Beginning in the Gym...
It is January and you know what, it's ok to set yourself a new fitness or weight loss goals.
But it does require realistic manageable small steps in the right direction. When someone makes too many changes too quickly, it is unlikely they will manage to maintain these changes. Everyone will be better of if they take one small step at a time.
Here are a few simple steps -
Be kind to Yourself
Ok, gyms can be super intimidating. Especially if you're new. If you have someone that knows or feels confident in what they're doing, then bring them along or join them. This can be a great distraction and a great way to ease in. If the gym is offering an induction, take it. This can be a great way to ask any questions you have and investigate any areas you're more likely to use. Some gyms also offer programming which can help you have some direction in what you could be doing when you travel up to the gym floor.
If you are very nervous, it can help to just get used to the environment. Get in your gym kit and just walk on to the gym floor. Yes, just walk around a few times to see what you are happy doing, then you can leave if you aren't 100% ready. One day you will feel happy enough to try some bits of kit, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Don't set any major expectations for January #bekind to yourself and ease yourself in.
Start with 1 or 2 Sessions a Week
Every year, as a trainer, we hear about massive unrealistic expectations. 7 days a week training or visiting the gym twice a day, this is not realistic for any normal person. Begin with 1 or 2 sessions a week. This allows time for you to find the best time of day to suit you, the best days of the week to visit the gym and it will give your body a chance to adapt. If and when you feel ready to add more sessions to your training week, then do it when you are ready.
Do Not Work to Your Maximum
When you are building up your tolerance to running, lifting, cycling or any other type of training, ease your heart, muscles and lungs in slowly. You will be less inclined to continue going if you really max out your body. Not only will it feel way past your comfort zone but your body will also hurt very much the next day and maybe a few days after that.
Wear Clothes that Feel Comfortable
There are many people in the gym that take their fashion seriously. Unless this will help you feel more comfortable, just wear what you feel happy in and also what you can move in easily. No one will honestly care about what you're wearing at all. Most people are more interested in themselves, so please do not worry about what brand you're attending the gym in.
If Weight Loss is Your Goal, Don't Expect Miracles
Genuine fat loss takes time and careful nutritional planning. The gym won't necessarily be your prime way to lose excess body fat. I would naturally be inclined to tell clients to start with either nutrition or exercise. Again, the reason for this would be that they it will be too much in one go. Nutrition will be the main reason for weight loss. Exercise is almost like the helper to increase health and wellbeing.
Try All Types of Exercise
One thing I used to get a lot while working in a gym was "I don't like going to a gym". My response would be, why have you joined then. It is very unlikely that people will stay a member of a gym if they do not enjoy the environment or spend their time hating what they are doing. I always encourage people to try new classes, different instructors and give everything a go. Their are many different ways to exercise or train, find something you're passionate about.