Becoming a Gym Rat

Like so many people I’ve had a gym membership for several months, but unfortunately about 6 weeks after I got it last fall I was thrown for a loop by a knee injury (while swimming of all things, which was then compounded by a severe hamstring pull). So, for months the membership languished unused.

Now at the urging of my Physical Therapist I have been encouraged to re-engage at the gym and use the equipment to build back my muscle and protect my knees from future injuries.

I tell you this story because I’m surprised to discover that lurking under my div school, organizing, gadget girl exterior, I’m discovering an unexpected “gym rat.” Now, it’s still the early stages… so I’ll have keep everyone posted about whether my internal gym rat continues to develop. Nevertheless, I thought I would offer a few insights I’ve gained about how to “get organized” and help YOUR internal “gym rattiness” to kick in gear.

  1. Have a plan– know exactly what you’re going to do before you even get in the car to go. Whether there’s a routine you developed with your trainer, physical therapist, or a class you’re planning to take. Knowing the steps you’re planning to accomplish while you’re there allows the time to flow. 
  2. Keep your gym bag packed– I put together a full set of workout clothes, gym shoes, combo lock, water bottle, etc, and now have them permanently packed in my trunk. When I workout I bring in the sweaty clothes and put a fresh set of gear next to my purse to take out to the car the next morning.
  3. Create a great playlist– most people I see at the gym are just “doin’ their thing” with their ipods and headsets, and I’ve found that having good music to pump me up while doing my cardio makes the time fly by.
  4. Listen to your rhythms– Everyone is different and finding the right time of day to fit that gym trip in will make it more enjoyable for you. (I’m discovering afternoons are great for me, either a bit after lunch or right before dinner.)

I hope these suggestions can help you make taking care of your body an easy part of your regular routine.

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