Over the past few months, I’ve been gyming away non-stop. After finally finding a gym I like (with trainers that are friendly and non-judgy!) I have discovered a new found love and respect for working out!
Now I’m no stranger to the gym floor, I’ve been fairly into fitness for a good few years now, preferring to do my workouts at home or outside. The one thing I made sure to never be without, was my phone and my headphones. Without music, I’d get bored and my attention span for the exercises I was doing, would dissipate like smoke into the sweaty gym air. However, these days I’ve discovered something wonderful. Not having music to workout!
Leave your headphones at home!
I’m sure many of you are thinking ‘but I need music to motivate me!‘ and I used to feel the same way! I used to make sure that my Spotify was filled with playlists ready to get me in the mood for the gym and drag my lazy arse through a workout. Then I started thinking, why do I actually listen to music when I workout? Why do I need music to motivate me? The answer…
Because my workouts were boring as heeeelllllllll!
If you find that you need a distraction that badly, you’re doing the wrong workout.
Over the last few months, I have completely flipped my perception of exercise on its head, all with one simple change of mindset. I simply don’t do exercise that I don’t really enjoy! It is actually as simple as that.
Choose fun, not forced workouts
So you hate running huh? Well don’t do it!
Can’t stand the rowing machine? Avoid it like the plague!
Don’t want to step foot in the weights room? Mosey on past my friend!
There is not just one type of exercise for cardio or strength training. You don’t have to run to improve your fitness and you don’t have to join the triangle men in the weights room if you want to build your strength. You might not even want to step foot in a gym and that’s ok too!
If you’re looking for cardio, here’s just a few suggestions you could do instead of going for a run:
- Cross trainer
Want something a little more adventurous?
- Rock climbing
- Free running (don’t just start jumping off buildings though, join a class please and thank you!)
After some moves that help you build strength and muscle tone? No problem, here’s how you can skirt around the free weights:
- Machines (of which there are many and they tend to have little picture instructions on them to help you out!)
- A barbell class
- Circuit training
- Cross Fit
Don’t forget that sport classes as working out!
I think a lot of us can forget that playing sports is also a workout and why do we often forget? It’s because people who play sports enjoy the sport!
Do you know that saying that if you “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life“? The same applies to your workouts. If you find a workout, or workouts, that you love and really enjoy, you’ll never have to do exercise again! Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
But of course, things are never as easy as they seem, trust me I know!
Being brave and breaking through barriers
Finding workouts that you are passionate about and enjoy is easier said than done, I know this. What it takes is a bit of bravery. Some courage to try new things, break out of your comfort zone, even if it means you go to one class just once.
The good thing about gym classes is that you don’t have to commit. You go in, you try it, if you hate it just don’t go again! Then you try a new class, do you like the new class? Amazing! Go again… and again and again…
You may be thinking, ok, well how did we get so far off the topic of leaving your headphones at home? The point of my ramblings is this; if you can find the exercise that you love, you won’t even give your headphones a second thought. You’ll want to be in the moment and experience everything as fully as possible!
Free of distraction
I used to go that extra mile and leave my phone in the locker, GASP! I know, heaven forbid I should be disconnected from social media for longer than 5 minutes!
The truth is, not having that distraction helps me concentrate on my workouts more intensely, meaning I have a better mind-muscle connection and it gives me the room to just switch off from what’s happened that day.
Now, the gym has become my little haven away from computers and the online world, however, I do now take my phone onto the gym floor because my workout plan is saved on my notes, but I put it in airplane mode and leave it there until I’m done.
I still don’t listen to music and since I stopped I’ve started to actually chat to people in the gym! I talk to the trainers that manage the gym floor and they give me tips on how to use equipment or how to perform a move better. By not having my headphones plugged in, I’ve opened myself up to all the awesome people that are around me and it’s helped me to improve my gym game!
So next time you go to shove your headphones in your ear holes and trot on down to the gym, unplug, leave them at home and just experience your workout music free!
Want to help me raise money for The Mental Health Foundation? Donate to my Great Wall of China Trek over on JustGiving!