How to be Successful at the Gym

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As someone who played many different sports throughout high school, I was obligated to go to practice where I would get my daily dose of exercise. Now, as a second-year university student, I find myself slacking off by not getting a good amount of physical activity and not eating as healthy as I should be. After I completed first year, the toll of not participating in sports and going to the gym was noticeable on my body. Freshman Fifteen was becoming more of a reality than simply a myth of first year. When I walked out of my last exam of first year, I made the decision to get a gym membership in my hometown of Mississauga, and this is how I found the key to being successful at the gym!
Choosing a gym that is close to where you live is essential so it doesn’t seem like a mission to go. A close gym also helps motivate you to actually go because you can’t use the excuse that it’s too far, since it is within walking distance. My gym was on my way home from work, which was great because I could stop there on my way home, and if I tried to talk myself out of going, it was right there to taunt me.
After choosing an appropriate gym, pick a time of day that works best for you to go. Picking a scheduled time to go to the gym helps to keep your workouts consistent, as you can plan other events around this time. Life gets busy and this past summer I found that scheduling my gym time made it easier for me to balance work, chores, and a social life.
Speaking of friends, find a workout buddy! Not just anyone will do, you need someone who has similar goals and has a motivating personality. I found having a workout buddy helped me get my butt to the gym, and if I wanted to skip the gym to go home and watch Netflix, what stopped me was the fact that I would be ditching her. She and I had a daily meeting time. To keep us even more motivated, we created a fitness account (@blondestakefitness) and kept it updated.
The final lesson that I learned this past summer was to find a workout plan that works for you, your body, and your goals. My workout buddy and I followed a pattern of push, pull, legs, off. We got this idea from my boyfriend and our friend, who are ‘wannabe bodybuilders’. They helped with our goal-setting by giving us tips and tricks on how to properly work out. This leads me to my final piece of advice: don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be it from a personal trainer, a friend, or a family member, if you don’t know where to start or how to begin, speak to someone who does.
Going to the gym can be fun if you set goals, find someone to go with, and motivate yourself. You won’t see it as a chore, and you’ll eventually want to go, rather than just drag yourself there. Don’t forget, your form is more important than the amount that you’re lifting. It doesn’t have to be scary. Take it one step at a time, be safe, listen to your body, and be patient. Most importantly, have fun!