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Thursday, 2 November 2017

How To Get Motivated and Keep Motivated to Exercise

Getting into a routine in the gym can be such a hard feat, especially when you're not a natural gym bunny. I'll be the first to admit, it wasn't that long ago that I had never stepped foot in a gym in my life, always ducked out of P.E lessons at school and the only kind of exercise I got was dancing the night away in a nightclub at Uni. Since leaving Uni and getting older (eww), I've realised the weight just doesn't stay off like it used to so I have gone from not even knowing what a gym looks like inside, to practically living there.

How To Get Motivated and Keep Motivated to Exercise


The Kit

The first thing I did when I decided to throw myself into the world of gym going, was to kit myself out with some fabulous gym clothes so at least I looked the part. The first things I bought were some gorgeous gym leggings from Forever 21. I stocked up on loads of them when they had a sale and decided to be brave buying lots of bright colours and interesting patterns. Most important for me was a massively supportive sports bra, I've tried out a few different ranges over the last two years and the Shock Absorber ones are by far the best. Last but not least, I needed something warm enough to actually get me to the gym in the first place, so in come the womens gym hoodies like this one from Jack Wills. 

So you're kitted out for the gym. Now what? 

Find Something To Love

First things first, find something you actually enjoy and most importantly that pushes you. I don't mean like an Army drill and someone screaming at you, but exercise should push you, even just a little bit. My gym journey started off just using the machines in the gym but I quickly got bored, moved on when I started to feel even a tiny bit of tiredness or struggle, and I didn't have much motivation to keep coming back. I then moved on to having personal training sessions for a while, which did help me become more confident with the machines but firstly it was expensive and secondly I didn't really like my trainer (which didn't help matters). 

More recently I decided to start going to classes. I'm not going to lie, I was very very nervous. I had never done a gym class before, I thought I would be rubbish and everyone would stare or laugh at me. I was worried everyone would be friends in the class and I would be alone in the corner on my own but I couldn't have been more wrong on every single point. The classes pushed me much harder than I would have pushed myself alone in the gym but I also had brilliant instructors there to help guide me and teach me. I saw my fitness levels improving every single week and before long I made a huge set of friends which has made the gym a lot more enjoyable. 

Classes have made me so much more confident in the gym and I am now brave enough to try every single class which is something I definitely would never have done a year ago. I have tried everything from pump to fight klub to spinning, all three of which I said I would never have the confidence to do. The first few classes are scary and usually difficult but it's amazing how quickly our body learns and adapts becoming fitter and stronger so quickly. 

Even if the gym isn't for you, what about exercising outdoors? Go for a bike ride, a run or a walk. Personally, that's not sustainable for me as I can't work out in boiling heat or in the cold so I personally prefer a temperature controlled gym!!

If the gym and working out outdoors aren't for you either, what about exercising at home? There are so many brilliant workout videos online that require little or no equipment. I personally love Pop Sugar Fitness. If you're interested in this option, don't forget to read my post on my favourite Pop Sugar Fitness workout videos to try at home

My point here is that there isn't a one size fits all when it comes to exercise. Different people love different things so try and be open minded and brave trying everything from cardio to weights, solo exercise to group exercise, working out in the gym, outdoors or at home, and you'll soon find out what works best for you. 

The People

One of the most important things I could credit to turning me into a gym bunny is the people around me. Luke and I now go, and actually enjoy, the gym together. As I'm travelling a lot, the gym is a great time for us to set aside each day to spend time together regardless of our busy schedules. We may not be nattering away but we are enjoying each other's company and support. Although maybe I don't quite feel the same half way into a spin class when he's turning my bike up so high the pedals hardly go around!  

Since I started going to the gym regularly I have also met quite a lot of people that I now speak to on a personal level, beyond 'hey'/'bye' at the start and end of every class. I started doing the same classes on the same timetable and it's only inevitable that you recognise the same faces and strike up conversation. We now have a whatsapp group of a load of us who all do the classes which is great for motivation and spurring each other on. We also do a few social things too like going for a coffee after the gym or going on nights out which is so great for me having moved to the area and not really knowing anyone besides Luke's friends. 

The last set of great people you need around you to turn you into a gym bunny (well group class bunny), is fantastic instructors. I'm really lucky at my gym that the group fitness instructors are absolutely brilliant. They are inclusive, friendly, funny and their love for their job really shines through making you enjoy the class so much more because they do. They keep me coming back every week and really help every single person push themselves individually as well as as a group. 

Having such great people around me has definitely been the biggest factor in me falling in love with going to the gym and keeping fit. I've seen myself grow so much stronger and I'm loving the feeling of being able to lift heavier weights. 

The Progress

However big or small your progress might be, it's always important to remember where you started. It's only inevitable that by keeping on going to the gym, you will get fitter and stronger and you will make progress. When you're having one of those days when you think 'what is the point' just think about all the things that you can do now that you couldn't do that first day in the gym. For me, I think about how I couldn't run more than 30 seconds and I couldn't do more than a few reps with a 1 lb weight! Thinking of it that way makes me realise how far I've come, so don't forget where you started. 

The Fun

Regardless of any other factor, the one most effective way to turn yourself into a fitness bunny is to HAVE FUN. I promise that there is something for everyone that will work, it's just a matter of persistence and perseverance to be able to find it!

Feel free to leave your comments and pearls of wisdom to others about how to get motivated to exercise. 

Love Lauren xx
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