By Reem Abdulrahman Jassim al-Muftah
Have you always wanted try out the gym but nervous and confused to start? Do you feel intimidated or insecure to try it out in front of others? Does thinking about the gym makes you anxious because you fear embarrassment or failure? Well, don’t stress because you are not alone! There are so many people out there that feel the same, but let’s all agree that everyone started at one point, and it took them time and experience to get comfortable at the gym. So how can one start?
To begin, you have to answer yourself one question: what are my goals and how can the gym help me reach them? Keep your answers in mind as you read through the rest of the article as you will have to align your strategy with your goals. On a side note, I urge you all to not use the scale and your body weight as your deciding factor in your strategy, your overall health is where you should see and feel the results.
Your choice of gym
Choosing your gym is critical. You should check out the ones that are the most practical for you and keep in mind the locations, opening hours, facilities and equipment to see if the options are aligned to your goals. Look at the classes given, services provided and if they have beginner friendly programmes. You should also make sure to ask if there are free trials, free classes or maybe even free personal training sessions with a membership. Ask if they provide water and towels and if they have lockers and showers. Plus, don’t forget to physically visit the place to make sure that you are at least initially comfortable with the space. Please keep in mind that the gym is not your only option and that you can be physically active in numerous other spaces, but for this article my focus will only be on the gym.
Your general plan
Research is your best friend when it comes to self-education and taking control of your health. Therefore, search fitness routines, exercises and programmes online and explore. With time, you will discover potential exercises that are aligned to your health goals and may want to try out. The whole point of research is to get yourself acquainted with the machines, equipment, moves and other potential options you may consider, as well as the terminology. Workout videos are one of the greatest sources to look and learn from, but be careful as not all are professional and performed with correct form, technique and safety precautions.
Your workout gear
Comfortable clothes are necessary when it comes to working out, regardless of where you are. Clothes can also boost your confidence and make you feel more motivated, but make sure to try and wear comfy clothes and supportive shoes. Please do not forget to be culturally sensitive and respectful as this is a shared space for all to enjoy. I definitely recommend gloves if you are planning on lifting weights, even low weights. Gloves protect your hands and personally, I feel provide more support. When it comes to things like your hair, make-up, hats and jewellery, I suggest none, but beware of the practicality and decide what is best for you. Lastly, think about pre-packing your gear so you have no excuse.
Together, we have started to understand the basic building blocks for going to the gym and planning your first trip, but in next week’s article, we will continue to understand getting physically comfortable in the space and my list of dos and dont’s.
* The author is a wellness advocate and influencer @keys2balance.
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