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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019

10 ways to 'trick' yourself into going to the gym

We can’t guarantee they’ll work for you but they’re top tips to get you off the couch.

IT’S THAT TIME of the year again.

If you have bought yourself a gym membership for 2016 or, worse still, been given one for Christmas, there’s no more excuses.

As the nation prepares to return to some sort of normality after the festive period, gyms up and down the country will be inundated with new members. It happens every year.

As does the initial enthusiasm but that can quickly disappear, particularly with the weather as it is and the lure of the couch after a long day at work.


Going to the gym shouldn’t be a chore but there are often times when you’ll have to force yourself or ‘trick’ yourself into going. Everyone will have their own motivations but below are 10 ways you can make it easier to maintain your New Year’s resolution.

1. Bring your bag to the office

This is decidedly trickier if you’re the type to work out before and after work. As someone who exclusively exercises at night, I bring my gym bag home, empty it, refill it, and bring it to work the next day, whether I’m planning to go to the gym or not. On the weekend, I just bring it home and then back on Monday morning. This way, I’m never caught without gear…and I get an arm workout during my commute.

2. Go to classes

If someone isn’t standing in front of me, barking out reps and making sure I do them, it’s not going to get done. As much as you can admire those self-motivated runners pounding the pavements at a brisk jog all hours of the day and night, many people find it difficult to find the inspiration.

3. And stand at the front

You try slacking off when you’re directly in the instructor’s line of sight.

4. Introduce yourself to the instructors/gym staff

When an instructor enters the classroom, I make eye contact, smile, and say ‘hi’. When I’m limping out the door, I make sure to thank them. This accomplishes two things: First, it makes me not a huge jerk, and second, it means they notice when I’m not there.

When an instructor waltzes into class and says, “Hi! Haven’t seen you in a while!” it’s extremely motivating.

jpg Source: Business Insider

5. Think of the money

The brilliant thing about belonging to a gym is that since you’ve already paid, it gets cheaper every time you go. That’s amazing!

6. Sign up in advance

If your gym allows you to sign up ahead of time for classes with explicitly limited space, like spinning, which has to be capped at the number of available bikes, do it!

7. Tell yourself going to the gym is a reward

There’s no better choice I could be making at that moment for my health and well-being. It’s a breath of fresh superiority.

8. Don’t expect to enjoy every minute

I had a revelation while shuffling down the street to the gym on a dark, rainy night after nine hours at the office: “You don’t have to like it,” I muttered to myself as I dodged umbrellas. “You just have to do it.”

That mantra has stuck with me through all the rainy nights, the cold nights, the nights where I just don’t want to sweat through my shirt. There seems to be this idea in popular culture that you have to love your chosen form of exercise. You have to enjoy it. It’s your hobby! It’s the best! You’re addicted!

But really, it’s ok if sometimes it’s the worst, and you hate it, and you consider battering your way out the window with five-pound hand weights. As long as you get it done.

9. Mix-up your workouts

I know I just said it’s ok not to like your workout, but you have to like it sometimes. Or at least tolerate it.

If I had to spin four nights a week, I’d probably expire of boredom. Same goes for kickboxing. Or Pilates. Or sculpting.

But if I do a different one each night, I can trick myself into thinking some are easier, just because they’re different. “Oh, no big deal going to the gym today,” I’ll tell myself. “It’s an easy night.”

Tell that to my abs the day after.

10. Tell yourself you can leave mid-way through

I say it, but I never do it. Once I’m there, in my gym clothes, sneakers strapped on, in a prime front-row spot, you can bet I’m not leaving. It’s not like I’m doing a four-hour CrossFit workout or running a marathon — it’s a 45 minute class, and I can do pretty much anything for 45 minutes. By the time I think of leaving, it’s over.

- Libby Kane, Business Insider.

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Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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