So you’ve joined the gym, bought a new pair of top-of-the-range sandshoes, kit yourself out in brand new activewear and even bought a packet of protein powder… but now what? You’ve never been more ready to start your brand new life as a fully-fledged gym junkie who glows from the inside out and is the absolute picture of health, but how do you go about actually getting started? Have no fear; Team MNB is here to help alleviate some of the stress that comes from being the new kid on the block (or bike in this case). We put our heads together and compiled a list of things we wish we’d been told before we set off on our journey to gym junkie’dom.
1. Start Slowly
When introducing anything new to your regime whether it’s food, new skincare products or a new form of exercise, it’s always best to ease your way into it to stop your body from being catapulted into shock, especially when it comes to physical activity. Don’t run like a bull at a gate and start your first week with bi-daily workouts! Not only is that the fastest way to score yourself a one way ticket to injury town, but you’ll burn out quicker than you can say cardio. If your goal is to get your fitness up to a level where you can train five days a week, start with 2-3 low to moderate sessions and build it up from there. Remember, not only does slow and steady win the race, but it also helps keep you injury free!
2. Don’t Compare!
Actually, don’t compare yourself full stop. The woman beside you on the treadmill might be running twice as fast and at twice the incline that you are, but she’s probably been training for twice as long to build that strength and stamina. Never, ever compare yourself to anyone else. Progress is progress no matter how big or small and every single workout makes you stronger than you were yesterday and brings you one step closer to your end goal. The gym is a safe space and should be kept free from judgement and comparison anyway, so your only job is to show up and never give up!
3. Don’t Settle For A Workout You Don’t Like
You’re not going to get hooked on anything you don’t enjoy… do you really think chocolate would be as addictive if it tasted like celery? Even if hundreds wax lyrical about how invigorated they feel after a spin class, you might find it totally mind-numbing and you know what? That’s totally ok. If you find something you enjoy doing, it won’t feel like a chore and is something you’re far more likely to make an integral part of your daily or weekly routine. If you’re not into group fitness, consider investing in a personal training session so you end up with a program that’s 100% tailored to your exact wants and needs. Or, if you like doing things solo, buy yourself a fitness guide (like the LJ Fit Challenge), it’s got everything you need from workouts to healthy recipes.
4. Get Comfortable With Your Surroundings
Walking into a gym can be an unnerving, intimidating and downright daunting experience, but learning to comfortably co-exist with the already committed gym junkies will be so much easier once you familiarise yourself with the surrounds. Most gym memberships come with a complimentary tour where you’ll be shown your way around the entire premises so you’ll learn what’s on or off limits. If it’s not offered up front, don’t be afraid to ask for one, the last thing that’ll make you feel at ease is being the new girl who accidentally stumbles into the men’s change room while looking for the women’s only weights room…
Go forth and embrace your new gym junkie status!