By Paul R. - 2007-10-06
Exercising at the gym can yield some amazing results, but if you have not done this before you may feel uneasy about starting. It is easy to think that everyone knows what they are doing apart from yourself. You may worry about looking a klutz, or imagine that your body does not look as good as others, or whether you are able to do the exercises.
Fall is here but does that mean that your fitness goals will be blown way like the leaves from the trees?
At the outset this is usually OK because most gyms will break you in gently just to show you the various exercise machines but later you may become confused unless you have engaged a personal trainer. You may even find yourself in the unfortunate position of not being able to remember what has been shown you and further add to your embarrassment.
Stand back for a second and remember that these feelings are not unique to you - everyone joining the gym for the first time feels the same. As each day passes your confidence will grow and within time you'll be strolling through your gym exercises with all the poise of a consummate fitness pro!
Try these fitness tips to help you through your fledgling stages:
1. If you're a rank amateur, you may consider engaging a trainer to start of with until you become more experienced or alternatively go along to the training classes with a friend, so that way you can both learn together.
2. Decide which days you are going to go to the gym, and make a contract with yourself that nothing short of an emergency will stop you from going. The idea is to make going to the gym a habit just like taking a shower or brushing your teeth. Over the passage of time your persistence will be rewarded as the new dynamic, physically fit individual emerges.
3. Don't rely on your memory when a staff member is showing you how to use the machines at the initial lesson but instead take a few brief notes so that when you come back you have a record of what machine does what and how you should operate it and for how long.
4. Remember to wear loose clothes or clothes with plenty of stretch. Many people go out and buy workout clothes that are too tight in anticipation of their new weight reduced size, but when the weight reduction takes longer than anticipated the tight clothing can be a constant nag.
5. Many people get hung up over being over weight - don't be! In some respects it is better to be a few pounds overweight as your results will be more noticeable than for slim people and you will find this will motivate you to carry on with your routine with increased vigour. Be sure and take a photo of yourself before you start exercising so that you have a before and after record of your success!
6. Take it east to start with. The danger is to push yourself to the max straight away become fatigued and take a day of to recover. Missing a session occasionally is OK but miss too many and you may just decide not to continue. So initially at least take your time and work at your own pace then you can increase your tempo as your stamina increases.
7. For some of us that are carrying a few more pounds than we should we may have a problem with our stomachs being too large to fit behind some of the exercise machines - don't despair! Try building up your fitness and losing some weight on the treadmill to begin with before moving on to some of the other machines. Also consider swimming as an occasional alternative to gym exercise.
8. Most gyms and health clubs want repeat customers so don't be afraid to ask the staff questions. If you have forgotten how to use a particular machine or how to set it up for your height and weight make sure that you get someone to help you - they need your business, so ask!
9. When using a treadmill if you find your knee and ankle joints complaining when you increase the speed try increasing the gradient instead. It might surprise you to learn that with the treadmill on an incline and on a slower speed you will burn more calories than if you go jogging.
10. You need to push yourself a little to make progress but don't be too hard on yourself either. Try exercising twenty minutes on the treadmill, then increase the speed or incline to push your envelope slightly. If you want to succeed at anything you have to put the work in!
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