It’s that time of year some of us are starting to think about going to the gym. Why? Well summer is long over, we’ve let ourselves go a little, but the holidays are just around the corner and we do want to look good when we get together with all our friends and family we haven’t seen in a while. So going to the gym now is probably a good idea. However, you have to keep in mind that just signing up for a gym membership and showing up once in a while isn’t enough. There’s actually quite a few essential do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind when going to the gym.
1. Do: Ask For Help
You might think that you can just figure out all the machines on your own but there’s a huge difference between just mucking about on a treadmill, doing a few squats and lifting some free weights and having a decent workout that will actually provide some results. Hiring a personal trainer is always a good idea if you’re a beginner at the gym. If you can’t afford to have a session with a personal trainer every time, do it at least once a week. This way you’ll be able to learn proper form, set goals and see progress much faster.
2. Don’t: Workout On An Empty Stomach
Listen, it might sound like a good idea in your head to go to the gym in the morning and burn of some calories before you’ve even eaten anything, but don’t do it. It’s not a good idea for beginners at all. You’ll feel sick, you might vom and the chances of fainting are very high. Do yourself a favor and have breakfast or at least a banana on your way. We’re not suggesting you stuff yourself right before working out, but a little something to give you energy and power through a workout is necessary, especially if you’re a beginner.
3. Do: Think About Your Diet
While we’re on the topic of food let’s mention that a proper diet is what’s most important when losing weight. You will never be able to out exercise a bad diet. So make sure you eat a healthy and balanced meal. The gym will help you look fitter and improve your shape and make your muscles toned, but to lose weight you need to think about what you eat too.
4. Don’t: Wing It
When going to the gym you need to have a plan. Think about what you’re going to focus on and do that. There’s really no merit in just showing up and doing whatever. You need to have a plan and decide what muscle groups you’re going to be working on today. You can’t just run on the treadmill or elliptical every day, your abs, back and arms need a workout too.
5. Do: A Fitness Class
One of the best things you can do at the gym is go for a class like yoga, Pilates, dance aerobic, aqua aerobics, etc. This way you’ll have a trainer there to show you the ropes and make sure you’re actually working out properly and getting your sweat on instead of just lightly cycling while watching Netflix.
6. Don’t: Do Too Much Cardio
Cardio is good for weight loss and good for your heart, but there really is no use in doing it for too long. Thirty minutes of decent cardio is really all you need. Spending hours lightly running or cycling at the gym really won’t be better for you. Focus on quality instead of quantity and don’t overdo it.
7. Do: Start Lifting Weights
Lots of women think that lifting weights isn’t for them. They worry they’ll look too bulky and manly if they do. Well the truth is it’s pretty hard for women to bulk up by lifting weights without a significant calorie surplus. Lifting weights is actually good for you, because that’s what’s going to make you look nice and toned and improve your shape. But make sure you get a personal trainer, you really don’t want to joke around with weights, it’s way too easy to hurt yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing.
8. Don’t: Stay In Your Comfort Zone
Working out is all about becoming better and stronger. There’s no progress without going out of your comfort zone. So if you find yourself doing the same exercises over and over and they’re becoming easy for you – it’s time to change things up. You want to challenge yourself.
9. Do: Warm Up
Warming up you muscles is essential if you don’t want to injure yourself. Way too many people think it’s a silly unneeded step and just skip right over it. But we strongly urge you to warm up before doing a workout. Walk on the treadmill for 10 mins, or lightly jog. Do some jumping jacks. Going on the elliptical is also a great way to warm up.
10. Don’t: Forget To Stretch
Stretching after a workout is just as important as warming up before. You want to stretch out those muscles so that you won’t go all stiff the next day. Also, stretching is good to improve flexibility and better range of motion.