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Busting the Work Out Myths

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Apr. 16, 2015

Now that we’re well into 2015, chances are that New Year resolution spark to work out and get in shape has fizzled out a bit. For one reason or another, it’s become harder and harder to pull yourself up from your futon and hit the gym. If you’re anything like me, you probably find yourself saying one (or all) of these things a little more often than you’d like.  

“I just don’t feel like it…”

One of the hardest parts of working out is convincing myself to put on some running shorts and make the trek to my campus’s rec center or even just step outside to go for a run.

Solution: Make a schedule and find a workout buddy!

At the beginning of each week, take a look at your calendar and set up a schedule. It’ll be a lot easier to go consistently if you plan ahead and avoid spur of the moment decisions that could lead to staying home instead. To ensure that you stick to this plan, find a workout buddy or trusted friend that will either go to the gym with you or make sure that you fit workouts into your week. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the gym just because one of my friends across the hall wanted to go (and dragged me along with her). You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to stay on track if you have a partner to keep you accountable.

“I’m too busy.”

Between classes, homework and meetings, carving out time to go to the gym can be a little difficult. If I don’t make it a priority, working out easily gets pushed to the back burner.

Solution: Keep your workout short and set a time limit. 

A good workout doesn’t need to be two plus hours long. If you’re short on time, keep it simple and set a time that you want to get done by. It helps me keep my workout focused and minimizes the stress of trying to make sure I have time to fit everything in.

“I’m so out of shape.”

This is quite possibly one of my biggest struggles. Walking into the gym and seeing nothing but fit girls sprinting mile after mile and buff guys benching twice my body weight can be incredibly intimidating.

Solution: Start off slow. It’s not a competition!

It doesn’t matter how fit you are to start off with, as long as your goal is to improve. Everyone has to start somewhere!

Ease yourself into a workout plan. It’s much easier to increase the intensity than get discouraged by a regimen that is too advanced. For example, if you’re looking to get into running, a good option is the “Couch to 5K” plan. It combines walking and running, while gradually increasing the workout length and intensity, to help you progress through the program.

“The gym is always so crowded!”

As you can probably guess, the intimidation factor only increases as more people flood in. Trying to look like calm and confident turns into worrying if I’m in the way of that one guy who looks like he lives at the gym.  

Solution: Turn your dorm room into a mini exercise area.

Many of the same results you get from going to a gym can be obtained with little to no equipment in the comfort of your own room. You can opt to purchase a set of dumbbells or workout DVDs, such as Insanity T-25 or P-90X, or stick to moves that do not require anything extra. Trust me, you may get a few strange looks from your roommate as you do jumping jacks and mountain climbers with Sean T, but it’s well worth it. You may not be able to run a mile, but you will get in some ab, arm, leg and even cardio workouts without leaving your dorm.

“I’m tired of doing the same thing over and over” or “I never know what to do!”

Going from daily gym class and weekly tennis and dance practices in high school to having to come up with ways to get in a workout has been a little difficult for me. Sure, I can just do some sit-ups or pushups, but where’s the fun in that?

Solution: Use your resources!

Do some basic internet searches and observation of others at the gym, and you can come up with and modify workouts to fit your ability and preferences. My absolute favorite site to browse (and consequently spend a bunch of time on) is Pinterest! It’s a great resource for new workout ideas and you will find all sorts of workouts for all levels. Whether you’re looking for new ab exercises or a treadmill workout, you’re sure to find more than enough to spice up your gym visit. Also, keep in mind that a workout doesn’t have to consist of running, sit-ups and pushups. Mixing in pick-up games of sports like basketball, soccer or racquetball can be a good way to break up the monotony.

Though it may not have the same “New Year resolution” ring to it, right now is the perfect time to start a new fitness routine or update your current one. Just by making small, manageable changes you’ll be on your way to healthier, happier workout experience.