Working out can suck. I get it. There's always a million other things to do than go to the gym. Working late, reading, sleeping, shopping, eating - while all valid activities - are just some of the excuses we use not to get to the gym. But yet we still want the results and wonder just why we don't get them when we actually do go.
Here's a few reasons why.
1. Dicking around. Ever go to the gym and see that guy way more engrossed on his phone texting than powering through his reps? Or the people behaving like it's happy hour, excessively yukin' it up instead of thinking about that second set? Not focusing and getting it done will not help you achieve your fitness goals. (I'm as guilty as the next person on occasionally Instagraming myself at the gym, but the key is keeping it brief and not getting too distracted.)
2. Not pushing yourself. As much as we'd like to try, it's just too easy not to add that extra weight or do that third set. Unless there is a drill sergeant (or trainer, as they're more affectionately known) pushing us beyond our limits, it can be far more appealing to just do what we normally do and not exert any additional energy. LAME. You're not doing yourself any favors by not giving it at least 110%. A half-assed workout gives you half-assed results. (Or no ass if you're trying to get one or lift one.)
3. Not going. Enough said there.
4. Eating poorly. It's easy enough to forget that diet is actually more important than exercise. Regularly chowing down on burgers, candy, fried and processed foods and soda will do nothing to improve your waistline, no matter how many planks or crunches you do. Small changes make a huge difference (i.e. subbing almond milk for regular milk, grilling instead of frying and ditching the side starch dish for veggies (not drowning in sauces)) will help you reach your goals and much faster. Diet is as important and exercise and not doing both in tandem is really just a waste of your time.
5. Going too infrequently. Everybody's busy and no one has time to go to the gym, but it's critical to our health that we make time in our day to work out. A consistent schedule of 3-4 times a week of working out (in conjunction with clean livin' meals) is the key to fitness success. Those who are dedicated to their bodies and being healthy will put in the work. And dispel the notion that you need to workout for at least an hour in order for it to be effective. My workouts rarely last that long; 40 minutes is typical. The trick is to just focus and get it done. If your schedule prohibits you from going to the actual gym a few days a week, get some home equipment (bands, light weights, pilates circle) and find 15 minutes in your day to hammer out out a quick high-intensity workout. This is better than skipping the gym altogether and can help you with consistency. It also goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that it's better than only hitting the gym a handful of times a month. A little bit of something is better than nothing and frequent micro workouts are fantastic and keep you engaged.
If the gym isn't your thing, and it isn't for many, then do something else. Anything else. The options are limitless: hiking, pilates, soccer, yoga, running, dancing, walking, swimming, basketball...I could go on and on here...do whatever you enjoy doing that brings you peace. Doing something you actually like will get you off the couch and onto the field, court, or wherever. Just do it! Mix it up, push yourself and be consistent and you WILL reach your fitness goals.
Now GO! (Okay, maybe tomorrow after that holiday. I, for one, will be eating like a horse today but not before a bit of yoga and a hike before commencing my Forth of July festivities...)
Yours in fitness,