Don’t be a gym drop out this January! Top ways to stay motivated

Survey results which reveal how Mancunians stay motivated...
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Across the nation, people are flocking to the gym as part of their pledge to get fit and healthy for 2015 but as ‘Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day’ approaches on the 17th January, numbers are set to dwindle as the novelty wears off and motivation wanes.

In an attempt to help us through the January blues, The Gym Manchester has discovered the motivation personalities far more likely to make it past the 17th January and commit to their fitness habits throughout the year. A survey of regular gym users has identified that ‘Strivers’ and ‘Planners’ are far more likely to maintain their fitness resolutions, than the ‘Buddies’, ‘Rookies’ or ‘Techies’.

The survey from The Gym Group, which runs over 50 budget gyms across the UK, explored the personal attributes that kept local gym goers focused on achieving their fitness goals, rather than falling by the wayside after just a few months. The two personality types most evident in those who kept up the fitness habit throughout the year were being a ‘Striver’ – setting goals and targets or being a ‘Planner’ -with workouts clearly booked into specific time slots in a weekly schedule.

Of those asked, 82% said that striving towards a specific goal was crucial with over three quarters believing that sporting challenges such as training for a triathlon or marathon provided better motivation than working towards more social goals, such as losing weight for a wedding or milestone birthday.

Despite rapid advances and huge buzz around wearable technology, it seems that being a ‘Techie’, and using the latest gadgets, won’t necessarily help to keep you on track when it comes to your New Year fitness resolutions. A surprisingly high 81% of members surveyed felt using the latest fitness gadgets to track progress, stay on trend or compete with friends, was not a key factor in keeping them on point with their goals, with males and females over 45 showing the least interest in technology.

The success of the ‘Strivers’ is reflected in the huge increase of middle-aged men in lycra (or Mamils) competing in sporting events, with high profile examples such as Gordon Ramsey’s foray into triathlon and Ironman. Women in Manchester that maintain the exercise habit show an equal affinity to focus on sporting goals, but start younger, with the highest participating age group of female ‘Strivers’ being 26-35 year olds.

‘Planners’ are the people that make a regular commitment to a specific time for their workouts each week. Putting a workout in your diary means it’s much more likely to take place. Early morning workouts also appeared significant with this group. Over a quarter of men and women prefer to work out in the morning to kick-start their days, and many make use of the 24/7 offering at The Gym to schedule fitness around busy working lives.

Although over a quarter of both men and women agreed that having gym ‘Buddies’ helped them keep coming back to The Gym, there was a significant decline in needing this support with older age groups, reflecting the more self-conscious, image-led nature of the younger generation.

Psychologist Gill Deane comments: “Personal motivations for activity can vary greatly, but what’s evident from this research is if you’re able to identify a clear goal and allocate specific time slots each week you’re much more likely to have success in maintaining regular exercise. The key is to understand which dominant characteristics you have and use these to your advantage to help keep you committed to regular physical activity throughout the year.”

Although ‘Strivers’ and ‘Planners’ have come out on top within this survey, there was still 14% that said as ‘Rookies’ to the gym it was essential that they sought the guidance and knowledge of personal trainers particularly for the discipline and results focused plans. And despite a large majority claiming wearable technology wasn’t important, 19% admitted as ‘Techies’ that it was a vital factor for them. Overall, it’s a combination of these personality traits, and identifying what works for you as an individual, that is crucial to success with fitness resolutions.

The Gym Group Manchester is located at Bank Chambers, Faulkner Street with a monthly membership of £16.99. For more information, visit www.thegymgroup.com

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