Sunday, 18 August 2019

Things gym beginners should avoid

womens fitness

So you're new to the gym and you're not quite sure what to expect or perhaps you're a little nervous? Don't worry, those feelings are perfectly normal and once you get into the swing of things, you'll soon be at ease and working out confidently. 

I've been training consistently in weight training for around three years now. It has become an activity that allows me to push myself out of my comfort zone, work on myself for myself, and also keeps me sane in the most stressful of times. Like many, I didn't begin my gym journey confidently. I initially found the thought of going to the gym so intimidating. All through my childhood and teenage years, I passionately hated exercise - PE lessons and sports days were my unconfident teenage self's nightmare. If anything, I've proven to myself and to those around me that once you find a form of exercise that you like, you can keep at it and enjoy the process of improvement too.

You may want some reassurance before you sign up so I've put together a list of things that gym beginners should avoid at all costs. 

gym activewear 
Don't be put off by delayed onset muscle soreness
It's perfectly normal and expected. Ensure you stretch after training, get enough protein in your diet to aid muscle recovery, and most importantly, don't let it stop you. It's only temporary!

Stretching is important
You may think of it as the boring part of working out, but try treating it like a mindfulness practice. You'll quickly learn how much it helps your mind AND body. 

Do not restrict your calories, but don't binge either
Make sure you're fuelling yourself enough to conduct your workouts and build muscle mass. If you're ensure, ask a qualified member of staff at your gym for a meal or nutrition plan.

Don't pressure yourself
You're doing great - praise yourself and keep going!

Don't overdo it!
I gradually built up my workouts because I knew overloading myself was only going to exhaust me and leave me demotivated. When I first started training, I trained twice a week. I now train between 3-4 times a week, and I find it works well amongst my routine. However, everyone is different. I wouldn't suggest training more than 3 sessions per week at first because your body needs to adjust to the lifestyle change. 

Do not feel too shy to ask for help
It may surprise you, but fitness enthusiasts are actually some of the nicest people I have come across. I believe it to be because everybody started somewhere, and they're continuously working hard on their own journey. As I mentioned above, all gyms will have qualified staff more than willing to help and advise you where needed. Don't be afraid to ask.

Don't mis-use machines
This can be dangerous and greatly increase your risk of injury. If you're ensure, ask someone to show you how to use the machine or ask a member of staff for a guide of the gym's machines.

Avoid signing without reading the T&Cs
If for whatever reason, you may need to change or cancel your membership later on, be sure to check that you can get out easily and that there is not a fee for ending your contract early. I know this has been an issue for students in the past, so ensure you're happy with the terms and conditions prior to signing up.

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