Before you get to work, take a look at these tips to get the most out of your gym workout.
Wear the Right Apparel
Make sure you have the right gear and apparel for a successful gym workout. This means saying no to cotton and yes to hydration. To learn more about what you need for the gym, read our blog post on gym workout essentials.
Set a Goal (or two)
Taking time out of your busy schedule to work out at the gym is fantastic. Setting some goals will help you be even more effective with your fitness routine. Create one or two long-term goals, and from there break it down into attainable short-term goals that will help you achieve your bigger objective. For example, if your main goal is to be able to run for 30 minutes on the treadmill, start by setting a goal to run for 10 minutes and keep building from there. Or maybe your goal is to simply go to the gym. Set a small goal like "workout at the gym for 20 minutes on the elliptical." Chances are good that you'll add 10 more minutes, but if you don't, you've still met your goal and are well on your way to setting a healthy habit. (Fitness doesn't happen overnight, after all!)
Have a Plan
Have you ever walked into your gym, ready to get in a major workout, and then spent the next hour awkwardly moving from one machine to the next, making up a routine along the way? I've definitely been there and can say that it's easy to waste time deciding what to do. Going to the gym with a workout plan in mind will help you spend your time efficiently. To help formulate a fitness plan, try meeting with a personal trainer at your gym. Often, the first consult is free, and the trainer might just be able to point you to classes and other resources to feed your goal.
Form a Routine
A routine is nothing but a formed habit. What might feel out-of-the-ordinary at first will become a positive habit if you stick with it. Choose days and times to work out at your gym and make yourself go ... even if you don't feel like it. Taking advantage of classes or setting up appointments with a personal trainer can give you a sense of accountability if you're struggling to motivate yourself. Eventually, not going to the gym will feel out of place.
Mix it Up
While it's good to form the habit of going to the gym, this doesn't mean you should do the same thing every time! You might find yourself more excited to work out if you vary what you do. For example, one day of the week can be dedicated to a cardio routine, while another can be reserved for strength workouts. If you're sick of doing the same thing, mix it up by adding something different like yoga, bouldering or swimming to your routine.