Fitness: 7 Things You Should Know Before You Hit The Gym

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Woman at the gym. Image from https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/fitness/best-workout-age/

When you set a resolution and it reads keep fit and eat healthy, apart from changing your diet, you are likely to end up in the gym one way or another. When you get to the gym all you see is machines you have no idea how to use except the famous weights we all know about. Now the gym is a complex place. Like the different people who frequent there, it can be the key to your motivation and inspiration to stay healthy or just a means to get demoralized and eventually end up quitting. Therefore if you want to make the best out of your time at the gym here are some things you should know before you start your journey of health and fitness.

  1. Have a goal

Contrary to popular belief that the gym is a place you go to lose weight, it can also be a place where you go to build body mass. The first thing you want to identify is what is the reason behind you joining the gym and your body type. From this set a goal and identify the particular exercise fit for your body frame. Ask the trainer to recommend you the best exercises to attain your goal and start from there instead of doing everything all at once. For instance, an example of why people join the gym is to get a flat tummy. What many might not know is that there are different types of belly shapes and it would beneficial to know which exercise would most effectively target the fat making your belly shape. No Gym, No Problem: Try These Easy Home Workouts

  1. Have a plan

Now that you are familiar with the instruments in the gym and you have a goal, to add onto your personalized weight loss/gain, have a body reshaping plan. Identify the lifestyle changes you need to make in order to attain the desired results sooner than later.  Stick to your plan and note how your body reacts to the changes. Do not attempt to emulate other people’s routines because they have your “ideal body shape” rather try to mould your own greatness. In the words of Venkatraman Radhakrishnan,  “Exercise is a science. If you are systematic you will have maximum gains.” Here are 5 Tips to creating a workout schedule that works

  1. The trained trainer is your best instructor

At the beginning of your exercises, you will probably not be subjected to heavy routines and the trainer will recommend a few repetitions to do from a couple of exercises. The last thing you want is to have instructions from someone who is not skilled in his art and end up starting the basis of your techniques, with an improper form.  Or rather having the wrong exercises selected for your body type and end up not seeing any desired results even after months of training.

To avoid this risk, know your health issues, or if you have any condition tell your instructor. Next ensure that your trainer is qualified otherwise you may end up subjecting yourself to unnecessary pain, injuring your muscles or worse misalignments which can lead to tears, strains and sprains. There is also the risk of getting an infection.

You wouldn’t agree to be treated by a quark doctor now,  would you? Same goes for your gym instructor. A trained trainer is your best instructor.

health and fitness gym workout
A woman holding weights. Image from https://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/HealthLiving/Returning-exercise-after-C-section/689846-4664324-6atyat/index.html
  1. Come prepared

Eat well before hitting the gym. You need the energy to fuel your workout. According to Mayo Clinic, the best time to snack on energy giving foods is 1-2 hours before going to the gym. Have a water bottle to ensure that you stay hydrated since you will sweat a lot. Do not spend more than an hour at the gym otherwise, you could end up overtraining.

  1. Warm up

Warm up before starting your heavy lifting and other lifting exercises. This will guarantee that you have the energy needed to practice your routines without feeling overly exhausted. Also, try to vary your exercises and increase the repetitions as you go on to avoid getting bored.  Do not avoid cardio. It is good for the heart, blood circulation and energy synthesis.

Warming up also known as stretching out after you exercise, will help you reduce the strain inflicted on muscles, facilitate blood flow in the muscles and reduce the pain experienced in DOMS. (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

  1. Etiquette

Carry a cloth or preferably a towel with you to wipe off the equipment you use when you’re done. Do not leave your sweat on the equipment. Also, remember to put back the equipment where you found them. Get into your routine and avoid chatting at the gym. While it helps to count your repetitions do not shout to a point you are disturbing other people.

  1. Mind what you eat

You have probably heard that fitness is 90% of what you eat and 10% exercise. This is true. Work out to stay healthy and consult your trainer on habits you should change and the myths to avoid. Fitness: Great Foods To Eat Before A Workout

Related: 5 Fitness Myths and Misconceptions

8 Do’s and Don’ts on your first day at the Gym

Featured image via The Best Health

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