Dazed & Confused at the Gym
By Nicole Smith | fit815 Contributor
It’s the first day of the new year, and you’re out of bed before your alarm goes off. Before those second thoughts even have a chance to form, gym shoes are on and you’re ready to go.
You even remembered to eat breakfast this morning; you’re on a roll! A final sweep through the house to discard any remaining Christmas cookies, one last look at that inspirational quote, then you’re off. You arrive at the gym, hope building with each stride. Doors open, and you’re greeted with smiles and sweat. Alright, you’re inside. Step one: complete.
Now what? You search the room, desperate for anything familiar that won’t scream to everyone there that you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Treadmill. Everyone knows how important cardio is for weight loss, so this will be perfect for you.
Ten minutes in, you’ll admit it; you’re bored. Yet, intent on doing what you set out to do, you push through forty-five minutes of hell. Unsure what else to add to your workout, you decide to head home. It’s true that something is better than nothing, so despite feeling a little disappointed in yourself for not utilizing all the resources available, you give yourself a pat on the back and consider today a win.
It’s the third week of January, and you’re tired; you’re tired of waking up so early, you’re tired of being sweaty and uncomfortable, and you’re tired of the treadmill. Not to mention, you haven’t seen any significant results for all the hard work you’ve been putting in. You’re fed up and ready to quit. The alarm goes off, and you push snooze… THREE times. You start to miss a day here and there coming up with reasonable justifications that ease your guilt.
Before you know it, it’s been a month and you haven’t been to the gym at all. You can’t bring yourself to cancel your membership because that would equal quitting. Instead, you just kick yourself every time you pay the monthly fee for unused resources. Now, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re starting all over again.
Does this sound all too familiar? Going to the gym can be scary, but what’s scarier is making a commitment to get better. We all want to be healthy and happy, but so many people accept that they never will be simply because they are afraid to try. As if feeling incapable and being discouraged isn’t enough, these individuals are then labeled with harsh terms like “fat” and “lazy.”
This is a recipe for failure. But of course you’re going to fail if you aren’t given the tools with which to succeed! Information that’s both helpful and easily applied regarding health and fitness is often not something that’s easy for us to find. Many of us may go our whole lives never knowing anything more than the food pyramid we learned about in elementary school. When you join a gym, no one expects you to magically gain all that information.
Personal training is a great place to start. These individuals have devoted themselves to studying health and fitness. They have been certified in their areas of expertise, and are here for the sole purpose of passing that knowledge on to you in a way that expressly fits your personal goals and lifestyles. Not to mention, the partnership provided by these wonderful trainers can give a sense of comfort and accountability that many find necessary to succeed.
If personal training seems a bit too hands-on or is perhaps out of your price range, group fitness classes are an excellent alternative. You will still receive guidance from a trained instructor, just in more general terms. This is great for those who may not feel the need for the one-on-one instruction provided by a personal trainer, but still want fresh ideas for new and exciting workouts.
The best part of group fitness classes is being able to workout with others. Not only does this provide the potential for new friendships, but it also forces you to step outside your comfort zone by requiring you to showcase both your strengths and weaknesses in front of others. Through this, you will learn the most valuable lesson of all: We are all at different places in our journey, but we are all in this together.