Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Three Ways to Stick With Your Gym Membership When Others Are Quitting

“Would you like to stay motivated and use that gym membership for more than three months? Gym memberships seem to be the easy answer to losing weight since money will be withdrawn from our accounts whether we show up or not, we'll formulate a habit of exercising if we can just stick with it for a few days, and the environment lends itself to success (who wants to look like the Michelin Tire Man around all of those hard bodies?). Many of us join, particularly at the beginning of the year, with the best of intentions. But, as anyone in the health club industry will tell you, membership falls off by the end of March when new members have become discouraged by their failure to meet their weight loss goals. That's unfortunate since it doesn't have to be the case. Here are three ways to stick with your gym membership when others are quitting - and reap the benefits of good health for life: 1. Understand the role of your diet in weight loss. Exercise alone is not very effective for weight loss. You need to learn how to eat. The real reason the dreaded scale does not budge with your serious exercise endeavor is the fact that our bodies are homeostatic wonders. They will find balance no matter what we do to them, to what environment they are exposed, or what stressors they are placed under taxes, it is unavoidable. You need to understand how food effects you in terms of total caloric intake, the macronutrients involved (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) if you really want to reach your weight loss goals. When you take into account the big picture of the supremacy of food and the hormonal response to food, the importance of diet and weight loss becomes apparent. The homeostatic mechanism adjusts, and you start to meet your goals. 2. Find an ‘accountabilabuddy’. A friend, a loved one, your co-worker, a personal trainer may be conscientious for your success. We all know the strength in numbers. This most certainly applies to exercise as well. Long term compliance to exercise protocols has demonstrated that support network and/or group participation are essential for success. 3. Monitor your progress correctly. Trusting the scale as the only measure of your success (or failure) is like asking your doctor to fix your toilet. He or she might be able to do it, but you can certainly be more prudent in your choice. With your new found exercise effort, you need to follow both objective and subjective data. Objective data is information that is impartial or independent of the user's frame of mind or input. This would include blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, how your clothes are changing, blood sugar, and most importantly, body composition (lean mass and fat mass). If you monitor your exercise labors by following this information, you are much more likely to stick to your gym membership for the long run. You'll find that your gym membership becomes a necessary and enjoyable part of taking care of yourself...now, and for the future. And you'll become as committed to that gym membership as you are to every other important relationship and responsibility that are part of your life.”


1 comment:

TJLoop85 said...

Great post.

This is definitely the point I try to nail home with many of my friends who are not (for the lack of a better word) "motivated". The gym is the place to work on myself and my overall health. It's a great motivator.

Boston Gym