Get Maximum Value from your Gym

Get Maximum Value from your Gym

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A few years ago I joined a gym for the first time and lost 12kgs in six months. Here’s how to get maximum value from your gym membership with these tips:

Show up:

Like Monday morning blues, back-to-the-gym blues are just as bad. A short break becomes longer and longer as excuses pile up. The solution: Ask your gym buddy/trainer/person at the desk to call and nag you if you haven’t shown up for three days. And, even if you can make it for just 20 minutes – go!

Pick a gym buddy:

No, not the chatty neighbor you signed up with. Instead, befriend a hardcore gym rat, more disciplined and fit than you, and you’ve got yourself a great motivational role model.

Make if fun:

Treat yourself to new sneakers, colorful gym-wear, the latest fitness app; get a good playlist, bag the treadmill with the TV attached…make it fun, till the endorphins kick in.

Plateau busters:

Stuck on the same routine of cardio and weights? Most gyms offer extras: Zumba and yoga classes, Lam oil massages, sauna rooms…  Add on a session, at least once a week.

Diet trackers:

80% of weight loss is dieting. Start a diet diary into which you enter everything, from the random birthday cake offered at work to the midnight fridge raid. Believe me, knowing that your trainer/gym buddy is going to underline your excesses in red is a huge appetite killer!

Dodge the binge:

Does a workout leave you ravenous? No, you have not ‘earned’ a Snickers. Look out for a tender-coconut wallah near your gym or carry a low-cal snack.

Treat yourself:

Don’t set unrealistic targets. It’s impossible to sustain long hours at the gym and live on celery and green tea. Figure out something that’s do-able and when you reach your target – celebrate with that new pair of jeans or a vacation.

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I like: the hush in a theatre before the curtain goes up; holing up on the top berth of a train with a good book; “thin” mirrors in fitting rooms; anything by PG Wodehouse; meandering paths on misty mountainsides; hot pakoras on a rainy day. Really hate: ‘running dreams’ where I’m hunted by a faceless enemy; people who borrow books and never return ‘em, smudging my nail polish and mosquitoes (but they love me). I spent 20 years as a Writer, Creative Director and Party Animal in Advertising. These days, when I’m not rereading Wodehouse, trying to lose those last 5 pounds or adding obscure destinations to my bucket list, I function as a book editor and freelance writer in Australia.