How To Enjoy The Gym More, Even If You Hate Going
Some people love getting to the gym, relishing in every moment they feel out of breath or break a sweat. But for many people, getting to the gym is a dreaded activity, and it wouldn't hurt to figure out some ways to make the gym more enjoyable. Of course, that feeling once you've accomplished a workout is usually positive, but in the moment, it can feel miserable and like a chore. Finding little hacks to make that time easier can make the difference in getting to the gym more often — and not hating life during it.
"Making your time at the gym enjoyable is going to be crucial to your success and your overall experience once you step in those gym doors,". Greer Rothermel, RSP Nutrition athlete and NASM & CPT Certified Personal Trainer, tells Bustle. "Plain and clear, if you don’t enjoy something, you are most certainly not going to continue to do it. The gym can be dreaded, intimidating, unenjoyable, and plain boring for some people, which will effect your desire to want to go and to get anything accomplished while you’re there."
Getting rid of this dread is key to making exercise a consistent part of your routine — and maybe something you even look forward to in your day! Here are seven hacks to help you enjoy the gym more.
1. Set Concrete Goals
Completing a goal can feel oh so good, and that pleasure might motivate you to keep at it at the gym. "Have immediate, short-term, and long-term goals on paper that you can check in with to be sure you’re working towards something at all times," personal trainer Ashley Walter, tells Bustle. "Psychologically we all need to have that feeling we are going somewhere with our healthy changes."
2. Go With A Friend
"We all have those friends we could hang out with anywhere," personal trainer Kathryn Alexander, tells Bustle. "Next time you’re in a rut, call that friend and invite [them] to the gym with you." Working alongside a friend can not only be more fun, but it can also push you to go outside your comfort zone, according to research done by Virgin Active.
3. Find A Comfortable Outfit
Find yourself a killer sports bra or a comfortable pair shoes to help you feel more relaxed about going to the gym. "Being excited about your workout gear can make you get to the gym and actually enjoy being there," says Walter. "Although many brands are very expensive, there are many affordable lines that have the cutest workout clothes," so find what works best for you.
4. Listen To Music
"Sometimes your time at the gym can get monotonous and boring, so switch it up by having a great playlist ready for your workout," Rothermel says. "Pick some of your favorite songs to include that will distract your mind, and the time will fly." Working out with music can not only improve your mood, but it can lessen your perception of fatigue and increase your physical capacity, according to Psychology Today, which both can contribute to a more enjoyable workout.
5. Create A Plan
Going in to your workout with no plan can feel stressful and daunting. Take a little time before you get to the gym to brainstorm what you want to work on. "Have a workout written out or a plan in mind of what you’d like to accomplish or what muscles you’d like to work," says Rothermel. "If this is something you struggle with, look one up online or seek out a personal trainer to help you get an individualized workout routine."
6. Branch Out
Don't be afraid to try out new workouts or even go to a class. "Just because you’ve always gone to the gym at 5 p.m. after work and pounded out on the treadmill for 30 minutes certainly does not mean it is something you enjoy, which makes it hard to stick with," says Rothermel. "Find something you look forward to doing: Sign up for a spinning or yoga class and put yourself out there to try new things. You never know what you might end up loving."
7. Keep A Visual Reminder
Create something like a motivation board or keep some quotes on hand that give you a positive feeling when you think of working out. "Have something that pushes your motivation — a purpose that is visually there for you to see and commit to," says Walter. "When you’re bored at the gym, think about this visual reminder."
Everyone has different feelings about the gym, but try out these tips to make the experience more enjoyable.