Going to the gym is an activity that many people are willing to do regularly in their lives, but many times this remains only in the intention, and does not end up becoming a reality due to lack of motivation.
In this article we will see how to motivate yourself to go to the gym , we will review a series of practical tips that can serve as an incentive to achieve and maintain a good motivation for personal training and regular exercise.
Why is motivation important?
Before we know how to motivate ourselves to go to the gym, we must see why it is important to invest attention in this aspect. When we are motivated to do any activity, it is less difficult for us to take the first steps to perform it and we do not feel that we are making a sacrifice to stay active, but rather that we do it with pleasure.
That is why motivation is important to get started in the gym, so that we don’t feel that we do it out of obligation, but rather that it is a leisure activity for us, a way to enjoy ourselves while staying healthy .
It is important to make sure that the motivation comes from within, that is, that it is an internal motivation and not one inspired by rewards imposed by external objects, such as the fact that people will like us more if we become muscular or thinner.
We must ask ourselves what is the real reason why we want to engage in this activity, and find an answer that gives us personal reasons to do so; a reason that refers to something significant beyond the concrete objects and the approval of others.
How do you motivate yourself to go to the gym?
In the following lines we will find a list of practical tips that will be useful to start going to the gym with motivation.
1. Thinking about personal rewards
Thinking about the significant rewards to oneself after a while of regular gym attendance helps to make us more enthusiastic during the first few months. Try to keep these thoughts focused on personal rewards, such as improving health and achieving satisfaction from self-improvement .
2. Find clothes you like
One way to increase your desire to go to the gym is to find clothes that you like and that are comfortable for the exercises in your daily routine. This is because when you wear clothes that you like your self-esteem is strengthened and there is a motivational increase to do the activities.
3. A coffee before training
Caffeine has properties that activate the nervous system and help you clear up in the morning. Getting used to having a coffee at least an hour before going to the gym leads to a better disposition to perform the day’s routines. Be careful, though, with the quality and quantity of sugar you add to it.
4. Set a fixed schedule
Try to attend the gym at the same time every day. This way you’ll be programming your brain to adapt to a new habit, and you won’t so easily forget to leave that time free. Once you’ve been there for a while (approximately 21 days), you’ll find it much easier and more natural to perform your daily training routines .
5. Go from less to more
Start slowly, and monitor the progress of your evolution. In this way you will get more motivation by seeing how you progress in terms of endurance and strength acquisition . It is important that you don’t try to lift too much weight in the beginning, as this will prevent you from evaluating yourself well and you will fall into frustration more easily.
6. Eat a banana before training
The banana is an important source of potassium, which will help prevent you from getting dizzy or lacking strength during the exercise . It is advisable to eat it about half an hour before you go to the gym.
7. Listen to music before and during training
Music has a great motivational component. In fact, it is known that many high-performance athletes listen to their favorite music a few minutes before starting their training. Ideally you should have a mix of some inspiring and motivational songs that you can listen to while you prepare. However, while you’re exercising, unless it’s too repetitive (running, riding the stationary bike, etc.), it’s best to avoid distractions and concentrate on your movements.
8. Challenge yourself
Challenges help us to stay motivated , taking into account that as we get closer to the achievement of our goal, satisfaction increases. Personal challenges encourage us to be better every day, but we must pay attention to following a reasonable curve of difficulty .
9. Train in group
Having a training group is a good way to get motivation; peers support each other when they have a common goal . But you should keep in mind that for this advice to be effective, gym mates must have the same motivation as you, and no less.
10. Adopt good sleep habits
Proper sleep habits make it easier for you to have better physical and mental activity during the day . If you sleep and you are the recommended hours (about 8) you will be getting a good night’s sleep for your body, you will see good results during your training day, and you will not be lazy to attend. This is one of the simplest tricks to motivate yourself to go to the gym.
11. Get things ready in time
In case you carry a backpack with some gym stuff, such as towels, a water bottle and similar, it is advisable to get it ready and plan everything in advance, so that you don’t have to endure the stress of doing everything on the go , which decreases motivation.
- Ashwood, R. D. Pritchard, E. L. (2008). Managing motivation: a manager’s guide to diagnosing and improving motivation. New York: Psychology Press.
- Wilson, T. D.; Lassiter, G. D. (1982). Increasing intrinsic interest with superfluous extrinsic constraints. Journal of personality and social psychology 42 (5): 811-819.