Some of this may sound obvious to seasoned fitness fanatics but when I started to plan this website, I started to remember how hard it was to motivate myself in those early stages. The first time my now husband dragged me to the gym, I physically cried. I hate to say, I’m not even exaggerating. I’d never been the sporty type, and I was convinced everyone was wondering what I hell I was doing there. Of course, I soon got over myself (and realised people are far too absorbed in their own work out to care what anybody else is doing), and started to go three to four times a week. I now work out five to six times a week and simply can’t imagine my life without doing this. For anyone struggling to find that “get-up-and-go”, here are my top tips to get motivated….
I never used to be into making friends at the gym. The thought of having social chit-chat whilst red faced and sweaty terrified me. This all changed when I moved to Dubai. I started to enjoy planning to meet friends at classes. Exercising and socialising seemed to go hand-in-hand. What better incentive to give a workout your all, if you know you’re going somewhere yummy for breakfast afterwards to catch up with friends.
Knowing you’ve planned to meet a friend at a class is huge motivation in itself. There’s less temptation to back out if you’re feeling lazy. Friends can be great motivators whilst you’re working-out too. Even just a knowing wink or sympathetic smile, “yes I’m dying too”, can give you a great energy boost. A few months ago, I started going to an early morning workout class which some of my friends also love. Seeing a friendly face is a lovely start to the day and I enjoy having a little chat with them before the day begins. Lesson learnt – no more anti-social gym misery from me!
BRIBE YOURSELF WITH WORKOUT WEAR
Back in my early gym-going days, my workout wardrobe was seriously boring and basic. I used to think “why spend money on something that’s just going to get sweaty?” When I decided to invest in some really amazing active wear, I couldn’t believe how much difference this made. I felt more confident and I started to look forward to working out much more. I recently got the most flattering slim-fit leggings and some bright sports bras from Gap Fit which I love. I’m also currently obsessing over slogan tanks and patterned leggings from YApparel.
MIX IT UP
It can get really boring doing similar workouts all the time. After a while, our bodies don’t get the same benefits so its great to mix it up. I do a variety of classes which involve high and low impact training; HIIT training, spinning, barre, yoga and pilates.
For a high-intensity calorie-burner, I absolutely love the BURN class at 1six8. The instructors are amazing and it really feels like you’re having a personal training session. They really get to know you and push you hard. The class is a mixture of cardio and strength interval training on the treadmill, rower, bench and TRX bands. Each day focuses on a different body section; lower body, upper body and midsection. This is definitely the most effective workout I’ve found for fat loss and muscle toning combined.
I recently discovered an amazing new barre class Define Body located in Dubai Marina. Starting with push-ups and planks, then moving to lower body work concentrating on your gluts and thighs; this workout really targets your entire body. My favourite yoga class in Dubai is Jivamukti with Dina at 136.1 Yoga Studio. Her classes are so inspiring and focus on the spiritual element of yoga practice which I love!
Visualising my goals whilst working out has a huge impact on my motivation levels. I can always push myself that bit harder if I visualise the muscle tone developing in my mind, or think about how great I’m going to feel for the rest of the day. It definitely helps me to focus and work harder.
IMPROVED CONFIDENCE AND BODY IMAGE
I’ve learnt its much easier to get up and go to the gym than to deal with low self-esteem or body issues. As soon as I began to appreciate my body for what it can do, rather than solely judging its appearance, my body-image and confidence significantly improved. We can always be more critical of a body we’re not inhabiting or using to it’s full advantage. But if you’re exercising and using your body for what it was made for, you instantly feel more “in” your body, a part of it, rather than a judgemental observer.
NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
You can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Everyone has different fitness/skill levels, different natural attributes and goals. It is much more rewarding to compare yourself to a previous version of you. You can only get better and better! What could be more rewarding and motivating than that.
Once exercise becomes a habit, you’ll wonder how you lived without it!
Date posted: 24th August, 2016