"Just being skinny is not enough. Exercise is the key to staying healthy. So we should put working out on your schedule," said Zulbayar Ganbaatar, a senior from Mongolia studying human resource and communications. Other BYU-Hawaii students shared their experiences on how a gym partner, good mindset, and healthy living can help maintain the motivation to work out.
Jerome De Leon, a senior from the Philippines studying information technology, said having a friend as his gym partner keeps him accountable. “Sometimes when I feel tired and don’t want to go to the gym, my friend would invite me so I can go along, and we would share ideas about how to improve and do a more proper workout.”
Rodger Jin, a senior from South Korea studying biology, said gym partners are essential. “Find a gym partner so you can exercise together because it’s annoying to ask someone else all the time.”
Jin said he and his gym partner watch YouTube videos about weightlifting together and share the new information they find. “And then we try to incorporate what we learned to our workout, which makes things more effective than figuring things out alone.”
In contrast, Ganbaatar does not have a gym partner but sees the gym as a part of her life. “I’m always passionate about working out. It has become a part of my life and a pattern that I never try to miss.”
Jin added that although going to the gym requires a lot of motivation and willpower at first, eventually it will become easier to work out. “It became a habit for me, and I feel guilty when I don’t go to the gym.”
De Leon added, “I get tired easily, but the thought of knowing that exercising is good for me helps pushing myself further. I always remember the time when I stopped going to the gym for a couple weeks, I felt weaker and smaller. I kept that in mind whenever I feel like giving up.”
He added that his habit of working out started in his mission. “I love the lifestyle in the mission, and I see the fruits of working out. I went from 118 pounds to 145 pounds. Once you see the results, the process becomes easier and it just makes you want to keep going more often.”
Jin said having a goal was important. “My goal was to lose weight and get buff. I kept measuring my weight so I can remind myself that I need to workout more.”
For people who have health issues such as getting easily fatigued and light-headed, Ganbaatar suggested to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. He said having a healthy lifestyle include sleeping and waking up early each day and eating healthy food.
Good foods Ganbaatar listed include vegetables, fruits, and good protein foods like chicken breasts and eggs without the yoke. “For me, I have oatmeal and smoothies with berries for breakfast. If you still feel a lack of strength, you can try taking supplement like BCAA and whey protein.”
Jin said he tries to keep a balanced diet and stopped eating junk food. “It's crazy to think that small things like sleeping six hours a day has such a big impact on your body.”
Time should never be an excuse to skip gym, Jin added. “Prioritizing your time can resolve that concern. Try to finish everything during the day so you can go to the gym at night. ... Also I hope more Koreans can exercise at the gym. I think I'm one of the few Koreans at the gym each day.”