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Melissa’s Latest Verve Article: 5 steps from our Personal Trainers…

5 steps from our Personal Trainers to help make your: “I am going to gym this year” actually stick.

Every January, newcomers head to the gym in droves, thinking they can turn into a fitness nut overnight.  The newbie, heads along to a gym and see the regulars at full throttle and loving every minute of it – but by February most newbies are discouraged and their memberships start gathering dust. But the fact is, it has probably taken months, maybe even years to develop what has become a pleasurable routine for the regulars – which is why they make it look so easy.

Don’t get discouraged, exercise has way too many benefits to not make it a part of your life. And I want to help you in your newbie-to-regular transition.

Remember this: apart from looking and feeling better, numerous studies have found exercise helps combat depression, improves sleep, your metabolism and helps reduce the chances of developing degenerative diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes to name but a few.

So, here are some strategies that’ll get you working out AND enjoying it:

1. Start slow. Been going to the gym every day since Jan 2nd for hours at a time? Stop that. You are not giving your muscles time to recuperate so your results will be average – AND that’s a good way to injure yourself. Don’t overdo it. You have to find a balance that you can stick to – even if that is once a week, it is still better than none.

2. Make it convenient. Gym XYZ may have three floors of great equipment, have fun classes or always be open, but if it isn’t easy for you to get there, you won’t go. Pick a gym between home and work, it has to be convenient and easy to become part of your routine.

And if you feel intimidated by a gym, the current patrons or just don’t like the atmosphere, the chances of you quitting becomes higher. You need to be comfortable with the environment – so choose somewhere that you’ll feel motivated to workout.

3. Just go. It happens to everyone — we don’t feel like hitting the gym. Go anyway. Gym rats will tell you: “Once you’re there you’re so happy you went”. And you’ll always, always feel better for having gone than if you had not.

4. Exercise – it’s everywhere! Don’t think it’s only at the gym where you can workout. I try and incorporates exercise into everything I do. Decide to take the stairs, walk to the second coffee shop instead of the closer one and carry your grocery bags to the car.

5. Give it a chance. It usually takes 2 months to start noticing results and some clever researchers found it takes around 20 instance of following the same pattern before that pattern becomes a habit. So a twice-a-week exercise habit is going to take 10 weeks to develop. Stick to it and one day you’ll realise you start looking forward to your exercise.

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