It can be intimidating to step into the gym for the first time, especially if you are new to exercise! Don’t worry, everyone is a beginner at some point, and after you get a few workouts under your belt, you’ll look like a pro.
Here are some tips from the trainers for getting a smooth start to exercise in the new year.
Take that Tour and Free Trainer Session
Definitely get a tour of the facility. You will learn where to put your things, and where to find the water fountains! The person providing the tour has heard a lot of questions, so don’t hold back – it is their goal to make sure you feel comfortable! If your gym offers a free session with a personal trainer, schedule one. This is another great opportunity for a one-on-one orientation and chance to ask questions and learn how to use the equipment. Plus, after a tour and a training session, you officially have two friends at the gym!
Show Up Early for Classes
Group fitness classes are a great way to ease into an exercise routine. Led by an instructor, you can just follow along and watch others for cues. Arrive early before your first class to give yourself time to settle in, and bring a towel and bottle of water.
Related: Fitness 101 for Beginners.
Don’t Overdo It
More is not necessarily better when it comes to exercise, especially when first getting started. It can be tempting to go all-out and challenge yourself with weights or intensity, but you’re likely to pay for it later with sore muscles or minor injuries. Exercise at a level where you feel challenged but stable, and able to perform 10-12 repetitions of an exercise without compromising technique. You will advance quickly when you start slow!
Dress the Part
Did you know that just wearing exercise clothes can increase the chances of making healthy choices? Choose exercise attire that makes you feel confident. It might be your favorite color, a shirt with an inspirational motto, or new shoes. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but the psychology of dressing the part can actually make you work harder and feel more comfortable in your surroundings!
Drink Water and Stretch
You may be tempted to tiptoe out the back door during the cool-down so you can get back to work or hurry home, but make sure you stretch before and after exercise, especially if it is a new habit. You will experience less muscle soreness and reduce the chance of minor injuries when you are well-hydrated and stretch daily.
Track Your Progress
Whether you wear a fitness tracker or have a calendar on the wall, record your exercise progress and celebrate consistency and benchmarks. You will see over time how your strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness improves as you build consistency in your habits, and a visual reminder of the proactive healthy steps you are taking is a great motivator!
Everyone has a first day for something new, and exercise is a great place to begin a new adventure. Stick with it, and before long you will be the one reaching out to a newbie to show them the ropes!
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– HEATHER FUSELIER, CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather