Finally Worked up the Motivation to Go to the Gym? Do These 5 Things Before Getting on That Treadmill

Maybe you love running. Or it could just be something you’re easing yourself into.

It may have taken you a long time to muster up the motivation to get on that treadmill. Finding that extra motivation in your busy life to exercise can be tough. But once you gather up that motivation, you can’t just go straight for the treadmill. You may end up injuring yourself.

Do these five things beforehand to maximize your workout:

1. Create a plan

Do you plan to exercise every day? Every week? Or maybe even every other Tuesday? Document a plan and keep it with you. This will help you stay motivated and on course.

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2. Eat in advance

Eat something at least an hour before you work out. This way, your body will have the nutrients necessary to fuel you through your exercise routine.

3. Drink water

No matter who you are, you need to be hydrated. Any workout routine, whether it’s as simple as running, or as complex as high intensity interval training, will require you to drink water. Make sure to drink before you work out and bring a water bottle with you to keep hydrated.

“For optimal health, make sure to drink between 40 to 60 ounces a day,” said Katherine Gibson, MD, assistant professor of clinical family medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC and a primary care physician at Keck Medicine of USC. “Staying well hydrated can help you maintain your energy level, improve your mood, prevent constipation, prevent headaches, prevent kidney stones and help with weight loss.”

4. Stretch

You don’t want to get the motivation to exercise and then cramp up. Plus, when you’re on a treadmill, there isn’t anything worse than pulling a muscle. To prevent injury, make sure to take 10 minutes to stretch to get your body prepared for your workout.

“Prior to and after a run, stretching is recommended for about 10-15 minutes and should include all joints and extremities,” said Eric Tan, MD, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine and an orthopaedic surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC. “This should include your hip flexors, hip adductors, hip abductors, hamstrings, iliotibial (IT) band, quadriceps and calf muscles.”

5. Bring headphones

It’s easy to feel unmotivated when you’re on a treadmill, moving in place. Bring your headphones so you can listen to your favorite songs. They will motivate you to keep going. Remember, the longer you go, the better in shape you will be.

After you’re done with your workout routine, document your results. Keep track of them. This way, you will be able to see your progress. What better way is there to motivate yourself than to see direct results? Try these treadmill tips today and work on improving your overall health.

Do you need help with creating a workout routine? Schedule a visit with your primary care physician to discuss optimal workout levels and healthy diets to go with your workout routine.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting

By Leonard Kim