How to Survive Your First Gym VisitArticle posted in: Fitness
It is officially the new year. As the tempting treats of holidays past slowly fade into distant memories, reality sets in that many of us have indulged a wee bit too much. January is the perfect time to reset and create new habits for a healthier future. What better place to do so than the gym? It’s social, it’s not weather dependent, and it has all the machines, tools, and professional expertise to facilitate good fitness practices.
For all the gym newbies out there, relax. Every person at the gym, from the professional body-builder to the marathon treadmill runner, started from scratch, just like you. You should be proud of yourself for taking this initial step.
Now that you have, let’s review some of the basics. By now you know: in order to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. This can be achieved not only by eating fewer calories, but also by increasing physical activity. Some gym activities for weight loss are running, spinning, using the elliptical, aerobic classes, and jumping rope. The World Health Organization also recommends incorporating muscle strengthening into your routine at least two days a week to increase lean body mass. Here are some tips to help you survive your first gym visit:
Come Prepared. Having the right tools for a successful workout is key. Wear comfortable clothes and proper shoes that can handle perspiration and movement. Remember to pack a water bottle, as hydration is essential to endurance. If your favorite tunes pump you up, bring headphones and a portable music player. If you plan on utilizing the showers post-workout, stock-up on travel toiletries and shower shoes to enable a quick transition from the gym to the rest of your day.
Get Educated. Have a staff member give you a tour of the facilities. The gym is full of useful equipment. Trainers are there to teach you how to properly utilize these machines to avoid injury and exercise efficiently. Take advantage of their expertise so that you can practice proper form during your workout.
Start Small. Don’t overdo it on your first day. Strive for progress, not perfection. It is always best to start small and increase endurance and weight limits at a safe measure to avoid injury. For example, walking briskly can be the first step to running. Include a warm-up and cool-down into your routine and remember to stretch any muscle groups you plan on using. Consistency creates results. Stick with it and build at your own pace.