If you’re just starting your lifestyle change, you know one of the most important components to losing weight is exercise. The most popular place to exercise is in a gym. The ‘G’ word can evoke fear, stress, and/or panic causing the individual to give up before even starting. It doesn’t have to be that way if you know what to do. I’ve compiled a list to help you choose the best gym for you, as well as, how to actually go inside.
Choosing a gym:
- Try to select a gym that is close to where live or work. This tip is almost self-explanatory. Convenience doesn’t always play a big part in selecting a gym, but it should. Picking one farther away, for whatever reason, can lead you to start making excuses. If your gym is within a 1-2 mile radius of your house, you can easily walk there on warmer days or if your car is in the repair shop.
- Choose a gym that fits your schedule. Going to the gym is hard as is, but it becomes even more difficult if you work unusual hours. There no need to add more obstacles on top of that. Depending on what you need, try choosing a gym that opens early or closes late. If you can find a 24-hour gym, that’s even better.
- Pick a gym that offers a free trial. You want to know what you’re getting yourself into. While you’re at it, ask if they offer a tour from a trainer. Getting one, or both of these things, will allow you to test out equipment and gauge what kind of environment you’re dealing with. Ask yourself if this is the kind of place you would enjoy coming back to several times a week. Does the energy suit you?
- Look for a well-rounded gym. This type of gym will offer classes, have weights, various cardio machines, and maybe even a swimming pool. Picking a gym that has options is important because boredom does occur. Also, body will get used to doing only one thing. This can lead to plateaus and discouragement. Choose variety because your body needs it. And for the parents, this may mean a gym with childcare services! [Thanks Victoria!]
- Price! Going to the gym should not break the bank. It should be well within your price point. If you can’t afford it, you’ll use that as an excuse to not go. There are a lot of gyms with relatively cheap membership fees. Some even offer discounts for students and/or low-income households. It does not hurt to ask, and you may even learn of some ways to save money if you don’t qualify for need-based discounts!
So now you’ve selected your gym, but you don’t have the confidence to walk in…
I remember walking into a gym for the first time since I was 12. The fear that enveloped me cannot be described. In my head, I convinced myself that everyone would be watching me and judging my overweight body as it made its way to the treadmills. I could hear their criticisms loud and clear in my head. “Another new year resolutionist”, “She’s not going to last long”, or “What’s this ******** doing here?” I paid forty dollars for that membership and I was willing to let it go to waste because I was sure everyone would stare at me until I left in shame. I finally made my way to the entrance, entered, and successfully completed my first workout! Here’s how I did it:
- Use the buddy system. I entered the gym with my sister and cousin. My cousin was a regular so she showed me the ropes and because she wasn’t a newbie, my confidence soared. Go with a friend, relative, or co-worker if it means being less self-conscious. People tend to gain confidence while in groups, so make one up, and go with them until you can go alone.
- Accept that no one cares about you. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I used to think everyone would be watching and obsessing over me, but no one did. In fact, I didn’t watch or obsess over anyone as a regular. How can this be true? Luckily, when a person is in a gym, they’re there for themselves, not you. Isn’t that great?
- Do what you know. Find confidence in the things you’ve done before. For example, if you used to lift weights in high school, lift weights in the gym. If you love swimming, start by going to the pool. Picking things you’re familiar with will reduce anxiety and lead to a successful day at the gym. As time passes, branch out to different exercises.
- Believe in yourself. You have to believe that you belong there. You have just as much right as anyone else to be there. Don’t give in to any perceived or actual judging. Keep your head up and do what you went there to do. No one else in the gym has to believe in you, but you do. Be your own cheerleader.
I sincerely believe that going to the gym can be easy. I believe this because that very thing happened to me. I used to dread going for the reasons I mentioned above, but with the tips I listed, I was able to overcome my fear. Eventually, I was able to go to the gym by myself and actually enjoy it. Getting to that point is possible for anyone, you just have to want it more than anything else.
Until next time,
Photo Source: here
- The New Gym Quest – Part 2 (ironmommyfitness.wordpress.com)
- Tips: Finding a safe gym (myrtlebeachonline.com)
- Joining the gym (wannabegymjunky.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways To Get Yourself To The Gym On Days You Really Don’t Want To (prettylittlegrub.com)
- After Conquering A Fear Of The Gym, Hank Hanna Lost 105 Pounds And Completed A Half Ironman (wonderfultips.wordpress.com)