If you’re paying money to a gym every month, we’re guessing you want to get your money’s worth–but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Busy schedules and chilly winter days can make it tough to want to leave your apartment. Put that monthly bill to good use and get the most out of your gym membership by following these few tips:
Set a Schedule
Some join a gym and then choose to go “when they feel like it.” News flash: this probably won’t happen very often. Instead, set a schedule and figure out when the best time is to go in between work, school and free time. When you have it written down on your calendar, it’s harder to find an excuse for why you shouldn’t go.
Simply going to the gym so you can say you worked out won’t be helping you get the most out of your money. Plus, that would be just wasting your time. If you’re going to spend an hour at the gym a few times a week, it should be worth your while. Designate specific days to do cardio and other days of the week to focus on strength. You could even break it down into areas of the body. For example, work on arms Monday, legs on Tuesday, core on Wednesday, and so on. Set small weekly goals, like being able to do more reps or run for a longer period of time. The more you work out, the easier those goals will be to reach.
Move Your Upper Body
If you’re going to run on the treadmill, you might as well get the most out of it. This means moving both your upper and lower body. It may be second nature to rest your hands on the rails of the treadmill or the handles of the elliptical, but this isn’t doing your arms any favors. Tone your upper body to burn more calories and build stronger endurance. Pump the handles with your arms on the elliptical or use an upper-body arm bike.
If your gym offers group classes, don’t be afraid to try a variety. You might discover that you love cycling or that cardio kick boxing is where you really shine. When you find something that you enjoy doing, working out becomes less of a chore and more of something to look forward to. And by taking different classes during the week, you won’t get bored like you would just running on the treadmill every day. Plus, classes are a great way to meet people.
Hire a Trainer
Most gyms give you the option of hiring a personal trainer. If its been awhile since you’ve been to the gym, or aren’t sure how to begin a workout regimen, a trainer can help you get on the right track and accomplish your goals. Not only that, they can also show you the correct way to use all of the equipment to get the most out of your workout and avoid injury.
Drop the Magazine
When you’re browsing through a magazine on the treadmill or the bike, chances are you’re not focusing on your workout. It can be easy to get distracted by your reading material and slow down your speed and intensity. Instead, put in ear buds and press play on some music that really pumps you up and helps you push yourself for an effective workout.