I'm not claiming to be a gym expert, but I do feel fairly knowledgeable about fitness and if I could have any job in the world I would write for SELF magazine (or ESPN, but that's a pipe dream). So I've made a list of my top tips for hitting the gym that I've learned through trial and error/reading.
- Get in and get out. I see a lot of people who use the gym as a hang out. It's the people that sit on the machines and play on their phones or walk at 2.0 mph on the treadmill while texting that should really just be sitting at home. There's zero chance they are working up a sweat. Most of us barely have time to fit a workout in during the week, so when I go in for a 30 minute spin session or run, I'm pushing myself as hard as I can for 30 minutes so I can enjoy the rest of my night outside of the gym.
- Don't do the same thing every day. Running is my jam. There is no question about it. In fact, I used to run every single day for hours at a time. But the more research I did, the more I came to understand that change is crucial to keeping up your fitness. Right now, I do yoga on Monday, run on Wednesday, spin on Saturday and the elliptical on Sunday. And I'm never bored. Ever.
- Read blogs. I'm obsessed with reading health/fitness blogs. I've been reading them for a couple of years now. I get some of my favorite food/workout ideas from other bloggers. In fact, one of my favorite blogs has a full list of different workouts to try when on the treadmill and elliptical. If I ever don't feel doing the same thing I usually do, I'll try out one of these new workouts.
- Don't get frustrated. I'll admit, I get easily frustrated at the gym. If I go so long without running and end up huffing and puffing on the treadmill, I'll feel so bad about myself. But that's stupid. The fact that you are even on the treadmill is an accomplishment in itself. Don't be afraid to slow down the speed if you're feeling pushed too far. You can always stop and walk for a few minutes before you get back into a run again.
- Come prepared to work out. There is nothing that drives me more crazy than being unprepared at the gym. Even if I look silly, I always make sure to throw a few extra bobby pins into my hair (I hate strays while working out), fill up my water bottle, double knot my shoes and make sure I'm completely ready to focus on working out so I don't get distracted.
Like I said, I'm absolutely no gym expert. There have definitely been times when I've fallen in/out of love with the gym, but these are a few things I always try to keep in mind when working out!