Is it your first day at the gym and looking forward to starting a new fitness regime? If so, then you should definitely start off right. The gym is a great place to get fit, but it can also be intimidating. It’s important to prepare yourself for exercise before starting an intense workout routine. Here are some useful tips to consider when you’re ready to hit the gym.
1. Double-check your preparations:
A good gym bag should have lots of pockets and compartments to hold everything you need while working out. A gym bag should be able to fit all your workout essentials including your phone, keys, wallet, water bottle, snacks, etc. You don’t want to forget anything at the end!
You’ll definitely want a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout your workout. Make sure you get a wide-mouth water bottle that’s comfortable enough to drink from.
Make sure you bring some workout clothes with you. When choosing clothes, look for ones that are breathable and comfortable. Look for shirts that wick away sweat and pants that allow freedom of movement.
If you’re planning on doing any sort of cardio workouts, make sure you bring a sports bra along. Not only do they help prevent chafing, but they also give you extra support.
Shoes are an important aspect of your workout routine. If you plan on using them for cardio and weight training, ensure you get a pair that provides adequate cushioning and stability. Your shoes should fit comfortably and provide adequate traction. Avoid wearing flip-flops or sandals; they may not offer enough grip.
2. Warm Up
The warm-up is the time before you start working out. You want to prepare your body for exercise by warming up muscles and joints. Your warm-up should consist of low-intensity exercises like walking, jogging, jumping rope, and stretching. These movements loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body.
Stretching is an important part of warming up. Stretching increases flexibility and reduces muscle soreness after exercising. Make sure to stretch your entire body, including your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and neck. There are many different types of stretches, but some of the most popular ones are listed below.
- Standing hamstring stretch
- Standing calf stretch
- Standing quadriceps stretch
- Standing groin stretch
- Side leg stretch
- Shoulder shrug
- Neck stretch
- Sit and reach
4. Work Out Properly
If it’s your first day at the gym, perform only two or three sets of each muscle workout. Do a single set of 8 to 10 repetitions. Don’t overdo it. Because your body is not prepared yet and you will end up with muscle soreness. If you’re using weights incorrectly, you could injure yourself. So, maintain a lightweight. Also, make sure to perform each movement slowly and smoothly.
5. Be Careful With Barbells
Never add or remove the weight from the barbell on your own. Because adding or removing weight to one side of the barbell will make the barbell unbalanced. As a result, you’ll either get hurt, or you’ll cause someone else to get hurt. If you need assistance, ask someone to help you remove or add the weight to the barbell.
6. Re-rack and Clean
Always re-rack the weight and clean up the equipment you used. Remember to place your towel on benches when you use them. It should go without saying that neither you nor anyone else wants to sit in the other person’s sweat puddle.
7. Drink Water
Drinking water is essential to staying hydrated while exercising. Staying hydrated will help prevent cramps and dehydration, both of which can cause injury.
8. Cool Down
It is equally important to cool down as it is to warm up. When you finish your workout, take a few deep breaths and walk around the room for about five minutes. This will help reduce lactic acid buildup and relax your muscles.
9. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The first thing you should do after arriving at the gym gets some sleep. You don’t want to be tired when you start working out. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’ll feel sluggish and won’t have the energy to work out effectively. Plus, if you’re feeling tired, you may end up sleeping more than usual, which means you’ll lose even more time to exercise.
10. Eat Breakfast
As far as meals go, breakfast is the most important. Not only does it give you fuel for the rest of the day, but it helps set your body up for success. Eating breakfast before hitting the gym will help keep you energized throughout the morning.
Hydration is extremely important when working out. Dehydration causes fatigue and muscle cramps, which could lead to injury. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and keep yourself properly hydrated.
Exercise is important for fitness regardless of age or gender. In fact, research shows that regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, anxiety, stress, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and even premature death.
There are lots of ways to get fit, from walking to running, yoga to Pilates, and Zumba to CrossFit. Whatever method you choose, remember to warm up before exercising, stretch after, drink plenty of water, and eat well. Keep in mind to consume extra vitamin-rich foods.