The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doing at least 150 minutes of cardio a week and strength training on two days. What better way to meet these recommendations than by going to a gym? A gym allows you to experiment with different types of exercise and you’ll find everything you need under one roof. If the thought of going to the gym intimidates you, knowing what to expect might help you overcome your fears.
A Mixed Crowd
Most gyms have a mixed crowd of people of various fitness levels. Sure, you might see shapely, spandex-wearing girls in full makeup, who spend most of their time socializing, but you’ll also see the overweight gals, wearing sweats and T-shirts while working up a sweat. As for men, just like women, they come in all sizes, ranging from skinny or fat to toned and muscular. Regardless of who is at the gym, everyone is there with the same goal in mind: to improve themselves.
A variety of Equipment
In general, most gyms are divided into sections. One area of the gym often holds all the cardio equipment, such as treadmills, elliptical machines, stair climbers, rowing machines and stationary bikes. Another area might contain all the weightlifting machines, and another section might hold all the free weights. To avoid injuries, have a personal trainer show you how to correctly work the machines and equipment. Once you get more comfortable, you can navigate the gym on your own. Ask about a free trial pass or a free training session, because many gyms offer these to newbies.
Many gyms offer classes to their members, which can be a nice change of pace. Some gyms offer beginner classes and often the instructors will show exercise modifications for each fitness level. Depending on the gym, classes can include everything from yoga, zumba, step, weightlifting, boot camp, or spinning. Initially, you might be intimidated and resort to the back of the class, but as you keep going and gain more confidence, you might start migrating toward the front of the class.
Depending on the gym, your membership might give you access to other amenities. Many gyms have a swimming pool, sauna and basketball and racquetball courts. If you have kids, ensure you join a gym that offers childcare, so you can’t make excuses not to exercise.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?