Overcoming Gym-Phobia

Photo Credit: Irepkabl PD

The Centers for Disease Control declared obesity is a national epidemic. Many factors contribute to obesity, including unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Diet and exercise fads seem to be on the increase, perhaps to take financial advantage by selling lose-weight-quick programs and pills. Turn on late night television and you will probably see a few infomercials featuring diet pills or the latest fat-busting exercise DVD. Losing weight can be difficult. Some people need guidance and support to succeed. A gym is a place where those who need some help can meet others who are supportive. Staff and personal trainers can offer instruction to prevent injury and motivation to keep you going. Home exercise programs are a fantastic way to lose weight and get fit, but they don’t work for everyone. It’s too easy to put off getting started or lose motivation to exercise at home when the television and sofa beckon. Some people may avoid joining a gym because they are embarrassed about their physical appearance or feel like they won’t fit in. If you are anxious or reluctant to join a gym because you’ve never been to one, there are some things you can do to prepare for your first trip to the gym. 
Define your fitness goals and discover what motivates you to achieve your goals. Do you want to lose 15 pounds or even 30 pounds? Do you want to get a flatter stomach or firmer arms? Maybe you are motivated to lose weight and get fit because there is an important event coming up, like a wedding or family reunion. Perhaps you are motivated to get fit before your 20 year class reunion. Whatever your motivation to get started, the important thing is you are motivated. Once you get started exercising and eating a healthier diet, you will look better and feel better.
Avoid setting yourself up for failure. You may not be able to just walk into a gym and start exercising. People who have not exercised in years should prepare for the gym by building up their endurance. Walking is a great way to build endurance. Make a commitment to walk 10 minutes every day for one week. Walk for 20 minutes every day for the next week. By the third week, you should be able to walk for 30 minutes and more confident that you can do 20 to 30 minutes of exercising on a gym treadmill or elliptical machine. After your first successful treadmill or elliptical workout, you will come away from the gym feeling confident and motivated. 
Many gyms offer trial periods. Take advantage of the trial period to find a gym that works for you. A good gym will provide an orientation program designed to not only familiarize you with the gym equipment and policies, but also inquire about your current level of fitness, health issues and goals. A personal trainer at a gym offers personal instruction and can help you develop a realistic plan so that you meet and even exceed your fitness goals. 

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