I’ve always been active, doing all sorts of sports growing up, from football, horseback riding to badminton and my very favourite, swimming. Keeping active has always been important for me. That said, it’s not always easy to get out of bed at an unchristly hour in the morning, for a breakfast run when it’s cold and dark outside. But it’s worth it.
Fitting in an active lifestyle and motivation to keep going into a life filled with other things such as a career, friends and family can be tricky. So I thought I’d share some tips to keep you going and help you along the way towards keeping up your workout routine, even though you may lead a life filled with other things.
1. Schedule your workouts into your calendar
Making this non-negotiable time to invest in yourself, also helps you schedule your other activities around your training sessions. rather then doing the other way around. Trying to fit your training sessions in between whatever else may be going on in your life. Make working out an investment into yourself, your own energy and well-being – and make sure this is one of your priorities.
2. Workout with a friend
Working out with a friend or partner helps you commit to going to the gym, whats even better is its scientifically proven effect, you can read more about it over here. It’s harder to skip the gym if it’s only you.
Having a workout buddy may also help you to push harder. Personally, I always have to push myself to run faster, when I run with my tall handsome man of a boyfriend. I’m like three apples high so I really need to push it to be able to keep up.
3. Pack your gym bag the day before
One mental trick you can perform on yourself is to pack your gym bag the day before. That way you have already committed to hitting the gym. Also, it’s easy if everything is already prepared for you, so you can just grab your stuff and go.
4. Double up on your toiletries
In an attempt to combat my ability to always manage to forget something, I bought doubles of everything I need, or use small refillable toiletry bags, that way it’s less to pack or unpack when you get home. My essentials are my skincare routine, a facial wash and deodorant.
5. Choose a gym close to your home or office
When picking a gym, choose one that is either close to your home or office. It makes it way easier to motivate yourself to go there if it’s close to you. Because then you don’t have a long commute.
6. Upgrade your gym
Last year I swapped from a dodgy express gym to one with better amenities that still is close to where I live. Sure the smaller one was closer to where I live, but it didn’t feel safe to shower there and it was so small. Switching to a better gym, within the same chain, just a few hundred metres away with proper changing rooms, lockers and a sauna helped me up my training sessions. The amenities were bigger, better and the whole place is brighter and more positive. A nicer place to hang out in. Plus the sauna is a real motivation for hitting the gym for me.
I have a special playlist on Spotify to which I add songs that makes me happy and are upbeat. It contains everything from RuPaul to Ramstein. I love music and discovering and switching up my music helps me run for longer or push harder. Good headphones also help, to block out outside noise and you can crank up the volume high!
8. Work out gear
When I first started working out, I was still using the same approach as in high school, using cast-off clothes, sometimes with holes in them, as my workout gear. I wasn’t really bothered. Even though I really like fashion and clothes, I never really bothered at the gym. Even when I lived in London I was amazed by these perfect gym bunny girls in their fashionable gym outfits. I was not one of them. But in the later years, I actually understood that having proper workout gear, that are comfortable, well-fitting (t-shirts are not that great to work out in after all) and nice-looking gear for the gym actually adds to my motivation. It feels more fun and you can be strong and look good at the same time.
9. Switch up your routine
If you do the same thing over and over again you are bound to get bored, and more importantly, you are not going to progress. That’s two good reasons to switch up your workout routine with regular intervals.
Yes, there is research backing up this topic too, that you reach a plateau in your exercise regimen.
So try and switch up your routine every now and then. I research new exercises online and make hidden playlists on YouTube that I use at the gym to help me learn the moves.
10. Seeing progress
Knowing that you are progressing is key to keeping anything up. For my running, I use RunKeeper to track both distances and time, to see how I progress. For my time at the gym, I write down reps + the weights of that week. I do that in my calendar, this could be done in a more organised fashion. But for me, I’m motivated by also seeing results as well as of a feeling that I get, where I feel strong in my body.
Image credit: vogue.com