3 Truths About Lifelong Fitness That Personal Trainers Will Never Tell You

It’s the new year. If you’re thinking, “I am finally going to join a gym, get fit, and lose some weight,” you are not alone.

The problem is, you are highly likely to stop going to the gym after just a few months.

The dirty secret of the gym business is that most people who pay for memberships stop going.

The gym keeps the money. health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE

A Swiss fitness instructor confessed as much last year: 90% of gym memberships are paid for by “no-shows,” people who buy in but don’t appear at the gym.

So how do you become one of the 10% of people who incorporate fitness as part of their life, and go regularly, forever?

I have the answers. health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE

I’ve been working out four nights a week for about 25 years.

Now, I feel qualified to reveal — drumroll! — the three best-kept secrets of lifelong fitness.

They are also three things that no gym employee or personal fitness trainer will ever tell you.

My advice comes with caveats: I am — obviously — not going to win any beauty competitions anytime soon. I’m not a model or an athlete or one of those ripped dudes in a muscle T-shirt. health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE

My secrets will not help you drop 30 pounds in 30 days or anything like that. I am, however, in reasonable shape for my age (I’m in my 40s). I can bench-press my own bodyweight, run a 5K without getting out of breath, and swim 30 standard pool lengths in 30 minutes. My body-mass index is (just!) within the correct range for my height. health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE

These aren’t very impressive feats. My point is that, unlike you, I don’t hibernate on the sofa for six months of the year.

So here’s the ugly truth about going to the gym and sticking with it.

If you can follow these three bits of advice, you’ll enjoy lifelong fitness.

1. Go to the nearest gym to you, not the nicest gym you can afford.

You will be tempted to join the fanciest gym you can afford — like that nice one you saw with the hot tub and the sauna. health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE

But your ability to continue showing up will depend on your work schedule and your personal life, not whether the steam smells minty fresh. health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE

If the gym commute is more than 10 minutes, it suddenly becomes difficult to squeeze in a workout before or after work. Ideally, you want to work out for about an hour each day. Once you factor in showering and changing, and the commute to and from your gym, that can easily end up closer to two and a half hours. SHOW MORE

health, nutrition, diet, food, science, health, food, nutrition, diet, science, health, nutrition, food, science, health, nutrition, science, COOL STUFF, WORKOUT, FITNESS, EXERCISE, MUSCLE, COOL STUFF, SCIENCE