If you’re thinking about going to the gym for the first time, congratulations! From looking and feeling better, to improving sleep, to keeping your heart healthy, there are so many reasons to make working out a part of your life.
However, we also know that getting started can be incredibly overwhelming—it feels like there’s a strange gym world out there that you’ve never really explored. So how do you take that first step in?
First up – to quote a very well-known sportswear manufacturer, ‘just do it’. There are hundreds of different excuses for you to not get started and “I don’t have the time” is always a popular one. Think of this though, if you do not start making time for your fitness now, then sooner or later you will have to make time for your sickness.
Whenever you decide to join a gym and whatever your motivations are, please bear this in mind. On average, it takes two months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. So, if you can commit to just ten weeks of hitting the government guidelines on the recommended amount of exercise per week*, then you are well on the way to a more active lifestyle which will make you happier, fitter and more productive.
Some of the biggest misconceptions about a gym are:
- There is nobody to help me. Rubbish. Twenty years ago, you’d walk into a gym and meet a flash sales consultant who over-promised the benefits, signed you up for three years and never spoke to you again. It’s not like that anymore. Take Pure Gym for example – using their app, you can choose to book into a group tour so you don’t need to feel intimidated. Having a look around with like-minded people asking the same sorts of questions definitely puts you at ease. Even once you have joined the gym, the staff are very keen to help you with training activities and devising a plan to meet your fitness goal.
- Everybody in the gym is already super fit. Nonsense. Twenty million UK adults fail to meet the government’s recommended exercise levels*. We are an unfit nation. The gyms are there to help you become more active and to maintain your exercise levels; as such there is an eclectic mix of fitness levels in any gym. Venues have a real variety of classes for all activity levels, the gym floor is no longer Adonis’ playground. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. What does a fitter, happier and more productive you feel like?
- You need to start exercising before you join a gym. Twaddle. Obviously you shouldn’t try to run a marathon in your first week, but the gym is still the best place to start a fitness journey with small steps. Every personal trainer will tell you that making the decision to start your fitness journey is the biggest challenge. The voice in your head that says you can’t do this is a liar. Whether it is a beginner’s class, a 30-minute walk on a treadmill or a swim – getting started is the important step. All those people who got fitter in the gym, lost weight, felt healthier, slept better, had more energy, met new people and became more positive will tell you the best decision they made was to give it a try.
Make it happen. Make 2020 the year you started and accomplished a fitness goal. Get comfortable with fitness and enjoy the new you.
*75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity or 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity or a combination of the two.