The first time at any gym can be overwhelming, especially during peak hours. But that shouldn’t stop you from walking down the hall to the weight room, upstairs to the cardio room, or onto the track! Getting to the gym is the most important step, and you’ll be glad you did it. I promise!
First thing’s first: warming up is essential. Hop on a rowing machine, bike, elliptical, or go on a 5 to 10 minute jog to warm up your muscles. This will help prevent injuries and keep you from tightening up. (Trust me, the last thing you want is to get a leg cramp in the middle of your 300-person lecture.)
During your workout, keep in mind that no matter what exercise you’re doing (or what your chosen plan tells you to do), you can always tailor it to your abilities and interests. For example, I can’t do a pull-up to save my life. So, I substitute that part of a plan with pushups or the assisted pull-up machine. Problem solved!
After your workout, be sure to stretch. From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that stretching, even if it is just for 5 minutes, helps fight off the possibility of tight muscles the next morning. Simple arm and leg stretches like those we learned in 7th grade gym class are enough to make a difference!
Pro tip: resting in between workouts and during the week is just as important as the exercises themselves. In between gym days, let your body recover completely and let your muscles build back up. Working out tears down muscles and then builds them back up stronger than before.
Later this week, we’ll look into how to get your friend or partner involved in your new routine with partner workouts. (YAY!) Just in time for Valentine’s Day and a great idea for date night at one of the campus gyms. Wink wink.