A lot of amazing things happen once you start working out: you’ll notice you feel more energized, more confident, you sleep better, are in better mood, and finally – you don’t have to catch your breath when going up the stairs. Your body becomes stronger and healthier while your skin gets clearer.
Now, fast forward to the present moment. You’ve got yourself a gym membership. You are well aware of all of the benefits of being physically active, you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and start treating your body with some respect.This is worth of admiration, but it can be fairly scary. No giving up now: here are a few tips to get you started.
Replace Fear With Excitement
When faced with something new, people often intuitively react with fear as they are put in an unfamiliar situation and are not sure how to act. This will likely happen to you once you first step your foot to the gym. You’ll encounter people who are regulars there and know exactly what they’re doing, but you should not be discouraged by the fact or feel threatened. Instead of being impatient about your progress, acknowledge the fact that everyone had to start somewhere and stick with the plan. Confidence will come with time, and so will the muscles and strength. The importance of this mental shift from fear to excitement is often neglected, but it is necessary in order to commit to working out.
Choose Exercising Clothes Carefully
Did you know wearing a certain type of clothes can actually change our mood and behavior? That’s what researchers Galinsky and Adam have proven in their study “Enclothed Cognition” in 2012. It’s a well-known fact that you should wear something comfortable when hitting the gym. Right type of fabric ensures free movement, lets your skin breathe, and fits you perfectly. When choosing quality gym clothes, you should always think about the practical use, but since they can boost athletic performance and have positive effects on how you feel about working out, it’s good to include the aesthetic factors too and pick those you feel most confident in. Same goes for investing in proper shoes. Depending on the type of fitness program you opt for, you need different kinds of support. For example, running shoes have a cushion that provides the needed comfort by absorbing the impact while bodybuilding shoes have a raised heel, influencing the overall position of the torso.
Know What to Pack in Your Gym Bag
First things first: water. Series of medical studies have proven it’s important to stay well hydrated during your workout sessions as water is responsible for transporting the nutrients across your body, which ensures the best physical performance. You need to ensure proper electrolyte balance – otherwise you might experience fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness. Once you start breaking a sweat, the amount of water lost increases, and you need to make it up. In addition, water supports the process of weight loss, reduces fluid retention, and helps you build muscles. Besides water, bring two towels – one is to soak in the sweat during the workout and the other for showering afterwards. To support your body’s post-workout recovery, it’s recommendable to eat specific types of food that prevent the breakdown of muscle protein. Pack a chocolate milk, banana, or a protein bar and eat it about 45 minutes after you’re done exercising.
Consider Hiring a Personal Trainer
Personal trainers can be really expensive, but you should not exclude this option if you’re a total beginner. You’ll need someone to show you how to do exercises properly and provide you with basic tips to get you started. Educating yourself this way reduces the chance of injuries. A great trainer will also help you form a habit and resolve any motivation problems you might struggle with. Especially if you have multiple fitness goals in mind (e.g. target goals, such as getting a six pack, in combination with fat loss and working on a leaner figure), an expert can equip you with the right plan according to your current physical state and the time you’re willing to invest.
Take these tips in mind and be fearless in achieving your fitness goals and building a healthier lifestyle for yourself.