8 ways to get more from your gym membership 8 ways to get more from your gym membership

1. Stay classy

Trying a new class has multiple benefits, from alleviating boredom to warding off plateauing results by challenging your body to master new moves. Trainers recommend tweaking programs every six to eight weeks – why not consider throwing a new class into the mix?

Try: Piloxing, a high-energy mix of Pilates and boxing is designed to trim, strengthen and tone.

2. Find your flow

Sometimes lowering the intensity is just as beneficial as a high impact, fat-torching workout. Alternating high intensity days with yoga or Pilates “down” days can boost recovery while building flexibility and suppleness. Pilates converts list longer, stronger muscles and improved concentration, co-ordination and balance as benefits, while yoga connects breath and body with weight bearing movements that build strength and endurance – great for promoting circulation, digestion, stress relief and energy.

Try: Body Balance combines the best of both worlds, with tai chi thrown in for good measure.

3. Become a groupie

Yes, you can! Motivation can be hard work on your own, but being surrounded by likeminded people with similar health goals can put the fun into physical. Training with a buddy or in a group provides the social atmosphere to stay positive. Camaraderie can push you to new heights through healthy competition and having teammates willing you on – not to mention the accountability element to keep you honest.

Try: Go hardcore with Functional Fit group workouts.

4. Short and sweet

If “go hard or go home” is your mantra, we’ve got you covered with classes that focus on high intensity intervals to get you in and out in a jiffy. Boxing is one of the best ways to get in shape because it’s a non-stop, full-body workout, while circuit training alternates between upper and lower body moves with a series of exercises at maximum intensity with minimal rest. Half an hour and you’re done!

Try: Circuit, boxing, GRITstrength.

5. Put a deadline on it

Nothing invites procrastination like having no end in sight. Goal setting 1.01: having a deadline helps to solidify your aims, giving yourself a bigger picture to work towards and a sense of urgency for action. Break the big picture into manageable steps so you can measure your progress. Seeing results along the way is a massive boost to confidence and motivation – just ask our 12 Week Challenge winner.

Try: 12 Week Challenge

6. Be wise AND personalize

Want results? Get strategic and enlist the help of experts who can guide and support you along the way. Learn how to stay motivated through new approaches to workouts, eating for your body type, and combating challenges head-on.

Try: A PT session, Food Coaching.

7. Connect with a support crew

Broadly speaking, humans need connection. And while survival of the species may not depend on having friends at the gym, take it from us, you’re far more likely to enjoy the experience if you do. Share challenges, fears, successes and ideas with others in the Fernwood community via Facebook, follow inspiring tweets and enlist buddies to train for team events. You are not alone!

Try: Check out Fernwood blog posts, share an inspiring story with the magazine or register for the 28 Day Breakthru.

8. Therapy

Tap into the powerful connection between emotion and exercise. From dispelling a bad mood by venting a frustration to lifting energy levels and alleviating anxious or depressing thoughts, exercise is a proven therapeutic tool. Theories on motivation also advocate exercise for the satisfaction and drive it delivers when you meet challenges and master new skills.

Try: Channel aggression in Body Combat or shake it out with SH’BAM.