How To Get Started at the Gym
By Zoe Sinukoff
Summer is upon us, and that means we are all trying to get in shape for when we inevitably shed our layers and don our shorts and bikinis. If you hadn’t started your new years resolution to get fit back in January, I bet you sure are considering it now. However, the sun and warm weather can bring a mix of emotions, happiness for some, and stress for others. Getting in shape can feel really overwhelming and a lot of people have no clue where to start. I’ve been there, which is why I want to share with you a few ways in which you can take those first steps into the gym and towards a healthy and wholesome lifestyle.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Not every gym is created equal, and for some, the gym doesn’t even have to be the place to start! There are tons of options when it comes to finding ways to get in shape, which is why doing a little bit of research can be really useful in helping you to get started. For me, I found solace in a weight lifting program that helped me to tone up and get stronger, but that doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weights to lose weight or gain muscle! In Toronto (and I’m sure in your city as well), there are different gyms with different workout plans, dance studios that teach at varying levels of experience, and unconventional crossfit or circuit based health clubs that do things their own way. Find what interests you and try different things. You may discover a new favourite activity!
BE OPEN TO LEARNING
This is something I still struggle with, but will ultimately help you along your journey to a healthier lifestyle. By being open to learning from other people, you open yourself up to other techniques and perspectives. Maybe that means you start working with a personal trainer who can teach you proper form and prevent injury. Maybe you try a workout class at your gym that you would never do before for fear of looking uneducated. Allowing yourself to learn from others will help you to figure out what makes you excited to get up off the couch and get active!
TAKE YOUR TIME
Getting fit can take some time. Remember, it should be a lifestyle, not a quick fix. The rules of self-care apply to personal fitness as well: Nothing happens over night. Changing the composition of your body, shedding pounds or fat, and getting stronger all take time, hard work, and dedication. However, these are not unachievable goals! Taking progress pictures along the way gives you the opportunity to look back and see how far you’ve come. Celebrate little victories like taking your first steps into the gym or having your first personal training session. And don’t forget that each day is a fresh start, so if you don’t get the chance to be active today, there is always tomorrow. I really struggle with beating myself up over not working out, so I always remind myself to take my time and stay as consistent as I realistically can.
I recently learned that incorporating personal fitness into your lifestyle is an important aspect of self-care. By getting fit, eating better, and taking care of your body, you’re not only taking steps towards feeling better, but you’re taking steps towards living happier for longer! It is so important to me to be able to do the fun activities with my future children and grandchildren, just as my parents and grandparents have done with me. I already feel better mentally and physically, and I know I have a long journey ahead of me. Prioritize your happiness, try new things, and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your goals!