Should you join a gym?

Has this ever happened to you?
You’re standing in front of your mirror, not loving your reflection so much, maybe squeezing a couple inches of chubbiness around your middle and you think to yourself,
“Okay, that’s it. Time to get serious, I’m joining a gym!”
There are certainly many inspirational success stories that begin this way.
You’ve heard about people who woke up one day and had an “aha!” moment. They threw themselves into a healthy exercise routine and never looked back.
For every success story, there are many more non-success stories. These are stories of people who had very good intentions to change their fitness habits.
Does that sound familiar?
If it doesn’t, don’t fret. You’re not alone and there’s nothing wrong with you.
In fact, the gym industry counts on the fact that less than 20% of their members will show up to work out regularly. That’s it!
The thought process seems so logical. If I join a gym, I will become fitter and that’s what I want. Who doesn’t want to be in better shape?
Yet, with so many people fall into the “not so regular gym goer” category, your motivation is worth a second look.
Before you walk through the gym’s door, ask yourself these questions:
What is it that I REALLY want for myself?
Why do I want it?
What daily habits do I need to change in order to accomplish this goal?
How does exercise fit in?
What types of exercise do I enjoy?
If I am not already doing these things, why not?
How does joining this gym benefit me?
If I am not currently incorporating exercise into my day, how committed am I to making that change?
When and how often will I go to the gym?
What will I do there?
What help or support will I need?
If you love Zumba classes, you have time in your schedule to attend them and you’re looking for a place to take part – that sounds like a great match!
If you are feeling like you should lose a few pounds but aren’t sure exactly how to do it – it would be a good idea to clarify what you’re looking for before making a commitment.
Signing a membership agreement doesn’t change your body.
You don’t burn many calories by signing your name on the dotted line. By joining a gym, you’re successfully giving someone your credit card number. That’s it.
You decide on the role that the gym will play in your life. Is this the start of a renewed commitment to your health and well being? Or is it only a membership card and a sense of guilt when you drive by on your way to Target or Starbucks?
Routine change can be hard. If you’re thinking about adding a new exercise routine, consider how that change impacts the rest of your life. Ask yourself if it’s something you’re likely to stick to.
It all depends on you.
Going to a gym and having a specific workout routine is part of a strategy to reach a fitness goal. It is not the goal itself.
If you find that the gym scene is not for you, don’t feel guilty about it.
Keep your eyes focused on your goal and stay flexible about your strategy. There are lots of paths to your goal destination, whatever that is for you. There are lots of ways to work physical activity into your day. And you’re more likely to stick to a routine that is enjoyable for you. The gym can be part of that, or not.

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