Maybe it has been a while since you’ve hit the gym, but 2018 is a new year to commit to yourself and change!
Here are 11 helpful ways to get back in the swing of things and help you feel more comfortable in a gym environment:
Take advantage of any free tours, sessions, or even a basic run through the gym and exercises. Even if a trainer is not in your budget, getting familiar with equipment and basic exercises in one session will greatly help you down the road and make you more confident.
2. Ask questions and make friends.
There is no shame in being new and why wouldn’t you want to expand your knowledge?! You will be surprised how kind many gym goers are as well as avoiding injury and embarrassment. We all started from somewhere and lets face it, being asked a question can make one feel like an expert.
3. Stay focused.
Asking questions is fine but try not to impose on ones workout for too long. If you have multiple questions try asking a few different people, this will also help you make more friends by introducing yourself around. Leave the long chitchat sessions out of the gym.
4. Dress appropriately.
The gym is not a fashion show, worrying about your attire will take energy away from your workout. Wear fitted clothing, clothes that are too loose may get caught on the equipment. Avoid wearing makeup, colognes, perfumes, etc when you sweat your pores open up causing an unhealthy chemical mixture of what you put on your skin get under your skin which can cause acne and other bacteria to grow.
5. Wipe it down.
You can either carry a personal towel if the gym does not provide sanitary stations with paper towels but whenever you are done with any equipment make sure you wipe it down. It is common courtesy, would you like to lay or touch other peoples sweat?
6. Leave it the way you found it.
When you are done with any equipment, make sure you put it back where you found it. Treat it like your own home, you wouldn’t want dumbbells to be rolling around on your floor either. It becomes a safety matter as well, by not re-racking when you’re done can injure other gym goers.
7. Sharing is caring.
If your rest period between each set is longer than 30 seconds and you see someone wanting to use the same machine as you go ahead and ask them if they don’t mind taking turns with you. Not only will this help you socialize but who knows you may walk away with a new gym partner!
8. Give some space.
It can be difficult to make room for everyone especially during the peak hours at the gym but try to make an effort.
It’s always a great feeling to be a part of something so why not be a part of a group fitness class? Taking classes will not only help your knowledge in exercise but it keeps your workouts diverse as well as expanding your social skills. Plus, if you dread working out this is one way to make it fun and make the time fly.
10. Keep it (reasonably) quiet.
It’s okay to groan or make sounds, when you exert yourself you can’t help the sounds you make. What you can help is how loud you make them so try not to scream. Along with your headphones, it’s okay to want to drown out the sounds of the gym but to one that may not be wearing headphones they might not want to hear your music blasting.
11. Keep going.
Yes January may be the busiest time of the year for the gym and it could get crowded, but don’t be discouraged and avoid the gym till the resolution goers stop. You are one of the resolution goers that will keep on going, write down your goals and keep reminding yourself why you are doing this. Encourage other resolution goers when you see them out on the floor, wouldn’t you enjoy a compliment of a good job?! This will help many to commit to a healthier lifestyle, make you feel better, help others to pay the compliment forward causing a chain reaction, and create new friends through kindness.
All in all, just keep in mind that the Golden Rule applies at the gym. Stay alert to what’s going on around you, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and enjoy a healthier 2018!