Starting a new exercise program can be really nerve-wracking; the gym can seem like an intimidating place. No matter your goal, your experience or your fitness level, getting on the path to a healthy and active lifestyle is always a great idea.
To help make the transition easier, here are five things to know when you’re new to exercise:
Know Your “Why”
Why do you want to exercise? What is your driving force to change your lifestyle? Is your goal to lose weight, tone up, improve cardiovascular health, prevent or reverse symptoms of disease or illness? Find your inner reason, one that will stand the test of time, and you will stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals.
Ask For Help
Never be afraid to ask for help. Other members, your group exercise instructors and personal trainers will be able to share their experience on many different levels. It will also integrate you more into the gym. You’ll have a friendly face to say hello to, or somewhere to go when you have a question about your exercise plan. You may also want to work with a personal trainer. This person’s job is to assess your fitness, help you set goals, and teach you the best way to exercise. There are many benefits of working with a personal trainer, but by mixing their services into your weekly workout routine, you’ll learn new things, keep on task, and be held accountable for when you start skipping lunges.
Don’t Play The Comparison Game
It’s always okay to look around the gym and be motivated but others, but don’t fall into the comparison trap. There may be someone lifting more weight than you, or running faster; they may be leaner or stronger than you. Results take time and effort and you don’t know how long anyone else has been working towards their goal. Pay attention to your own journey and put the effort into your workouts.
Know About Periodization
Results are never a straight line. While we’d love to constantly see results, we need to vary our routine to be able to avoid plateaus. You’ll progress much faster at certain times than others, it’s natural, but when you hit a point of stagnation, look to periodization – the systematic planning of training, cycling various aspects of a training program during a specific period. That means: change things up. By doing this, you will stay interested in your workout sessions, but it also gives your body a break from the repetitive exercises you were doing. Ask a personal trainer to create a periodized plan for you.
The goal is to move more, so make it fun! If you dread coming to the gym for a workout, you’ll be less likely to stick with it. Try as many classes, strength training exercises and machines as you can. Somewhere between deadlifts and spin class, you will click with an activity or two. Liking your workout makes it that much easier to do.