You should decide to make a lifestyle change and a conscious effort towards bettering one’s health. This will take a lot of motivation and decision. Consequently, even after decisions and many swears, giving up quickly is another hurdle you face. It is difficult to cultivate new habits that last long as it may seem as though you are wasting your time in the short term which can predispose to loss of motivation. Lifestyle changes involve dietary, physical, and mental changes that improve quality of life. You are mostly concerned about the physical aspect – exercise at the gym.
Physical lifestyle modification involves regular exercises to lose weight, maintain weight and add weight. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity improve health.”
Lifestyle modification is a process that takes time, requires support and discipline as motivation is never enough. Therefore, decisions made to change a habit must be followed through with commitment and discipline. In fact, you must adequately research, perform a medical check, and adjust your current schedule to fit the resolution to reach the goal. You must also set micro-goals and take baby steps to achieve the desired outcome.
Benefits of Physical Activity
You need to exercise becuase physical activity lower the risk of hypertension, type II diabetes mellitus, heart disease, etc.
Exercise has also been shown to increase the life span and quality of life of an individual. You must engage in physical activity to have stronger bones and withstand numerous chronic diseases.
Experts have shown that being more active i.e. having at least 30 minutes of physical activity can improve brain function and as such can prevent dementia and other cognitive changes.
How Often Should You Exercise
Following the WHO guidelines, an adult – any individual >18years is allowed 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises OR 70-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout. However, you can get this done with muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Following the foregoing, it can be said that an adult is allowed 3-5 days of workout sessions of about 30-50 minutes daily. Subsequently, all of these would depend on your physical, hormonal, and mental health status.
You should consult a physician before making any lifestyle change. Because it is important to prevent unwanted consequences that can arise.
You can work out in the gym as one of the ways to remain active because it will afford you a wide range of equipment to ensure you achieve your desired goal.
Generally, people throng the gyms at the beginning of the year to lose weight, stay fit or gain muscle. However, only a few of them stick to these goals till the end of the year as loss of motivation trumps the reasons for stopping.
Starting and registering at the gym isn’t ever enough as never stopping should always be where one’s focus should lie. You should track your progress because it will help you stay focused and maintain the habit of going to the gym.
You can track your progress and stay motivated by:
Keeping A Journal
You should have a journal for documenting your progress. Your journal would contain the road map, a map that will guide you on the journey of change. Subsequently, plans written in the journal should be S.M.A.R.T; they should be specific towards a goal, should be measurable, should be achievable with the time given for example losing 20 pounds in 3 months, plans should be realistic- something you can easily do like walking first before weight training and time-bound like within 3 months.
Weight Tracking And Gradually Increasing Weights
Beginners or those starting all over again are advised to start at small weights or bodyweight only and gradually improve. Thus, you can start at the lower end of your weight spectrum and make gradual progression to personal maximum limit. An individual’s maximum limit is the most amount of weight you can lift for one repetition with good form. You should focus on a good form in greater repetitions and sets before adding more weight. However, progression from lightweight to heavyweight can help track progress and keep you motivated for longer.
You can have a gym buddy. A gym buddy could be an old friend, a new friend made from the gym, a co-worker, or a family member. Someone else on the same journey will help keep you motivated and accountable thus ensuring you stay motivated and progress at the gym. Constantly talking to other friends who are not on the same journey can act as a constant reminder and ensure progress. You can join a support group of beginners (on/off-line) that can mentally prepare you and ensure motivation that would help achieve your goal. Essentially, gym buddies help share your struggles and success in making your decision achievable.
Asking For Help From Experts
You should accept help from those who care about your journey and who are willing to listen strengthens resilience and commitment. You may know little to nothing about the use of the gym and proper use of equipment as a beginner. Therefore, it you should ask for help from coaches and fellow gym members as no man is an island. In particular, you can pay for a certified coach with better knowledge of nutrition who will help keep you motivated and attain your goals in good time.
Words of Encouragement
You must encourage yourself throughout your fitness journey. It is not enough to hear others encourage you. You should praise and motivate yourself. For the most part, you have to be your biggest cheer leader. You can do what you set out to do and you have to remind yourself everyday. ‘I can do this’ can be your personal mantra.
Invest in Proper Exercise Gear
You must have the right tools in order to meet your goal. Investing in proper gear will make your fitness journey go smoothly. You can purchase exercise wear and equipment at reasonable prices. These will help you stay motivated and encouraged. Above all, you will want to make your purchase worth it. You can browse online for suitable options or you can visit a nearby sports store.
Make it Fun
You should make exercising fun and exciting. Your routine can have so much fun-filled activities that also serve as exercise. You should find a sport that you enjoy and switch it up from time to time. Dance classes are a great form of exercise and lots of fun. You shake, you move and you dance those carbs away.
You must take the time out to reward yourself. Take a day off or go to the spa with friends. You should be able to look forward to completing a goal and thanking yourself for doing it.
You can make use of mirrors, calculation of body fat percentage, the use of measuring tapes, and weighing scales to help track progress and keep a you motivated. But as Rome wasn’t built in a day, all things regarding a lifestyle change takes time. Seeing a drop in dress size, a better image on pictures, and being told you look better should be enough to keep you motivated. You must have a source of motivation – something to keep you going.
Gym Workouts For Females
Females work out at the gym because they mostly want to lose weight, most of them avoid weights as there is a myth that women become bulky with weightlifting which is untrue. Notwithstanding, weight training will strengthen and help achieve weight loss faster as it tones the female body.
A total of 10 repetitions for 3 sets is enough for a beginner at the gym. You should dedicate days to varying body parts to ensure no part is overworked and the other underworked. You can focus on the core, the arms, the legs and glutes when working out.
Examples of such workouts are:
- You can warm-up using the thread mill for 10 min
- Leg presses
- Bodyweight lunges
- Leg raises
- Shoulder presses
- Close grip lat pull-downs
- Weighted arm raises
- Mountain climbers
- Box jumps
Gym Workout For Males
Males can start working out to gain muscle, gain strength, lose weight and stay lean while being ripped. Your workouts are essentially going to be focused on arms, core, and legs.
You can do a total of 10 repetitions for 4 sets, with appropriate weights, which is enough for a beginner. However, for strength training decrease in repetitions of about 4-6 for 4 sets at a higher weight to build strength is recommended. Once you can lift that weight for greater than 10 reps an increase in weight is indicated.
You should know that every part of the body should be focused on, as alternating days would help avoid overworking a certain part over another to ensure proportionate build.
Examples of workouts are:
- You can warm-up using the thread mill for 5-10mins
- Seated chest presses
- Seated rows
- Cable rows
- Wide grip lat pull-downs
- Seated leg presses
- Shoulder press
- Bench presses
- Bicycle curls
- Shoulder lat raises
- Goblet squats
- Close-grip tricep push-ups
- Reverse crunches
On a final note, starting at a gym is an excellent and achievable goal, as with other habits it takes time to build and the benefits far outweigh the risk. Skipping the gym and failing at one micro-goal isn’t the end as you can only be kind to yourself and keep going to achieve the greater goal.
Focusing on the goal, smashing goals one at a time, and not changing so much so fast would help you start, stay motivated and never stop.
You should have a meal plan while using the gym, as it is always a good addition to ensure you get your goals, Check out all you need to know about proteins and carbohydrates while creating that plan.