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Tips for gym newbies

Tips for gym newbies - Image Credit: Image credit: Thinkstock/iStock

For people that are trying to improve their Health Score or their general fitness levels, going to the gym can be the ideal solution. However, it can be an intimidating situation for those that are not used to working out in such an environment – surrounded by other people and unfamiliar equipment.

Although this can be off-putting, you shouldn’t let it deter you from the gym. Follow our simple pieces of advice and you will soon be confident and assured about your workout.

Get advice

Most gyms offer a personal trainer service to advise newcomers about how to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. Some will even include this in their service, but if not it’s something that you should ask about and budget for if necessary. Having the advice of a professional will ensure you are using the right machines to achieve your targets, which will help you continue going to the gym in the long term.

Many gym newcomers will try each and every machine in an attempt to do everything, and although this is good to see what you like, it may not be the best course of action in the long run. A professional will enable you to determine a workout for the amount of time you have allocated to the gym every week or session. They can help you decide which machines to use, with maybe four or five being included in your routine. This will help you maximise the time you have spare, which is crucial when balancing fitness, work and home life.

Understand your limits

Getting the advice of a professional, whether from your gym or from an experienced friend, will help you realise your limits and set achievable goals. This is essential as being too enthusiastic or not knowing your limitations can result in an injury or completely putting yourself off the gym completely. In addition, knowing what is feasible during a certain period of time will also help keep your motivation high and ensure you make the gym part of your long-term lifestyle.

Don’t be put off by others

Everyone at the gym will have different goals and varying fitness levels. It’s important to remember this when you go for the first time. Seeing people lifting and running more than you can force you to push yourself too far, which can often end up in you getting injured by pulling something or falling off a machine. It can also be intimidating seeing what others can achieve but you should bear in mind that they have probably been committed to fitness for a long time, while you are just at the start of your journey.

Always have rest days

Even those training for a marathon know the importance of having regular rest days and the same goes for those just starting out. It is perhaps even more important for gym newbies to give their body a rest at least once a week as this allows your muscles to relax and strengthen in a healthy way. Although it can be easy to be eager and enthusiastic about your new hobby, in order to avoid injury or burning yourself out, it’s vital that you give your body time to rest and recuperate.

Stretch, hydrate and nutrition

Preparation is key when heading into the gym, and this means everything from eating the right stuff beforehand to stretching is important for achieving your goals. It also reduces the chance of you getting injured and boosts your chance of setting new personal best times.