Filled with intimidating machines, different kinds of weights that one has never seen before and fitness freaks, the gym can be a pretty daunting place, especially for beginners. Thus, if you are a beginner yourself, the idea of hitting the gym can be quite nerve wrecking and frustrating.
Therefore, here are a few tips that can help you ease those nerves and give you a good start towards a fit body and a healthy lifestyle:
Healthy eating is essential
To maximize the performance of your body during a workout, a healthy diet is important. Meals can be taken up to 30 minutes before a workout. It is, however, advised that a full meal with mainly carbohydrates, protein and fats should be consumed 2 to 3 hours before each workout.
In case, you couldn't get a meal 2 to 3 hours prior to working out, go for a smaller meal, containing mainly carbohydrates and some protein, at least, an hour before the workout. Keep in mind that the meals should become smaller and simpler as the gym time approaches, so that they are easier to digest. This will aid in avoiding any stomach discomfort during the workout session.
Moreover, allmax supplements have energizing effects that enhance performance, improve muscle strength and increase endurance all the while reducing fatigue.
Therefore, proper pre-workout nutrition can prove to be extremely helpful in a high performance workout and for a faster muscle recovery post workout.
What to carry in your gym bag
Most gyms provide locker rooms for their members to stash away their things. However, if your gym doesn't provide one, make sure to carry a gym bag containing the following essentials:
- First things first, always carry a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout the exercise regimen. Intake of water or any sodium containing beverage, prior to exercise, will aid the body in maintaining its fluid balances and will promote performance.
- Carry a personal towel to dab the sweat off your forehead or wipe the machines after you have used them. Nobody wants to use equipment that is covered in someone else’s sweat.
- If you want to workout to the beat of your favorite song or listen to some music, carry an iPod or a music player. To make sure that the music player doesn't get in the way of your workout, clip your device onto an arm band or a waist band. Moreover, the volume should be kept at a reasonable level, so that it doesn't disturb the fellow gym members.
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Wear a proper gym attire
Many gyms have dress codes, so before you hit the gym, make sure you're dressed appropriately. In case your gym doesn't have any specific dress code, stick to some form of athletic garb. A t-shirt, shorts and running shoes are the most apt clothing choices when it comes to working out. However, if you really want to branch out, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Besides shorts; track pants or those elastic black athletic tights that are so popular amongst females can also be worn. Try not wear jeans because it's not the most comfortable fabric for a workout. Ladies should avoid wearing tight spandex shorts because they can garner undue attention and hinder their workout session. However, if a few stares don’t bother you, go for it!
- T-shirts, basketball jerseys and athletic tank tops - all are great choices for the gym. The ladies should wear sports bras because they are most suitable for workouts. However, pair them with a tank top or t-shirt so that you can maintain your comfort level while exercising.
- Any form of athletic footwear is appropriate for the gym. But, steer clear of boots, flip flops or sandals so that your feet are protected.
- Keep the hair out of your face by either wearing a headband or securing your hair in a ponytail.
- Remember that makeup and sweat don't really go together. The sweat will get trapped in your pores as makeup tends to clog them, which can lead to acne breakout all over your skin. So, rid your face of makeup before heading to the gym.
Utilize gym inductions
Try to reap maximum benefits of the gym inductions and tours that are provided when you sign up for a membership. This will give you the lay of the land and an idea of where everything is exactly located. This way, you'll learn about the different equipment and how to operate them; it will also aid in familiarizing you with the facilities provided by the gym.
How to start
As soon as you reach the gym, head to the locker room to dress up and prep yourself. The safest bet for a beginner is to hit the cardio machines like treadmills and recumbent bikes first. This will help you warm up for the intense workouts and also allow you to get comfortable with the gym environment.
Subsequently, you can move onto machine weights because you might find that they're easier to handle than free weights. However, this does not mean that you avoid free weights altogether. Weights are essential for achieving toned muscles and free weights allow you to work on different muscle groups at the same time.
Ask for help
If you are confused about the workings of certain machines, don't hesitate to ask for help. The gym trainers and staff are there to assist you. Remember that none of your fellow gym goers started off as experts; they learnt with time and the help of trainers. Even successful athletes require coaches that supervise their exercising routines. Therefore, there is no harm asking for help.
Hire a personal trainer
If you are completely clueless and want in-depth information about the workings of a particular equipment, then it is recommended that you spend some extra money and schedule a few sessions with a personal trainer. He/she can help you learn the ropes and smoothen your transition into achieving a fitter body!
Share the equipment
Implement the concept of 'working in' when you are using a weight machine. If you see someone else waiting in line while you’re taking a breather, after completing a set, offer to work in and alternate the sets amongst each other. This can go a long way in building gym camaraderie and establishing friendships!
Track your progress
Keep a journal with you to keep track of your gym progress. Whether the goal is to lose weight, gain muscles or just sustain your current fitness levels, following your progress will act as the motivation you need to keep your goals in sight. Therefore, jot down your food intake, cardio improvement, weight loss and muscle gain under the relevant dates. Your progress written on paper will not only make you feel good about yourself but will also keep pushing you towards your goal!
Keep in mind that none of your fitness goals will be achieved in a week's time. Just like you need to work hard to attain other milestones in life, you must work hard to obtain your fitness goals too. It is perfectly normal to feel a bit self-conscious about your body when you’re surrounded by so many physically fit individuals.
You might even think they will judge you for the way you look, however, eventually you will realize that most of them are far too engrossed in their own worries and exercises to be scrutinizing you. You have to know that most of them have already been where you are and they understand your struggles.
Furthermore, keep reminding yourself that you are at the gym to work on your body and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Don't let your insecurities overweigh your determination and don't give up when things get hard. Once you make it through the first few gym sessions, it is guaranteed to become easier for you. Just remember to employ these tips and you'll be good to go!
ABOUT Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write article related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates and you can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia