Finding Joy At The Gym: Top Tips From A Workout Hater

Hate working out? You’re not alone! I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who gets joy out of working out, like my best friend who shows up to a 5 am spin every single day of the week. She says it makes her happy if you can believe that. Over the years, I have started and stopped more workout regimens than I can remember, generally because I get bored or because I’m not seeing results. Below are a few methods that others have put into place to help them not only stick to working out but actually enjoy it. 

Workout With A Friend

Misery loves company, right? Working out with a friend gives you someone to commiserate with. Personally, I wouldn’t mind sore thighs quite as much if I could whine about them while eating brunch after my Saturday morning yoga class. Working out with a friend also means that someone is always waiting for you to show up. You can’t keep hitting the snooze button if you know your workout buddy is waiting at the gym for you. You can also encourage each other and even compete; everyone loves a little friendly competition; maybe whoever completes their mile on the treadmill first has to buy the lattes! Don’t have anyone willing to hit the gym with you? Get creative! My mother and I live in different states, but we compete each day using our Jawbone’s to see who can get more steps in!  

Sign Uo For Classes

This one usually works for me, at least for a little while. Plenty of people sign up for a gym membership, thinking that if they have that $10 or $20 fee automatically being deducted from their paycheck each month, they’ll be more motivated to actually use the gym. You don’t necessarily need to resort to that. Maybe at first, you should try purchasing four weekly barre classes on Groupon. If you find that you can stick to the regimen, it might mean that 1) you’ve picked up the habit or 2) you actually enjoy the workout. #2 is actually another perk of doing classes: there are a lot of fun ones out there, especially in Providence! This little city offers everything from hot yoga to spin to Aikido! And if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate having access to a trained professional who can ensure you’re doing everything right and getting the most out of your workout!

Give Yourself A Break

When you first start working out, don’t hit it too hard or too fast, especially if you have a habit of working out once or twice and then quitting. For me, working out is very unpleasant. You get hot and sore; it can actually evoke a flight or fight response in you, which will, of course, make you want to avoid the behavior. There’s no set rule out there that says you have to go to the gym and run on a treadmill for an hour every single day. You might have success for a week or two, but anyone can convince themselves to run for an hour a day for a week. Can you imagine trying to convince your brain to follow that same regimen for the next year? Be kind to yourself and give yourself plenty of time to adjust. Start out with small goals, and when you’re ready to up your ante, track your progress on a chart or in an app so you can actually see yourself improving. It’s very motivating, making it more likely that you’ll stick to your workout!