I know we all joke about it, but its true – January will see more people heading into gyms than any other month of the year. Getting fitter, healthier or trying to lose weight is one of, if not the most popular New Year’s resolution, and although its something a lot of people poke fun at, I for one am here for it, each and every year, because I think its a fabulous resolution to have.
I also know that if you’re a first time gym member, or haven’t been to a gym for a long long time, it can be a kinda terrifying experience for you. Trust me, I’ve been there. And while I’m not a fitness professional, I have been a regular gym user for about the last 7 years, and so I’d like to share some advice for all of you who feel like you’re a little out of your comfort zone as you go into the gym this January (or any time, if you’re reading this in the future!).
Do a gym tour/introduction session
Most gyms will offer new members a tour of the facilities, which is a great way for you to get the lay of the land and ease yourself in slowly. It also gives you a chance to get to know the staff a little, and get the low-down on any rules of the gym, plus its a great chance for you to..
Ask the questions that you want answered
How do I use this piece of equipment? What exercises should I be doing to work on this area? Don’t be worried to ask gym staff as many questions as you need to because as well as it being part of their job to help you feel comfortable at the gym, they’d also rather you asked a question that you thought might be silly, than you not ask them and potentially hurt yourself, or even just not feel like you know what you’re doing.
Don’t assume other gym members dislike you
I see SO MANY people on Twitter at this time of year say things like ‘ugh everyone in the gym is so judgemental of us gym newbies’ and it really bothers me because most gym-goers aren’t focused on anything but their own workout. If anyone has said, or does say anything to you that makes you feel bad, I’m so sorry that you’ve had a bad experience but if nothing has been actually said to you then please don’t make the assumptions that people are that nasty because most of us aren’t like that, promise!
Start off slowly
It might go without saying, but don’t push yourself too hard straight off the bat. All good things take time and getting your workout routine right is no different!
Know the difference between ‘the burn’ and real pain
You’re going to want to feel ‘the burn’, and that means that what you’re doing is working, but that is something that should subside fairly swiftly after you finish that exercise. If you’re still in significant pain for some time after you stop whatever it is you were doing, that’s a sign that you may have done some actual damage, and if that’s the case then please don’t try to push through that.
Have fun with it
I personally love going to the gym, and that’s why I go, because if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t do it. The trick is finding something that you actually enjoy doing at the gym. If you hate what you’re doing, try something different, and keep trying until something sticks, but honestly you’ve got so many options to try so keep at it!
Remember, only you can make your fitness goals happen, so ignore everyone else who says otherwise and let’s do this!