Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies. It’s no wonder that after a calorie-filled, guilt-inducing holiday season that “lose weight” and “get fit” top most people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the beginning of the year is when gym use and new gym memberships peak as people who have long neglected aerobic activity hit the elliptical machines with renewed devotion.
Of course, if you start using your gym membership now instead of waiting until after you feel guilty for all that holiday indulgence, you’ll be running circles around the New Year resolutioners. And what better motivation is there than that? Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your gym membership right now.
- Go! Yes, actually using your gym membership may seem like obvious advice, but think of all the money you waste by holding on to a gym membership that you never use. If you’re not going to the gym, cancel your membership. Or, if you’re just experiencing a temporary slump in your workout routine, talk to your gym about stopping payment, commonly called ‘freezing’ your account, for a couple months. Once you’re motivated to start working out again (maybe after the calorie-laden holiday season?) you can unfreeze your account.
- Workout with a friend. Having someone who will hold you accountable (and who you will return the favor for) can be powerful motivation to stay committed to your workout routine. You and your friend don’t have to do the same workout, just make a pact to both show up at the gym when you say you will and hold each other to that promise.
- Ask the trainers for help. While hiring a trainer to work with you one-on-one is pricey, it’s important to remember that assistance from the trainers is included in the price of your gym membership. If you don’t know how to use a certain machine or want to know the best way to work your triceps, ask one of the trainers! They are usually happy to assist you and would rather teach you the right way to work out than see you doing it wrong.
- Shake up your workout routine. Your gym has a lot more to offer than that boring treadmill. If your gym offers classes, request a schedule and attend a few different types to see what you like. Take advantage of the other amenities your gym offers, like the swimming pool or basketball court, to add variety to your workout routine.
- Take advantage of online resources. Take a look at your gym’s website for addition resources to help you meet your fitness goals. On my gym’s website, I was pleased to find free fitness tools like calorie calculators, healthy recipes, and e-newsletters.