The holidays are behind you and now it’s time to focus on getting ready for spring, perhaps resolving to become more fit and thin, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Maybe you’d like to join a gym and you’re considering one of those women’s gyms because you feel a bit intimidated walking into an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar equipment, machinery and people. You think you’ll feel “safe” at an all-women’s gym. I know the feeling because I was very reluctant to leave my safety zone several years ago, when I left my all-women’s gym to join a co-ed gym, but I can assure you that there are many facilities that can – and will – offer you a comfortable and welcoming environment in which to exercise and achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.
If you want to achieve the highest level of results you possibly can, it’s important to strength train, continually challenging yourself so that you’re building muscle to burn many calories, even while you’re at rest. Not only will you burn a significant amount of calories, but you’ll also achieve a lean and toned figure, likely seeing results you thought were impossible. Unfortunately, many women’s gyms don’t allow you the opportunity to reach these goals because their equipment doesn’t offer you choices as far as the amount of weight you’re lifting or using for resistance. Therefore, if you are serious about looking and feeling your very best, it’s crucial to be certain your workout is going to include the proper equipment, which will allow you to successfully reach that goal.
If you fear embarrassment due to the fact that you’re not familiar with the gym’s equipment, be sure to ask the employees of the gym you’re considering if they will be providing you with an in-depth orientation so that you’re comfortable as you begin your exercise program. Most reputable gyms will automatically include this in your membership and won’t charge extra. If you locate a facility that wants to charge you for a service that should be free, move on to the next gym.
If it’s been several years since you’ve exercised it’s a good idea to start out slow – perhaps walking for 20 or 30 minutes each day for a few weeks prior to beginning an exercise routine within a gym. Not only will this increase your cardiovascular capacity, but it will also give you a much-needed boost in confidence before you step on a treadmill or put to use any other equipment you’ll find at your gym. You may also want to familiarize yourself with workout “lingo” by reading a book related to fitness so that you clearly understand what is being related to you during your pre-exercise orientation. I remember when I was hearing the terms “reps” and “sets” for the first time; it was no clearer to me than anything I may hear if you would have placed me in a post-grad physics class.
Also, once you begin your routine at the gym, you needn’t start out by attending the gym seven days a week; rather, visit your gym three times a week for the first three weeks, and then increase your visits to four per week during the fourth week. Eventually, you can work your way up to exercising five or six days each week, which is highly recommended to ensure that you’re doing all you can to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. If you want to avoid hitting a plateau, continually challenge your body by increasing the amount of weight or resistance with which you’re working. If your workout becomes too easy, this is a clear sign that you need to step it up and move to the next level.
Take comfort in knowing that you’re a very confident and capable woman, just based on the fact that you’re determined to take the necessary steps to become fit. This alone should be enough to tell you that you’ll do just fine once you join a gym and begin exercising regularly. No matter what gym you should decide to join, or what exercise routine you’ll utilize, please know that you’re doing so much good for your body, health, self-esteem and energy level, as well as adding years to your life. Good luck!
By: → Susan Megge