A health and wellness reporter, Gretchen Reynolds, actually says that outside workouts can challenge your body more than it would in the gym. It will help your body to tone up a lot faster if this is one of your reasons for exercising or looking into purchasing an expensive gym membership.
She explains that this happens because “You stride differently when running outdoors. People flex their ankles more when they run outside. They also, at least occasionally, run downhill, a movement that isn’t easily done on a treadmill and that stresses muscles differently than running on flat or uphill terrain.” This activity is a free and very effective workout.
If you want to do at home workouts because gym memberships don’t suit you, your budget, or your lifestyle, there are so many great apps you can download that will guide you through a workout. You can do these workouts at home or even at available outdoor space. It will give you more flexibility, and these are a lot cheaper than gym memberships.
The apps also offer different payment plans. For example, the SWEAT app allows you to pay per month, per quarter, bi-annually, or even for a full year. Depending on which option you choose, you get a higher discount. Most of the apps offer a seven day trial period, which will allow you to see if you even enjoy the exercises.
The apps will allow you to pick between different workout programs and goal dependent. The SWEAT app offers you the choice of five various training programs from trainers all around the world. It also shows you short videos of how to do the exercises required so that you basically have a personal trainer in your pocket.
Even if you do decide to go for a gym membership but don’t want to fork out for a personal trainer, downloading one of these apps could be a great balance. You’ll be paying the gym membership, but you won’t need to budget even more for an expensive personal trainer.
If you’re still unsure about whether a gym membership is for you, you could also try out a membership trial. Check with the gym that you’re interested in and see if this is something they offer. Most gyms will provide potential clients a trial pass from 3-7 days. This is a great chance to test out the gym and see if you enjoy the environment.
Be careful of these trials, though, and make sure you read all the fine print associated with it. You don’t want to end up with a permanent contract at the end that you didn’t realize you had signed up for when joining the trial. If at the end of the trial, you know it’s not for you, go and try out another gym and their trial period.
Many places offer discounts to new members so that you can see if you like the workout, and then after that, you have the option to purchase a proper package deal. Even if you don’t end up loving the exercise that you’ve got the deal for, you’ve at least had a few cheaper exercises that didn’t break the bank or tie you into a contract.
Some gyms may even offer a guest pass policy. Ask your friends and see if they are members at a gym and see if you can tag along to their next workout. First of all, it’s a free workout, and you’ll get to test out the gym and see if this is something you would like to sign up to and see if it’s worth your while.
Another significant factor when considering where you want to set up your gym membership or even if it’s worthwhile is the location! This is where you could set yourself up for success or failure. It’s just logic that if your gym is far away, you’ll use it a lot less as it will take more time and effort out of your day to get to the gym.
Things to consider when choosing a gym are whether or not it is in a location on the way to your work or to your home. If you drive past or travel past it at some point during your day, you are a lot more likely to make the most out of it just because it’s convenient. Set yourself up for success and choose something nearby.
Before you sign your gym contract, you should also see if on your trial pass, if you can go to the gym at various times of the day. You don’t want to discover after you’ve paid all this money that the times when you want to go are the busiest and you aren’t able to even do the workout that you’d wanted to when you walked into the gym.
Also make sure you check for things like the equipment being in good working condition, enough equipment in case you go during peak time, the atmosphere of the gym, the cleanliness of the showers and maybe even have a chat to some other gym members to see what they like about the gym.
It may even be a good idea to go online and research some reviews about the gym or workout center that you are considering. Let’s just say that you’ve decided to bite the bullet and sign up for a gym membership… You’ve clearly decided there are more pros than cons to this, and that is great. But, now comes the hard part – staying motivated.
Everyone is always very eager when they first join up at the gym. People go frequently, do good workouts, and try to incorporate it into their lifestyle. But then slowly but surely, the visits start to decline, and life gets in the way. Suddenly the gym is on the back burner, and your contract starts to go to waste. What now?
You’ll hear your alarm clock ring at 5:00 am, and then suddenly, you’re not feeling any motivation to go for your morning sweat session. You start to negotiate with yourself and then end up convincing yourself that you don’t need to go to the gym today and that you’ll go again tomorrow. But then it happens the next day again!
One way to combat this is to find a workout buddy. Some people obviously prefer working out on their own, but if you lack the motivation to go, find a friend to do it with you. Make a point to hold each other accountable, and when you say you’re going to go, you go, and you don’t let the other person off the hook. Make a workout schedule that you both stick to for the long haul. This situation is when a group setting like CrossFit could really benefit someone and their motivation.
Diana Mitrea, a personal trainer and co-founder of Stronger With Time, says, “Having other people around me with those same goals is always exciting. We’re all talking about the right things and pushing each other, and we celebrate their victories as well as mine.”
If no one wants to go to the gym with you, ask a supportive partner, family member, or even a friend to hold you accountable. Their support will be a significant motivating factor in your fitness journey. Another good idea is to sign up for something that you can work towards, such as entering a marathon.
Once you make a choice to enter this, tell your friends and family about it. Because they know about it, you can’t just miss it because they will be excited to cheer you on at the finish line, and you won’t want to let them down. Everyone will have their own things that give them motivation, and this might be the one for you.
Another tip to remain motivated is to dress for a workout, even if you aren’t feeling it that day. Research has shown that brains are susceptible to “enclothed cognition.” What does this mean? It means that dressing the part can help give you the motivation you need to get what you need to do. So, put on your work out clothes and get going!