Staying active is something that most of us aspire to, but whether we're able to keep up the momentum can often be another question entirely. And if you work in a largely sedentary environment - getting away from your desk sporadically to get a cup of coffee or retrieve a document from the printer - then the question of staying active becomes all the more pressing.
In the last decade or so, the UK has seen pretty much what you'd call a profusion of chain gyms popping up in towns and cities: Virgin Active, Fitness First, LA Fitness and so on. And with this massive explosion of growth in the fitness industry there's also been - no surprises here - an attendant rise in people with gym memberships.
But the number of people with a direct debit and a contract with the local gym doesn't necessarily equate to any kind of realistic number of the people who are using the gym on a daily or even weekly basis. How often have we heard the story from a colleague that they bought a gym membership with great plans to go on and reach a peak of physical fitness, only for the membership card to languish seldom- or unused on the dressing table or at the back of a wallet?
We though it might be instructive to see what info we could find on the internet for people suffering from gym-lag. It seems that the problem is actually quite widespread - so to help you get back on track, back in the gym, and on the road to fitness, here are the tips we found:
1. Repetition could be the key to gym fatigue. According to Maxim Online, it's a good idea to change your workout every 4 to 6 weeks - and mix things up with some other activities such as circuit training.
2. Unless you can see yourself doing something, you're unlikely to find yourself doing it. So try and tap into the power of visualisation: imagine yourself at the gym, excelling at your workout, getting fit.
3. Have a goal. maybe 'being fit' is too general. Self improvement literature nearly always has a line in it somewhere about how we're 'goal-oriented creatures' or something like that. I think this is probably true. A big wide unspecific 'goal' can be burdensome, whereas a smallish, precisely defined, achieveable one looks all the more tempting.
4. Schedule your gym time and stick to it. A lot of what we do in life is simply down to habit. If you exercise at regular times rather than doing it ad-hoc as and when you 'feel like it' you'll be far mre likely just to let it slide at some point. Whereas if you stick tenaciously to a schedule, then you may well magically find that when yoou can't make it to a session, you'll actually miss it!
5. Be flexible. You're only human, so if you have let tthings stray or not lived up to your own high standards, it doesn't mean that all is lost. Persistence is the key here - there may be times when you're as active as you'd like to be, but don't compound that small (and let's face it, insignificant in the scheme of things) fact with guilt or negative thoughts. accept that like all journeys, the journey to fitness will have its ups and downs.