Shocking news: you’re not the only one whose New Year’s resolution is to get fit. Maybe you’re not new to the gym, but there are plenty of people who are—and they’ll be crowding your classes, sharing machines and getting acquainted with the facility this month. Good for them! It’s best to stay positive and be happy for others getting on board with improving health. But how can you keep from getting aggravated with lines, distractions and other inconveniences that peak this time of year?
These tips will help you avoid the resolutions racket at the gym, stick with your workout routine and cruise full speed ahead to the new you this New Year:
For the first few weeks in January, you may want to adjust your workout schedule. Try to avoid the busiest hours at the gym, which tend to be right after work hours. If possible, head over on your lunch break or try to squeeze in an early-morning session. It may feel like a hassle, but give it some time and you’ll be back to your normal schedule. Or maybe you’ll decide you like the new one better!
Switch up your routine
We all like our routines (myself included), but during the busy season at the gym, it can help to switch things up a bit. It’s OK to do your exercises out of order. You may even find you’re a little sore the next day from the change. Many newbies will stick with the cardio machines because they’re not yet comfortable using the free weights. Try starting your workout with strength training, then head over to do cardio when a machine frees up.
If someone is on a machine for a long period of time, feel free to politely ask if you can “work in” with them. Sharing the equipment is part of proper gym etiquette, so don’t feel bad about interrupting.
Show up early
Be sure to arrive a little early if you’re planning to take a class. If it’s a spin class, grab a bike, set up your water bottle and towel, then spend a little time stretching and warming up. The same goes for step, Zumba or aerobics classes. You’ll have your space ready and won’t stress that there won’t be room for you.
No time to stand in line? Bring your own water bottle, already filled. If you normally grab a smoothie or snack at the gym café before leaving, avoid the wait by packing your own in your gym bag. Locker rooms will also be pacjed. If you can wait to shower until you get home, you’ll save yourself some time. You can always bring along towelettes, dry shampoo and a refreshing mist if you need a quick clean up.
Remember, the madness will settle down in a few weeks. In the meantime, stick with it, adjust sensibly and don’t stress over things you can’t control. Happy New Year!
IFBB figure professional Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.