Going to the Gym for First Time: How to Make It Less Intimidating
So you’ve decided to get fit and healthy. Congratulations! You’ve made an awesome choice to get your health back on track. One of the things you know will be a total game-changer is going to the gym. However, knowing that you’re a newbie at this makes you feel anxious to start your fitness journey.
Here are some ways to help you cope with the adjustment of going to the gym for the first time:
- Believe it or not, everyone is as self-conscious as you are. We go to the gym to get healthy and one of the most obvious ways of looking healthy is by gauging our bodies. This is the reason why many gyms install floor to ceiling mirrors. We get to see the physical manifestation of ourselves, our bodies, transform before our very eyes. While some people at the gym look like they’ve been at it for years, you can bet that they still feel self-conscious about the way they look.
- The focus should always be on yourself. You’re in this for the long haul, and you’re doing this for yourself so make it a point to only think of yourself and do things for yourself. In other words, be selfish. It is easy to compare yourself to others and think about how far they have come but remember that they had to start somewhere (as you have) and they too began at level zero. There’s nothing wrong with starting at the bottom. What matters is that you started. Period.
- Veterans at the gym can tell who’s new, and they’d be more than happy to lend a helping hand when you need one. Getting this type of support can boost your morale and improve your gym experience. Be open to their suggestions and make small talk when you start out. Don’t be afraid to make new friends at the gym. It’s been proven that working out with friends can help keep you motivated and stay on track.
- Before even starting working out, visit the gym at least once and check out the machines. By familiarising yourself, you’re lessening the anxiety of possibly looking like a fool on your first day. Know where the free weights are, the shower rooms, any studios (if any). Ask the staff for a tour, if possible. If the gym is open for 24 hours, go twice: once when the gym is in full swing, and another when there are considerably less people. This way you can also decide when the best time is for you.
- Map out a workout program with the help of a personal trainer. They may charge an extra fee but personal trainers make good workout buddies in the beginning. Hiring a certified personal trainer or joining a commercial gym is a great way to ensure that you meet your personal fitness goals. They can help with your form, motivate you, and give you nutritional advice. Getting one doesn’t have to be long term. Once you’ve gotten the hang of things, you can start doing things on your own.
- Doing your own research will help ease the anxiety away. Read up on potential exercises, machines you want to use, and watch videos before hitting the gym. With information widely available because of the internet, taking advantage of what you can pick up from different fitness sites and blogs can be a huge benefit on your end. E.g. Strengthery.com is a great blog to check out if you are interested in learning more about weight training.
- Make sure you’ve chosen the right gym that matches your lifestyle and fitness goals. Shop around your area for gyms before committing to one. Where you work out is a huge factor in achieving your fitness goals. There are many types of gym available now, make sure to choose one where you are most comfortable in. Decide on a possible workout schedule too, as there are gyms that are open for 24 hours.
Getting in shape doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. Challenges are sure to present themselves along the way but nothing good ever comes easy. By solely focusing on your goals and yourself as an individual, going to the gym will be an enjoyable journey.