For some, going to the gym is essentially a way of life. For others, it's a brand new experience and a somewhat intimidating one. If you are a new gym member feeling a little unsure of yourself as you step through those doors, here are some tips you can follow to develop good habits, confidence, and a productive routine.
1. Set some goals.
Clearly you are in a gym for a reason. Before you start working out, get clear on that reason. Perhaps you want to lose weight, or maybe you want to build strength. Write your main goal down, and reference it daily before you go to the gym. Make sure the workouts you do at the gym all get you closer to that goal.
2. Start slow.
You might have friends who spend an hour in the gym every day, and even some who stop on their way to and from work. But if you dive in too quickly, you will get burned out and start skipping the gym entirely. Start by spending just 30 minutes in the gym, 5 days a week. After that's an established routine, you can add in some longer workouts.
3. If you don't know, ask.
If there is a piece of equipment you don't know how to use, or if you don't know how to use the scale, ask someone. Most members will be happy to help you, and this is a good way to make some new friends. Plus, you won't embarrass yourself by using equipment incorrectly or in a way that is dangerous.
4. Look into classes.
More and more often, gyms are offering workout classes. These can be a great way to fit in a workout if you're not quite sure how to design your own workouts yet. They also keep you moving and motivated. You can try anything from yoga to step aerobics to see what feels right for you.
5. Don't compare yourself to others.
It can be so tempting to look at others who are running faster than you, lifting more than you, or working out for longer than you and feel intimidated. But remember — those people were once in your shoes! If you keep working out, you will be at their level sooner than you think. For now, stop comparing yourself to others because it is simply not productive.
The gym tips above should really help you out as a beginner at the gym. You'll feel settled in before long.