9 Tips to Stay on a Gym Routine

Sticking to a workout routine can be difficult, even if you’re motivated to lose weight, build muscle or get into shape. Various factors such as work, family life, household chores, stress and other obligations can get in the way of your goals and prevent you from hitting the gym as often as you would like.

To help you accomplish your fitness goals, it’s important to remember your reasons for obtaining a gym membership in the first place. A simple daily reminder can help you to stick to your goals more easily. For instance, sticking to a gym workout plan is especially important if you’re dealing with loads of stress or you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, as exercise can benefit you physically and psychologically.

If you’re struggling to get the workout motivation you need to stick to your exercise routine, the nine tips below can help you to accomplish your fitness goals. If you start small and find different ways to make the gym experience more enjoyable, you may begin to look forward to your workouts, especially as exercise becomes a regular part of your weekly routine.

Tip 1) Find motivation within yourself

Before attempting your first gym routine, make a list of your fitness goals and reasons for exercising. If you’re not aiming to lose weight or accomplish a specific goal, other reasons for exercising could include:

  • Improving your balance to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Becoming more flexible to improve your posture and physical performance.
  • Building muscle to help you feel more comfortable in your skin.
  • Reducing your risk of developing heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
  • Reducing your painful symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia or other medical conditions.

In many cases, workout routines are difficult to commit to if you do not give yourself some sort of goal to work toward. However, just knowing that regular exercise can help you to live a longer, happier and healthier life could be all the motivation you need.

Tip 2) Start small and gradually begin to work out more

The average gym routine for beginners will encourage you to start small with shorter workout sessions several days per week instead of jumping right in and exercising for 60 minutes or longer every day. If you do too much too soon, you could injure yourself, pull a muscle or end up disappointed if you don’t see or notice immediate results.

While there are many workout plans to get ripped fast, these typically require you to exercise at least five days per week, which is unattainable for most individuals. Additionally, studies show that those who start out aggressively typically don’t stick with their program in the long run. In many cases, you’ll be more likely to stick with your new routine if you start slowly and don’t push yourself too hard at the beginning.

Tip 3) Mix up your workout

Once you’ve performed the same workout routine for several weeks or months, you may start to feel bored and unmotivated, or you may no longer feel challenged. However, switching up your routine every few weeks can help to keep things interesting while challenging different parts of your body. If you typically use the elliptical machine while working out at the gym, switch things up by using the stair climber instead.

Tip 4) Find a workout partner to hold you accountable

Even though you can find many free workout plans online without having to step foot outside of your home, there are many important benefits to exercising in a gym environment. However, you may struggle to get to the gym, especially if you’re shy, introverted or not yet committed to the idea of working out.

In many cases, having a friend or colleague to work out with can change this, especially if he or she is reliable and committed to getting in shape. Plus, you can share gym workout tips with one another, helping you both to reach your fitness goals.

Tip 5) Work out in small 15-minute sessions if you are short on time

If you are wondering what to do at the gym to lose weight, you may be ready to tackle more strenuous routines that require you to spend hours at the gym each week. However, spending an endless amount of time at the gym each week is not attainable for many individuals, especially those with families and young children.

If you’re short on time and can’t tackle your regular 60-minute workout routine as planned, try heading to the gym for 15 minutes of high-intensity physical activity each day before or after work. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), most healthy adults need at least 75 minutes of strenuous physical activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.

If you only have 15 minutes a day to put toward your gym workout plan, you can easily obtain 75 minutes of physical activity per week if you work out vigorously for 15 minutes, five days per week.

Tip 6) Don’t feel guilty if you miss a week at the gym

Whether you lack workout motivation one week, are sick with the flu or you simply don’t have the time to make it to the gym due to work to other commitments in your schedule, try not to beat yourself up for it. Typically, a few days of missed workouts won’t reverse the progress you’ve made.  

Tip 7) Keep your expectations grounded

If your gym workout plans are unrealistic, you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment. Set smaller goals for yourself at first and focus on accomplishing one goal at a time, rather than attempting too many things at once. After accomplishing each smaller goal, you’ll likely feel more confident in your ability to achieve your other fitness goals as well.

Tip 8) Keep track of your workouts

Recording your workout routines can help you to identify your fitness goals and challenges, track your progress and feel more accomplished overall. If you don’t like the idea of lugging around a notebook to and from the gym, several smartphone apps such as HeavySet, Strong, Stacked and GymBook are available for download.

Tip 9) Celebrate your dedication

Once your workout routines begin to pay off, give yourself the opportunity to celebrate your dedication to getting in shape. Purchase a new outfit that shows off your newly toned muscles, take yourself out to dinner or treat yourself to an afternoon at the spa.