Signing up for the gym is a great start to becoming more physically active, but what do you do once you get there? If you are new to the world of gyms, or even if you’ve been going to the gym for a while but are wondering if you could be using your gym time better, here are some tips to help you make the most of your exercise sessions. Remember, however, that this is generic adviceand that you should always follow your doctor’s and personal trainer’s instructions for advice tailored to your health situation and level of fitness.
Pay attention to which parts of your body you are exercising
There is an ongoing debate within the fitness community about whether you should do full-body workouts every time you go to the gym or exercise different groups of muscles on different days. According to topfitnessmag.com, you should only have dedicated legs/arms/abs daysif you are a bodybuilder, as exhausting one specific muscle group per session will result in maximum muscle growth. For everybody else, it’s best to work out your whole body every time you go to the gym, especially if you can only go a few times per week.
Here are the most common types of exercise, which you should make sure you’re covering at every gym session:
- Strength training, such as weightlifting and leg presses. If you are new to strength training, start on really low weights and build up gradually; otherwise, you risk injuring yourself. For the same reason, you should always ask a member of staff at your gym to show you how to use each machine—this will ensure that you are maintaining the correct form.
- Aerobic exercise, also known as endurance exercise or ‘cardio’: this is the kind of exercise that increases your breathing and heart rates for a sustained period of time, as opposed to the short bursts you get in strength training. Types of aerobic exercise you can do at the gym include jogging on a treadmill or using a step machine.
- Balance exercises: these are often forgotten, but they are a great way to improve your balance and coordination, which will make physical activity easier for you. You can find alist of balance exercises, including ones that use gym equipment such as dumbbells.
- Stretching, which you should do at the start and at the end of every gym session to keep your muscles in good health and avoid cramps.
Choose a gym that offers a variety of classes
Gym classes are a great way to have fun, switch up your exercise routine, and make new friends. If you’re not sure what kind of class you would enjoy, choose a gym that offers several types. For instance, fightcitygym.co.uk might look like ‘just’ a boxing and wrestling gym, but it actually offers courses in several types of martial arts. At a gym like that, you could try out different disciplines until you find your favorite.
Go as often as possible
Finally, you should make sure that you go to the gym as often as possible, even if it means only working out for half an hour every time. Getting and staying fit is a long-term game, and sporadic sessions won’t help!