I’m Signed Up – Now What?

Author: Shannon Miller

Group exercising at a Gym.

Signing up for a gym membership is a great preliminary step in making fitness a part of your life.

Some of us feel like we’re active by virtue of simply carrying around our gym membership each day. Unfortunately those monthly dues don’t do us much good unless we actually show up and exercise every once in a while.

How can I make this investment more than just a monetary commitment?  How do I come to see it as an investment in myself, so that I will continue to go?

As with anything, the more you do it, the more it will become a natural part of your routine. At first, you might have to remind yourself how much you’ve spent on the membership in order to motivate yourself to go, but soon your allegiance to your gym will come out of your genuine desire to stay fit – and maybe even because you enjoy going!

Make a pact with yourself that you will go to the gym before work or on the way home.

  • Start out with one or two days a week for a month.
  • Start making it part of your ritual.
  • Find a weekly class that you enjoy that will hold you accountable each week.

Once you begin to see effects of working out,

whether it’s

  • dropping a dress size,
  • better endurance,
  • more strength and flexibility,
  • less aches and pains,
  • less stress
  • or the many other benefits of physical activity

– you’ll see that this is an investment in your health and well being not a fancy card to carry around in your wallet.

What about that huge barrier that stands in our way, the one called TIME?

You have to set priorities in your life and you should never discount your health. Staying healthy, active and a bit less stressed helps you to be a better wife, mother, employee, boss and friend. Never feel guilty about taking time for yourself. If you aren’t healthy you can’t be there for everyone else.

Here are some great TIPS for committing to a membership and actually going!
  • Find a partner. Having an accountability partner may help you to keep up your gym activity.  Knowing that someone is counting on you to go with them is a great a source of motivation.
  • Develop a regular gym schedule. Make attending the gym a part of your routine by going the same time each week.  This way you don’t have to consider when you will fit it into your schedule each week, you’ll already have it planned out!  
  • Go in the morning, if possible. Going to the gym in the morning is a good idea because this is the time of the day in which your plans are least likely to be interrupted.  If working out is the first thing on your to-do list, you can get it out of the way before normal daily hassles get in the way.
  • Get to know the machines. If you are a novice gym-goer, the equipment might be a little intimidating.  Don’t be embarrassed.  If you and your gym partner are both perplexed by a machine, ask the gym staff members – they are eager to help you.

You have what it takes to get the most out of your gym membership.  Just remember, commit and continue!

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