Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving and the holidays are right around the corner. Between the candy, pies, desserts, and holidays feasts, it’s easy to neglect your waistline. But finding a solid workout routine can let you have your cake and eat it too, without your pant size growing.
But, if you’re anything like me, you might find it hard to manage a 6am wake-up call to sweat. I’m able to make it happen from time to time, but my body’s rhythm just does not want to let me out of bed without snoozing until the last minute, so I’ve found that often times night sweat sessions work best for my schedule.
But that means you have an entire day to find a reason not to go. A last minute happy hour invite finds its way to you, you’re tired, it’s cold, the weather is bad and you just want to get home – whatever the excuse that day it’s easy to find one. While no one is perfect and sometimes the trip to the gym is missed, I have found a few ways that help ensure that I get my sweat on.
1) Bring your gym bag with you
One of the easiest excuses is “well I don’t have my stuff with me.” And one of the easiest distractions is “well I’m already home, I don’t want to go back out.” By bringing your gym bag to work or class with you, you eliminate both of those reasons at once. If your next stop is the gym and you have nowhere to deter you from getting from point A to point B you will be far more likely to make it to that class you’ve been wanting to check out.
2) Find a gym you love close to work or school
It’s easy to skip the gym when the trek there is over 30 minutes each way. When you want to get to bed early, have things to do at home, or are already exhausted the last thing you want to do is spend an hour commuting on top of your workout. By making sure you’re gym is easily accessible, you allow yourself to spend more time lifting then sitting on a bus or train.
3) Sign up for a class that requires pre-registration
This is especially helpful for boutique studios where they have a last minute cancellation fee. If you are signed up and committed to go, it’s harder to simply skip your workout. The guilt associated with missing, the accountability you’ve set for yourself (and if you know the instructor it’s even harder to bail on them), and the potential costs you may incur all encourage you to follow through on the workout you’ve set for yourself.
4) Go with a friend
Going to the gym with a friend provides added accountability. By having someone to workout with you have someone to call you out on your bluff if you say you can’t make it last minute. (Okay sure, sometimes you really do get sick or stuck at work late, but they may challenge you to ask if that’s really the case – and sometimes it’s not). When Kendra (Chicago Food Hunter) started going to boxing classes with me it was much harder to back out at the last minute. It also helps make the gym more of a social activity, which can encourage you to stick to plan when a social happy hour comes up.
5) Put it on your calendar
My work calendar is always full of my workouts, even though they occur after hours. By putting my class out there in the universe I make a stronger commitment to following through. It shows you’re serious about going, keeps people from randomly popping into your office 10 minutes before the end of the day and creating an easy “out”, and adds an extra layer of commitment. If you’re not comfortable putting fitness classes on your work calendar then throw them in your planner, on your phone, or somewhere you keep track of things to make sure you hold yourself accountable.
6) Set a night aside for the gym and let people know about it
For the longest time, Monday nights were my go-to personal training night (not my only night to workout, but my one guaranteed night a week I committed to my trainer that I would be there). My boyfriend knew, my friends knew, my coworkers knew, my family knew, pretty much everyone I know knew. And because everyone knew that this was my go-to night to take some time for myself and get a workout in, my friends didn’t invite me to things on Mondays. They either planned things on a different night, or if it was something that had to happen on a Monday they didn’t invite me. And it made it so much easier to commit to my routine. When you make it known to the world that a certain night is a no-matter-what-I-get-my-workout-in night, you not only set yourself up for success, but allow your friends and family to help ensure your success as well.
Are you a gym night owl? How do you hold yourself accountable to get your sweat on?