Read our top tips for facing the biggest fitness fear of them all – the gym!
After a long lockdown, lots of us are keen to get into shape and boost our body confidence in time for summer. You might be thinking about trying the gym for the first time but have a belly-full of fears because gyms can be scary, right? Especially if you a) haven’t been to one before and b) have absolutely no clue how to use the equipment. It can seem daunting for a first-timer, but we’re here to help with tips and tricks to get you off to the best start possible!
Take A Tour
The absolute best thing you can do to help you get to grips with the gym and its various equipment is to take the tour which is offered by most gyms for free. An experienced staff member will take you through the various gym rules and show you the individual equipment, explaining clearly how to use each machine.
Make A Plan
Write down what it is you want to gain by going to the gym. Depending on whether you want to focus on toning up or increasing strength, you’ll want to make a plan of which machines will help you achieve it before even stepping foot in the gym. You can talk to a gym staff member who can help you with this or research a few different exercises online to help you create a customised fitness plan.
Don’t worry about having the latest sports’ clothing or top-of-the-range trainers. It’s often the case that the hardest workers at the gym are rarely the people who wander about, sweat-free, looking like something out of a Gymshark advert. All you need for the gym is comfortable leggings or joggers, a top or t-shirt and trainers. Don’t forget to take a towel, shower gel and, of course, a water bottle!
Take A Mate
Ask a friend to come along with you for support if you’re feeling particularly nervous. You can work out a fitness plan together or do your own separate workouts – whatever works for you. It can also be great fun to have a spot of healthy competition!
A busy gym can be a scary gym to some people. You can ask the staff what times the gym is usually quiet. There will be less people there (always a bonus!) and you will have more time and space to workout in peace. The gym staff may also have more time to help you out when it’s quieter, should you need any guidance.
Many towns and cities now have outdoor gym equipment in their parks. While these are very much simplified versions of what you’d find inside a gym, the basic principles are the same. Try these to get to grips with how the different machines operate and which muscles they are working. It’s a great way to learn the ropes, plus you might feel less self-conscious when there are fewer people around.
Me, Myself And I
When you’re in the gym, focus on yourself and your goals only. Forget about everyone else around you and think about what you want to achieve. This can help to block out any negative feelings you may have about your own body and focuses your brain completely on the goal ahead. Plug in, breathe in, and go – you’ve got this!
*Always check with a doctor before embarking on any fitness routines. Your gym staff will be able to offer more advice on looking after yourself during your fitness journey.