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Falling Back In Love With The Gym: Tips for Making It Exciting Again

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Like most people, I’ve gone through many phases of loving and hating the gym. I was an athlete in high school and I had to balance workouts for my sport and my own personal fitness goals. For many like myself, when the transition to college came there was no longer any actual commitment to fitness. I went to the same gym all throughout high school, but so much more of my fitness habits came from preparing for tennis season and making my body into the best shape for that specifically. 

In the summer of 2020 during quarantine, my gym was closed. I had to resort to at-home workouts, and I had never recognized any real results from at-home workouts. During my freshman and sophomore years of college, I was able to finally hit the gym when it was open and took up running. I was certainly fit, but I had no goals. I found that I felt unmotivated because I had always trained with a purpose, tennis. This was a big difference. That summer I wanted to get into distance running, so I occasionally would go for a run! I did run to some extent but shin splints and plantar fasciitis prevented me from being able to really progress. I did my five-mile runs every morning, but on the scale of long distances, this really was not all that impressive. 

In the beginning of this semester, a close friend told me that I needed to have a goal. I set the goal to constantly “win” against myself at the gym. Whether that be by increasing the intensity on the stair master, increasing the time on the bike, or adding weight to my workouts, I grew to compete against myself! I started tracking this in an app, but this can also be tracked in the notes feature on a phone, or in a physical notebook! With that said, this outlook has honestly changed everything for me! Through developing this mindset, I now get so excited to beat my past reps or weight that it has become so fun for me. This is simply progressive overload and how you see results, but using an app and seeing your distributions as well as seeing when I make a new record motivates me. I have never been as motivated as I am now to work out. Physical wellness was something that went from being a chore to being something I genuinely look forward to every day!

I recommend doing whatever is best for yourself. I know many of us in college have complicated relationships with the gym, however, finding a way to enjoy it is the way you will see results – however you may define that. When you enjoy doing something, you are much more likely to keep it up out of habit! There is no better commitment you can make to yourself and to your health so it is such a great thing to find a way to fall in love again.  

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Kethry Milne

U Mass Amherst '24

Rising senior, political science major, coffee enthusiast, run lover and haircare extraordinaire.