6 Ways to Motivate Yourself To Go To The Gym

So your New Year’s resolution was to go to the gym more, and maybe you lived up to that promise for a week or two. But now you’re back at school and the skin-numbingly low temperatures of Western Massachusetts make you want nothing more than to curl up in bed and binge watch Parks and Recreation, despite having already seen every episode. Twice.

Look, I get it. Finding that motivation to get on a healthy lifestyle kick is hard, but there are steps you can take that will help make it easier.

1. Put on your gym clothes.

Go on, do it. Simply getting dressed for the gym can help give you that little boost of motivation to actually go. And don’t just grab that old t-shirt from your eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C., instead put on that colorful athletic tank top at the bottom of your drawer that you bought specifically for the purpose of working out and feeling good — because it's true, if you look good, you'll feel good. 

2. Create a killer playlist.

Download Spotify and create a playlist of upbeat songs that will hype you up before the gym and while working out. Need some help? Here’s a playlist already made just for you to enjoy! If you’re one of those people who skips every song because nothing feels right, a trick I like is to go on SoundCloud and listen to live sets of my favorite artists from festivals they’ve performed at. No more wasting time skipping through dozens of songs.

3. Join a group fitness session.

If the idea of running on the treadmill is the main cause of your gym-dread, then joining a group fitness session may be the perfect solution. UMass offers dozens of sessions every day that are taught by other students. From Zumba to kickboxing to yoga, there is undoubtedly a class ideal for you. This article is perfect for helping you decide where to start.

4. Bring a friend with you (or don’t).

Sometimes going to the gym with your friend can be fun if you two encourage and motivate each other. However, if you’re like me and my best friend, you’ll go to the gym for approximately 20 minutes, then look at each other and mutually agree that you both deserve ice cream. Be careful of this. I found that going to the gym alone is best for me, but going with a friend is definitely worth trying if it'll motivate you to go at all.

5. Remember: positive thinking.

This may sound cheesy, but it’s true. If you say, “Ugh, I really don’t want to go to the gym today,” then guess what? You probably won’t make it to the gym. Even if it’s not true, tell yourself, “I’m excited to go to the gym and give my body some exercise.” Positive thinking leads to positive results. Think of those feelings of strength and joy after finishing a half-hour of cardio (or whatever you do to workout). That’s going to get you to the gym.

6. Give yourself something to look forward to afterwards.

Reward yourself with a nice, healthy treat when you’re done. Whether it's a salad, a fresh smoothie from the Courtside Café or a relaxing hot shower — give your body something it will enjoy.

The most important thing to remember when going to the gym is that every bit counts. Even if you only have time to run 10 minutes on the treadmill, or if you’re so tired that all you can manage is walking around the track a few times, that’s okay. You made it to the gym and that’s something you should be proud of. 

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