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9 ways to stick at the gym past January

When most people make their new years resolutions to join a gym, they often don’t realise how much a psychological endeavour it is as a physical one. Whilst the aches and pains when starting are all too real, so too is the reality that just under 1 in 3 people will quit the gym by the end of January. BUT it’s now February. You’re probably not reading this in the gym. If you are, then you shouldn’t be, so get back to your squats! You’re either on your computer or mobile device and if fitness were a video game, you clicked on this because you’d like to lower the difficulty. Below are 9 solutions to some of the barriers I faced when starting training that should help support, motivate and most importantly keep you in the game. [caption id="attachment_3705" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Stick to our tips and your motivation will stay high Stick to our tips and your motivation will stay high[/caption]

1. Stop putting work and commitments in the way of leading a healthy lifestyle

There is a saying attributed to the Dalai Lama. “He sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices Money to recuperate his health.” Read that phrase to yourself a few times replacing *money* with your reason and then think about where fitness sits in your list of priorities.

2. Set out your gym kit in advance

This might be as simple as packing your bag each evening so you’re ready to hit the gym bright and early, during lunch or after work. Your kit will act as a reminder that there is nothing stopping you reaching your fitness goals for that day. A few colleagues even have a backup kit at work, just in case they forget to pack the evening before. Planning is key!

3. Follow a programme

There is nothing more demotivating than getting to the gym and just people watching. Make a plan, whether it be from an app or online and then log your exercise, weight and reps so at the next visit you have something to improve on.

4. Take Before and After Photos.

This is one you might shy away from and I absolutely understand the feeling. You might be at a stage where you don't like the body you see in the mirror, but trust me, if you don't take pictures now, you'll regret it when you start hitting your goals and wishing you had better before/after pictures to contrast your progress.

5. Turn the gym into a habit or routine

You don’t think about brushing your teeth. It’s instinctive. Create a new calendar labelled fitness and pepper it with workout days as well as other activities that will support your goals, such as running a marathon or starting a new hobby such as climbing.

6. Focus on form

Good form is key. A good personal trainer can assist you by ensure you’re getting the foundations right and prevent future injury. Injuries are a key reason why people also quit the gym. I spent two sessions with my trainer correcting my deadlift posture which immediately helped my squat technique and gave me the confidence to incorporate new exercises into my routines.

7. Make investments that support your goals

If you aren't seeing any real gains after a month of solid working out it can be frustrating. It might be that your body and muscles aren't getting enough nutrition, which is an area where supplements such as basic Whey Protein to support muscle building can help.

8. Find what you love

There is nothing worse than absolutely hating what you are doing at any moment in time. Find some key exercises that both support your goals and you enjoy. Then stick at those until you feel ready to progress. If you've ever tried to stop doing something you love for a particular goal (mine is eating a LOT) then you'll realise how difficult it is. This will work in your favour when you start enjoying your time at the gym.

9. Slow and Steady

Fitness is a marathon not a sprint. If it were fast and easy everyone would do it and never have a reason to quit. So don't overwork yourself, read up on nutrition and accommodate training tips that will help create your own optimisations and support your new fitness lifestyle. After all, Fitness is for life, not just for New Year!
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