’t happen by putting a reminder in your calendar or phone so you feel more motivated to grab your gym gear and go.
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Utilize music, movies and podcasts
If you know that going to the gym means you get to catch up on your favourite podcast or watch something you’ve been really excited about watching you won’t be as likely to dread going on days you’re just not feeling it.