So you’ve made the decision to join a gym and make that important life change. That’s great! Getting a gym membership is a big step in the right direction when it comes to personal health and fitness. It gives you a dedicated, distraction-free space to get your workout in, is an awesome way to meet new people, and get in shape all at the same time.
The road to health isn’t always a straight line. It’s a journey that sometimes takes perseverance and devotion. One of the most difficult parts about making a change for your health is staying accountable. But fear not! As fitness professionals, we know all the tips and tricks to help keep you on track.
Set Realistic Goals
Once you’ve joined a gym, the first step is to evaluate your goals. We all want to lose weight and get in shape quickly, but the speed at which progress comes fluctuates. Just as with any other task, you’ll have good weeks and bad weeks. That’s why it’s important to set realistic goals. You may want to lose 5 lbs a week, but 1.5 might be more achievable. Some gyms, like ATC Fitness, will have staff on hand to help you work out a plan that’s right for you, and can even point you in the right direction on how to begin.
Workout With Friends
Exercising with a buddy is one of the most effective ways to stay accountable at the gym. Making a pact with a friend to workout gives you an incentive to show up and sweat, even when you don’t want to. Staying dedicated takes effort, and if you have trouble promising yourself that you’ll get up and get going, then having a friend to cheer you on as you work together to be healthier is a great tactic. You both get the benefits of a gym, social interaction, and positive reinforcement. The only thing better than working out with one friend is working out with a group of them! When it comes to fitness, the more the merrier. A solid support network will have you well on your way to achieving your goals.
We recognize that COVID-19 protocols and concerns can limit the number of people you work out with in person. That’s okay! If you prefer to work out together, ATC Fitness is equipped to provide you a great workout space, socially distanced and safe. If you have to work out at different times, you can still hold each other accountable. Communicate with your accountability partners through texts and messaging and keep pushing each other.
Plan Your Meals
More often than not, this is where we see people stumble most often. It’s easy to come to the gym, workout for an hour, and then feel like you deserve that cheeseburger you’ve been fantasizing about all day. Depending on how hard you’ve been working out, you might (but probably shouldn’t). One of the keys to successful weight loss is staying in a calorie deficit. That means that you’ve consumed only as many calories or less than you need.
This is where meal planning comes in. If you know you have a tough time eating a healthy breakfast when you wake up in the morning or know that you’re usually too tired to cook after your evening workout, plan ahead! Keeping a journal or even a spreadsheet of what you’re going to eat at what time is a time tested technique that works. You can even take it a step further and prepare your meals in bulk ahead of time so that your food is ready to go when you are.
Join a Fitness Program
Sometimes you need advice, and joining a fitness program is a great way to get guidance while you’re at the gym. Just like bringing a friend, signing up for a long term fitness program is likely to keep you coming back.
At ATC Fitness, we offer our Smart Start program free of charge. Our staff helps you customize your workout, no matter your level of fitness. We begin by helping you evaluate your goals. Then, we walk you through a workout routine that suits your needs. We’ll show you how to use the equipment and give you an explanation of how and why each machine works for your goals. After 15 visits, we sit down with you and check on your progress. If something isn’t really doing the trick, then we make adjustments to help you be successful.
For many people, this is a starting point. Smart devices have so many useful apps that can help you track your progress. Keep up with your calories, steps, and hit goals. Many of these apps even have ways to keep up with your meals, and can offer suggestions on what to cook for every meal! The Apple Watch and FitBit are also fantastic tools to help you track your vitals and let you know when you’ve hit a goal.
Take Lots of Photos
There’s no feeling quite as wonderful as looking in the mirror and seeing your gains live and in person. However, sometimes you might not feel like you’ve made any progress at all. That’s where pictures come in. Take a picture of yourself at the beginning of your journey, and snap one each week. This way you can see appreciable progress from where you began. As we mentioned, you’re going to have good and bad days. Sometimes all it takes to get motivated is to see how far you’ve come.
Share Your Progress
While you’re at it, you may as well share those pictures and milestones with your friends and family on social media. Showing others your progress is a wonderful way to get a boost of confidence. No one is going to shame you for working hard, so drop that selfie! In fact, you never know; your fitness journey may be inspiring others to make a change for the better in their own lives.
When you reach one of your milestones, treat yourself. Giving yourself a reward for a job well done is a totally acceptable form of self-care. We’re not saying you should go out and buy a car or anything. But if you’ve had your eye on a piece of clothing, or have a fun activity in mind, take the steps to make that happen!
Keep Your Eyes On the Prize
Ultimately, your fitness journey is never really complete. Even when you meet your goal, it’s important to continue to make exercise and good habits part of your life. Sometimes it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, but it helps if you can visualize your goal. If you want to look great on the beach next summer, remember that when you’re tempted to skip leg day. If you want to impress your doctor with your increased fitness, imagine that praise. Success looks different for everyone!
ATC Fitness Is Here to Help
Are you ready to get started? We are! ATC Fitness is your home for health, exercise, and a quality gym experience. Check out our membership options and get ready to enjoy benefits like tanning beds and hydromassage on your road to wellness!
1. Fuel your body
We’re all just a little more stressed these days. The current pandemic has really tested our mental and physical mettle, and it’s easy to reach for comfort foods as a way to temporarily ease the anxiety. However, now more than ever, it’s especially important that we protect and optimize our overall health by fueling our body with the proper nutrients. Be sure to include more fiber-rich, plant-based foods in your diet to maintain a lower body weight and boost your immune system. Think vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. And for something sweet, opt for natural, whole food options like bananas, sweet potatoes, and berries.
2. Stay active
Staying active during a pandemic can keep you physically healthy, but it can also boost your mental well-being, too. If you can’t get to the gym, try an at-home workout, or get outside and enjoy the fresh air (some extra vitamin D can’t hurt — just remember to wear sunscreen). Sticking with an exercise routine can help lower your risk of developing certain health conditions such as:
High blood pressure
Several types of cancer such as breast, colorectal, and lung
Aside from these benefits, a good workout can boost your mood and brighten your overall outlook. And who doesn’t need that right now?
3. Get enough sleep
Our bodies need adequate sleep in order to stay healthy and function properly, especially during times of extreme stress. Given the real and tangible threats from COVID-19, it’s normal to experience some level of sleep deficiency. However, it’s important to understand that most of us are in a position to control our behaviors and reduce the effects of the pandemic on our sleep schedule. Remember to keep a consistent routine throughout the day and expose yourself to natural sunlight whenever possible. This is another area where exercise helps as it can significantly improve your sleep quality. Lastly, be sure to avoid drinking too much caffeine and avoid it completely after 2 p.m.
4. Practice mindfulness
At this moment, our lives are filled with potentially unsettling changes. We’ve had to adapt to a “new normal” in many instances, and that can heighten anxiety and create additional stress. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to live in and accept the present; it can reduce worry and help us to be intentional about our daily activities. To practice mindfulness throughout your day, consider trying the following:
Start your day with 1-2 minutes of deep breathing
Download a mindfulness app and try a guided meditation
Take a walk outside and notice the sounds, colors, and natural elements around you
Do a few yoga stretches
There are many different ways to practice mindfulness. Find what works best for you and your routine.
Staying Healthy at ATC Fitness
The team at ATC Fitness is committed to keeping you healthy during these uncertain times. Our facilities are open and abiding by closely-governed state regulations to ensure a clean and safe environment for your next workout. To learn more about how we’re prioritizing your health and safety, check out our FAQ page.
If you’re ready to begin your wellness journey, be sure to check out our gym membership options and apply today!
With COVID-19 still at the forefront of all our minds, social distancing precautions and regulations don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Let’s be real, living in a pandemic can cause extreme stress and anxiety for every age group. Social distancing can make us feel lonely, which can ultimately increase anxiety in our daily lives. Luckily, health professionals and the CDC have worked to provide us with methods for reducing the stress and anxiety brought to light by social distancing.
5 Ways to Cope With the Stress of Social Distancing
By learning how to cope with stress and anxiety in healthy ways, you can help encourage your entire community to stay strong during this pandemic. Here are a few recommendations for reducing stress and anxiety while taking social distancing seriously:
1. Stay active.
Staying active and exercising regularly is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety. When we participate in physical activity, our body releases endorphins which in return reduce stress, improve sleep and more. During this pandemic, it’s important to put our nervous energy to use and get active.
Aerobic Exercise for Reducing Stress
Aerobic exercise is known to help decrease stress and anxiety levels. If you have ever heard the term “runner’s high,” this is what we are referring to. Aerobic exercise is any form of cardio workout. A few examples of aerobic exercise are:
2. Invest in your mental health.
Another way to cope with stress and anxiety during COVID-19 is to invest in your own mental health. Oftentimes, we tend to push our mental health to the side when we are busy or overwhelmed with everyday life. It’s always a good idea to take a step back and focus on yourself. You can invest in your mental health in a variety of ways, including exercising regularly, finding a hobby, spending time with loved ones and more.
Exercising regularly doesn’t just promote physical well being. It also helps improve your overall mental state. Now more than ever, getting in a routine of staying active is important. Exercising helps improve your mental health by reducing depression, anxiety and overall mood. Oftentimes, people find themselves in a gym letting out some steam on a bad day.
Pick up a hobby.
Another way to invest in your mental health is to pick up a hobby (or continue an existing one.) If you love to be creative, consider letting those juices flow during your free time at home. If you love gardening, now is a great time to put your efforts into seeing your plants thrive! Whatever your hobby may be, social distancing gives you the opportunity to take advantage of a little extra time in the day to have fun doing the things you love most.
3. Take time to be alone.
Sometimes, all you may need to reduce stress and anxiety is a day to yourself. If you live with family or roommates, spending an extensive amount of time together can really put a strain on your mental health. Spending time alone can help re energize your brain and reduce stress and anxiety. There are a variety of ways you can spend time alone, including:
Visiting the gym for a workout
Going for a run
Walking around the park
Taking a nap
4. Encourage your community.
Lastly, an educated and encouraged community is what we need to defeat this virus. When those around us know the proper precautions and social distancing measures to take, we can all live less stressful and anxiety-filled lives. Once you’ve done your research and learn facts regarding COVID-19, talk to your family and friends about what you’ve learned. Encourage others to do the same.
Staying Active at ATC Fitness
At ATC Fitness, the health and safety of our members and employees is our top priority. In response to COVID-19 and health guidelines, we are learning to adapt to the new environment by implementing social distancing, sanitizing all equipment and more. Staying active is a great way to help reduce stress and anxiety right now, so we would love to see you at one of our 18 locations.
To learn more about how ATC Fitness is responding to COVID-19, check out our response today.
What to Pack in Your Gym Bag
There’s nothing worse than getting to your workout and realizing you forgot to pack something in your gym bag. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there before. If you’ve ever felt like you can never remember all of your gym bag necessities, you’ve come to the right place. Packing your gym bag doesn’t have to be so hard when you have a list of everything you may need while working out. Now, you’ll be prepared for all of your workouts with the ideal gym bag.
10 Items You Need in Your Gym Bag
A well-packed gym bag not only includes items you’ll need during your workout, but also all of the necessary supplies you may need before and afterwards. We are here to give you the ultimate list of gym bag necessities. From pre-workout essentials to cooling down, here are the 10 gym bag items you should never forget:
Being able to listen to music, podcasts, videos and more will help you stay motivated to continue working out while at the gym. Nobody enjoys listening to themselves breathe heavily while working out. Headphones can serve as a bit of a distraction during your workout, giving you something to focus on rather than yourself being worn out. Whether you like to wear wireless earbuds or larger headphones, it’s always important to toss a pair of them into your gym bag.
2. Water Bottle
One of the most important things to do during a workout is to stay hydrated. Bringing your own reusable water bottle allows you to keep water on hand while you workout. Instead of buying a disposable water bottle every time you visit the gym, reusable water bottles are also a great way to save money.
3. Microfiber Gym Towel
If you have ever used a normal towel at the gym, you may understand how frustrating it can be to have your sweat soak through instantly. Microfiber gym towels are designed to dry quickly, allowing you to continue using your gym towel during the entire workout.
Of course, you will need to pack your favorite pair of gym sneakers. Finding the right pair of gym shoes can be difficult. However, it’s important to invest in a good pair of workout shoes that will last a long time. The right pair of sneakers can make a huge difference in your workout routine.
Whether you want to shower or just rinse off, it’s always a good idea to freshen up after a workout. This is why it’s important to remember a few essential toiletries to pack in your gym bag. Toiletries you may need after the gym might include:
Shampoo and conditioner
6. Change of Clothes
Unless you always head straight home after the gym, it’s never a bad idea to keep an extra change of clothes in your gym bag. You never know when an emergency may arise and you need to quickly get dressed to run errands or meet a friend. We recommend bringing light weight clothing to change into, because you want to give your body the ability to breathe after a heavy workout.
7. Cleansing Wipes
If post-workout showers aren’t really your thing, cleansing wipes may become your new favorite workout buddy. When you’re in a rush to get out the door, cleansing wipes can be a helpful item to have stuffed in your gym bag. These help remove sweat while also taking away any odor you may have developed while working out.
8. Gym Lock
Whether your gym provides locks or not, it can be beneficial to bring your own for the safety of your personal belongings. If you are out of town, you never know if your hotel’s gym provides locks, so it’s important to pack your own.
9. Post-Workout Snack
Post-workout snacks can be one of the most beneficial ways to rejuvenate your body physically after visiting the gym. Simple protein-heavy snacks can help restore energy and help heal your body at a quicker rate. A few healthy post-workout snacks are:
10. ATC Fitness Membership Card
Last, but certainly not least, always remember to pack your ATC Fitness Membership card! It’s never fun to arrive at the gym and soon realize you’ve forgotten one of the most important gym bag necessities. Your gym membership card will not only get you in the door, but it also prevents you from having to manually check in, allowing you to get into your workout quicker.
Here at ATC Fitness, we are committed to providing you with the most beneficial information you may need while working out in one of our facilities. Are you ready to get started on your fitness journey? Don’t wait any longer! Contact us today or check out our membership options.
How to Stay Motivated to Workout While Traveling
One of the most important parts about staying motivated to workout is having a daily routine. At home, you’re able to religiously follow your routine of packing a gym bag, laying out gym clothes, and more. However, when you’re traveling, you may have to do a bit more work in order to stay fit on the road. Whether you are on vacation or a business trip, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get up and workout every morning or evening, because there are an abundance of other activities you could be doing. You may, however, find yourself having more time and energy to spend towards fun activities when you stick to your daily workout routine. Sticking to a somewhat normal routine will help you stay motivated when you return home.
7 Ways to Stay in Shape While Traveling
Working out while on the road doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to achieving your fitness goals on vacation in no time. Here are a few ways you can stay in shape while traveling:
1. Set daily goals.
Setting goals are one of the most important parts of having a successful workout routine. Without goals, you won’t be able to track your progress or have a vision for the future. This still applies while you are traveling. Although you may not have access to a scale at your hotel, you can still set alternative goals to weight loss. This may include running a longer distance, lifting heavier weights, staying an extra 20 minutes, and more. By planning ahead and writing these goals down prior to arriving at your destination, you will already know the goals you have set for yourself while traveling, helping to keep you motivated.
2. Pack a gym bag.
Is packing your gym bag part of your daily routine before getting to the gym everyday? If so, you’re not alone. Even the simplest parts of our schedules like throwing a towel into our bag can make a huge difference when it comes to staying motivated. If you tend to carry your gym bag with you at home, we recommend doing the same while traveling. When you arrive at your hotel, immediately set your gym bag aside so that you will see it every morning when you wake up. Simple steps such as packing your gym bag can keep you motivated to stay active on the road.
3. Find a relaxing workout spot.
One incredible part of working out while traveling is that you can find a workout space that is a reward within itself. Whether you are at the beach or in the mountains, you are sure to be surrounded by breathtaking views. Soak these moments in while working out. You don’t have to stay in your hotel’s gym to workout. Instead, take a stroll and find a relaxing space to do your exercise routine. You will find it much more motivating and enjoyable to workout when you are gazing into a gorgeous view of your vacation destination.
4. Treat yourself afterwards.
As humans, gratification is built-in to our bodies. What’s the point in fighting the urge to treat ourselves every once in a while? While traveling, the desire to stay fit doesn’t have to remove your opportunities to enjoy your time away from home. Let’s be real. Working out on vacation doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing for everyone. However, it can be an outlet for rewarding yourself. After your daily workouts, treat yourself to time alone, a special food or drink, or even an exciting excursion you couldn’t experience elsewhere. These rewards will help you stay motivated to get out of bed and stay fit while on the road.
5. Take a local gym class.
If you love to take group classes at your local gym, don’t stop while on vacation! Group classes are one of the best ways to motivate yourself and others to continue working towards fitness goals. At ATC Fitness, we help members to stay active even while on the road by offering group classes, fitness programs, and more. With a multitude of amenities, each of our locations is fit for travelers like you to continue staying motivated to workout while also enjoying your vacation.
Staying Motivated at ATC Fitness
It can be easy to stray away from your workout routine while traveling. However, staying motivated to stay active on the road comes with a variety of rewards. By setting goals, planning ahead, and taking advantage of your surroundings, you can continue staying motivated to workout while traveling for family vacation or business trips.
Here at ATC Fitness, we are passionate about helping you reach your health and wellness goals. We want to serve you by providing tips and tricks on staying motivated to workout no matter where you are. If you are ready to get started on your fitness journey, check out our gym membership options. We can’t wait to see you succeed!