There is one specific time of year when everyone decides to hit the gym again - The New Year. There is nothing wrong with that! Trying to make better choices for your health is one of the best things you can do, no matter when you decide to start. There's just one thing everyone struggles with once they start on their fitness journey... Motivation. Maintaining the motivation to workout is difficult but like all good things, it will come to an end.
Motivation to hit the gym decreases for everyone, but there are ways around it. These tips will help you get through your little motivation bump to make sure you keep it up and don't go back to those old bad habits you had before you started working out!
Tip #1 - Start small
The biggest mistakes new gym-goers make is set up huge goals, start working out like crazy, and expect results fast. Technically, this tip is for before starting out your fitness journey, but it’s the most important to help you stay focused and determined.
Before you embark on the wonderful journey of the fitness world, sit down and write out your goals - big and small. Work on hitting your small goals, then start hitting your bigger goals as you progress. If you’re completely new to working out then a good goal would be to start going to the gym or working out at home 3x a week. Or find a physical activity you enjoy - basketball, hiking, Zumba - and commit to do it for 3x a week.
The point is fitness is a long journey. Don’t expect results overnight. Commit and be consistent! Starting too fast and hard will lead you to burn out very quickly. By the end of January, you’ll probably hate the gym or any type of physical activity. So just take it slow and go at your own pace.
Tip #2 - Reward yourself
Set up some type of reward system for yourself. No, we’re not telling you to go on a shopping spree just because you completed a workout. More like treat yourself to a small reward after every milestone you hit at the gym. Make a commitment to complete a physical task, like running 2-3 miles, lifting heavier, trying a new HIIT workout, etc. Whatever the commitment you make, reward yourself after completing it. Make the reward based on your fitness goals and the things you love! An example of a reward would be to treat yourself to a rest day after accomplishing a difficult weight lifting or cardio session. Another example would be to plan your cheat meal on a heavy weight lifting day as a reward, this will help give you that push of motivation to workout.
Tip #3 - Dress up in your favorite gym clothes
Putting on cute workout clothes will help motivate you to actually make it to the gym! The New York Times published research that suggests our brains are susceptible to “enclosed cognition” . In simple terms, it just means that dressing for that part helps to fuel your drive to complete a task.
If you have no motivation to keep working out then treat yourself to some new, cute workout clothes or workout accessories from UPPPER. Just think of it as an investment to your health!
Tip #4 - Make it social/Change your routine
These two go hand-in-hand. If you’ve hit a slump and are lacking the gym motivation you had at the beginning of the year then switch things up! Make a commitment with a friend or partner and sign up for a fun and engaging workout class like Zumba, Kick Boxing or High-Intensity Training. Or go on a hike, play volleyball, run by the beach… find an activity that is social and that everybody will enjoy!
Doing this will allow you to switch up your usual workout routine into a fun activity with friends. You won’t even see it as working out, you’ll just see it as a girls night or a date night!
Tip #5 - Exercise to destress
The lack of gym motivation usually happens because people are too tired to workout after a long day at work, or even before. If that’s you, then it’s time to change your mindset. Think of exercising as a way to help you destress instead of doing it for weight loss only. Weight loss (combined with a healthy diet) is an excellent reason to start working out, but it shouldn’t be the only one.
The benefits of exercise have long been established. We’ve all heard a doctor or even a trainer say that exercise produces endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. And we should be listening to them! Studies conclude that regularly exercising is effective at reducing fatigue, improving focus, and enhancing cognitive function. 
Change your mindset and work out to help alleviate any stresses or worries you are having. Use this as gym motivation to help you wake up early or to push you to go to the gym after work.
Tip #6 - Log your workouts
Grab a notebook or download a note-taking app and start logging your workouts! The best way to maintain motivation for fitness is by keeping track of your progress. Record every milestone in your fitness journey, like distances and weights you’ve hit. This will come in handy when you’re lacking gym motivation and feeling uninspired. You’ll remember the times that you could barely deadlift 25lbs, or barely run a half-mile. That will motivate you to keep at it because of all the progress you’ve made and the progress you can continue to make!
Tip #7 - Consider a trainer
Certified fitness trainers can be pricey, but their expertise can help you in so many ways. Most trainers help you design a program based on your goals, they show you proper form and technique and provide tips on nutrition. You won’t need a trainer all the time, but it is a great way to help you get started to build a routine and create consistency.
If trainers are out of your budget, then try out a fitness app! There are various excellent fitness apps available for a low monthly price. We won't go into all of the fitness apps, but we do recommend checking out the Fit With Iulia app. Iulia Danilova, the Founder of UPPPER, started sharing her fitness journey through social media and gained a following by posting her daily workouts. She created a fitness app to help people get started on their fitness journey so they can achieve their goals. The greatest thing about the app is that Iulia personally creates workout plans every week. Every week you have a new workout plan that is based on your fitness goals. Fit With Iulia is a great tool for any gym-goer who doesn’t really know what type of exercises will give them the best results for their goal.
Having a personal fitness trainer or signing up for a fitness app costs money, but it creates a commitment to workout. You don't want your money to go to waste so you're obligated to exercise.
Tip #8 - Take rest days
The last, but most important, tip is to take time to recover! When your motivation to workout is high it can be hard to remember to slow down and rest. Your muscles need time to recover, overusing them can lead to injuries. If that happens you’ll end up having to take around 1-2 weeks of rest from the gym. So remember to listen to your body and take a rest day or two to take time to recover so you can tackle your next gym session.
The key on how to stay motivated to workout is to set up goals but to also go at your own pace. Find what type of workouts you love, reward yourself, and make it fun! Don’t forget to dress up in your favorite gym clothes and grab your UPPPER fitness gear to give you the strength to actually go to the gym!