7 Tips For Hitting The Fitness Center For The First Time<< Go Back
Are you someone who is in a position to start creating a healthier lifestyle and a healthier you?
You have finally done all the research and are motivated to hit the gym. But there seems to be only one thing that is holding you back . . . which is going to a local fitness center.
Going to a public gym for the first time can be intimidating. Especially, if you have never gotten the opportunity to use gym equipment before.
But having a simple routine before you head to the gym can make your visits a lot less intimidating and more fun.
It is also a good idea to spend some time doing some research before you head to a fitness center for the first time.
For example, YouTube is a great resource to learn how to use different types of equipment in the gym. This way you will feel more confident going to the gym for the first time.
Here is a sample of a routine that you can do as a starting point when going to a local gym near you for the first time.
1. Pre-Workout Stretch
The first thing you want to do when you get to the gym is grab a mat and do some stretching.
Stretching before a workout is extremely important because it warms up your body, muscles and gets your heart pumping. This will ensure that there is a lower chance of injury when you begin your workout routine.
It is important that you hold each stretch for at least 10 to 15 seconds and repeat 8 to 10 times. Also make sure you do not bounce during your stretch and stay steady.
Here are a few examples of some stretches you can do before your workout:
Neck Stretch – stand up tall and rotate your neck back and forth. It is important not to do a 360 motion as this can strain you neck. Only rotate your neck 180 degrees in front of you from one shoulder to the other.
Butterfly Groin Stretch – sit and touch your feet together and create a butterfly shape. Add some pressure by pressing your elbows onto your thighs and to increase intensity bring your feet closer to your body.
Shoulder Stretch – press on your arm while pulling your opposite elbow towards your opposite shoulders.
Calf Stretch – stand up tall and cross your legs in front of each other and reach down to your toes or as close as you can get to them.
2. Warm Up
A warm-up usually takes place prior to your main physical activity and usually consists of light cardio activities.
This is to increase circulation, increase body temperatures, and bring your heart rate up. This will make sure that there are fewer chances of injury.
Most cardio warm-ups are around 20 to 30 minutes long. But make sure this process is a gradual build up to a moderate pace. After all, it is a "warm up"!
The best ways to get your cardio work out at the gym it to hit up one of the cardio machines. If you are unsure of how to use the equipment it is perfectly fine to ask the staff to show you how it works.
Some popular cardio machines include the stationary bike, treadmill and the elliptical to break a little sweat.
Weights are an important part of any fitness routine.
It will allow you to keep the weight off, protecting bone health and muscle mass. In addition, it will make you stronger and fitter, boost your energy and increase your metabolic rate.
Therefore right after your warm up hit the free weights. Choose a set of dumbbells that you are comfortable with so you are able to perform the exercises.
Here is an example of some things you can include with your free weight exercise routine:
- 15 Bicep Curls
- 15 Dumbbell Rows
- 15 Triceps Extensions
- 15 Deadlifts
Repeat three times.
If your goal is to shed some pounds then it is important to incorporate cardio into your exercise routine.
In addition, it will help strengthen your heart, increase your metabolism, improve hormonal profiles, lose unwanted body fat, improve recovery ability and it is a full body workout.
There are many cardio machines that you can choose at the gym and if you are unsure you can always ask the staff.
It is a good idea to choose a different machine than the machine that you have already used for warm up. This is because having variety in your routine will bring results faster.
It is a good idea to spend at least 30 to 45 minutes on cardio to bring your heart rate up and to burn as many calories as you can.
5. Gym Machines
After your cardio, your heart is now beating fast and your muscles are warm. Therefore, it is a perfect time to hit the machines.
If you’re main focus is your legs then choose the machines that target those areas. If you are unsure you can always ask the staff at the gym.
With any machine exercise, it is a good idea to do 3 sets of 10 reps and choose a weight that is comfortable for you.
6. Cool Down
A cool down allows your body to slowly return to a resting state. It reduces heart rate, breathing rate, brings the body back to normal temperatures, return muscles to a relaxation state and lowers your blood pressure.
It also will help reduce soreness the next day.
Cool downs are simple too. Just repeat your cardio warm up and stretches, but take it at a slower pace.
Keeping hydrated before, during, and after a workout is really important.
It will help restore fluid levels that were lost and also help with muscle recovery. If you have done a light to moderate workout than having water to restore your fluids or muscles is fine.
However, if you happen to have done a high-intensity work-out than drinking a sports drink will be better for your recovery process.
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