New Year, New You?

Staying motivated after the New Year’s buzz wears off.

By Ryley Fingler
Copy Editor

PC: Marcovds

January has come and gone, and with it dies the annual surge of brand new fitness enthusiasts. Gone are the flocks of brightly dressed gym-goers, toting their massive bags across ice-covered parking lots; these days, the gym is serene. It has been given back to its “rightful” owners – the true health nuts in all their weight-lifting glory.

So, where does that leave the rest of us? You know, the ones who got their brand new memberships all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on whatever 2017 had to throw at them…Only to skip a day. And then another, and another, until all that was left was a dusty old gym bag and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Let me make myself abundantly clear: I am probably the furthest thing a person could be from a fitness expert. Until recently, my only form of exercise was trekking up the stairs to the third floor of the Ryan Building. Over the last few weeks I’ve been dipping my toes into the waters of fitness, and to my surprise, I’ve really been enjoying it. But I, like generations before me, have been feeling that motivation slipping away from me – and what better solution than fighting fire with…writing about fire?

If you find yourself losing the will to get active, consider these tips:
Look at your gym membership as an investment. Even if you’re using the Lakehead athletic facilities, which are covered in your student fees, remember that technically, you’re still paying for it. It’s a lot easier to convince yourself to get off the couch when you think about how much money you’re spending. Make your dollars worth their while!

Don’t force yourself. If you wake up one morning and just really feel like you need that extra hour of sleep before your 8:30 a.m. class, allow yourself that little luxury. Obviously, don’t make a habit out of skipping days in favour of sleep; if mornings don’t agree with you, go in the evening instead. The important thing to remember here is to try and avoid making exercise feel like a chore – that way, you’ll look forward to your workout rather than dreading it.

Have a buddy (or a few) and hold each other accountable. Why not make your workout time into quality time spent with your besties? It’s a win-win in my book.

Think about the reasons you had for joining (honestly). Did you join because you wanted to look awesome in that sexy red dress you got last year? Great – go forth and look awesome. Do you want to beat your partner’s time in a 5k purely for the bragging rights? You do you, boo. Is it as simple as just wanting to get a bit healthier so you can run away from serial killers and/or zombies? Perfectly valid. Remember that this is about you and nobody else, so be honest and own the reasons you’re spending so much time watching HGTV on the elliptical.

Take advantage of what your gym has to offer. Try out an anti-gravity yoga class because damn it, it looks fun. Jump in the pool for a leisurely swim (remembering, of course, to stay in your lane). After a gruelling workout, relax in the steam room for a few minutes. You’re paying for your gym membership, so why not use it to its full potential?

At the end of the day, the best way to find motivation is to want it. Whether you’re a newbie (like myself) or have been in a long-term relationship with the gym for years, everyone needs a little extra push once in a while. A tiny bit of ambition could lead to a lifetime of health and happiness – or, you know, help you to hold your own in a zombie apocalypse.