I Hate January
i went to the gym this morning. It was packed with more than triple the number of people that are there on a typical Saturday morning. My interval training class was crowded making it physically challenging to avoid being crushed with other sweaty bodies. Everyone was in my space. I don’t like jockeying for sp ace when I am working out. I go to the gym partially for he social aspect of seeing other motivated individuals and friends, but more to work out.
I don’t like that parking is difficult when I get to the gym in January. I don’t like that I have to sign up for some classes in advance or else I will be blocked out. I hate in the locker room that I have find a locker way in the back corner and on the top row because all the other lockers are taken. I can barely find an area on the mat to warm up and stretch out. And after my crowded class, even the showers are packed. So, should I leave my gym and find somewhere else to work out? Maybe I should just work out at home? No need, because February is around the corner.
After 3-5 weeks from the start of the new year, the resolutions will fade back into oblivion for 11 more months. The overcrowded conditions will no longer exist. Everything will go back to where it should be. Did you know that only 25% of people keep their new year’s resolutions for 30 days and only 8% for the year? This is a sad statistic.
So how do you keep working out and not be part of the majority who give up? You need to answer the question of what is your motivation. What works is making small changes. Don’t jump on the elliptical for 45 minutes when you haven’t even done a 20 minute work out. Build up to your goal and make it realistic. If you do too much too soon you are more likely to give up and more importantly more likely to get hurt. Getting hurt will set you back in achieving your work out goal and makes you more likely to quit.
Another way to keep your resolutions are to have a friend or two commit to it as well. The days where one of you is lazy, the other person will be your motivation. If you don’t work out you will not only disappoint yourself but your friend also. A work out buddy is a very effective technique.
Writing down your goals and work outs will also keep you going to the gym. Use a calendar program and write down a day in advance what exercises you will do or the time you are planning on going to the gym. I like the app MyFitnessPal which is free and allows you track your weight, foods, and work outs. Watching yourself achieve your goals will push you to keep going.
If you made resolutions it is up to you follow through and achieve them. Decide if you really want to succeed or are willing to quit. Remember most people won’t pursue their goals for more than a few weeks so stick out the crowded gym until February when the herds will thin.
Rick Weinstein, MD, MBA
Director Orthopedic Surgery Westchester Sport & Spine at White Plains Hospital Center