First of all, the polar vortex made me do it. This week has been a record setter, not only for cold, but also as the first week I didn’t go to the gym when I pay for it. Mostly because, if I pay for something, I’m going to go no matter what. I made an exception for -50 degree weather this once. But it is important to know that this is a natural part of the working out process; there will be weeks when you simply can’t go to the gym.
That is totally fine. Don’t be the person that gives up on life just to go the gym all the time. That’s not fun. I go to the gym to avoid life, but I haven’t given up yet. There is a difference.
So, I haven’t been going to the gym. What have I been doing? (Besides trying not to die) I completed a partial workout at home, but I’m not one for self-discipline. So mostly, I’ve been letting my muscles “take a break.” I know what you are thinking. I’m not going to fall off the gym wagon. First of all, I paid for it so I won’t (see above). Second of all, absence makes the heart (or muscles?) grow fonder. I’m so excited to go back to the gym, I’m planning to take two classes in a row when I can. This is something I thought only crazy people did. So the motivation is definitely still there. Also, I’ve discussed the men that teach at my gym…I can’t miss that every week.
What I’m trying to say is, you can miss a week and it doesn’t have to be a huge deal. Just don’t let one week turn into two and so on. That’s obvious though. Being able to step away and return is the biggest test of a habit forming.
But if you are having problems getting to the gym after taking a break, I do have some tips for you.
- Get some new gear to psych you up. Every time I get a new shirt, sports bra, or leggings, I am ready to go the gym right away. If you are broke, like me, hit up those sales at Target; it doesn’t have to be expensive to be a treat.
- Plan it out. Think about your first day back at the gym, what else do you have to do that day? Take the time the night before and plan out what you are wearing and pack your bag. If you haven’t been in the gym because you are busy, then I promise you, you will not be prepared to pack that bag before heading to work.
- It’s going to hurt. After a long break from the gym, the first class back is going to hurt. Be ready to push through that pain. Bring extra water or snacks or sweat towels. Whatever you think you are going to need to make it through. Maybe a better playlist. Music has a very strong power during a workout.
- Let your trainer/gym buddy know. Before your workout, tell the instructor if it’s been awhile. They will be able to point out when you are falling behind and help you get through that class.
- Treat yourself after. Think of a good treat for yourself after your workout. A bottle of wine. Ice cream. Whatever it may be. The focus is to get you back in the gym, don’t worry about the calorie-consequences for now.
These are the biggest things that help me get back into the gym. What are yours?