Just deciding to get fit or trying to maintain a regular exercise or workout schedule can be enough of a daunting task. There are so many programs available now, from yoga to strength training, and everything possible in between, and all can be done either at home or in a gym. Choosing a gym and a fitness program will depend on a few important factors.
Consider your fitness level and be realistic. Things like body composition and flexibility levels need to be taken into consideration. A doctor should be consulted before you begin any exercise program, especially if you have not been physically active for a given amount of time. Once you have determined the level of fitness that you are comfortably able achieve, then set one or even a few key goals. Perhaps one goal would be to tone up or lose those last 10 to 15 pounds, or maybe you want to take part in a benefit walk with friends or co-workers. Whatever the goals may be, they will help you stay focused and motivated.
You should think about the kind of physical activities you really enjoy. If you simply pick things that you think are easy, or like because they are trendy, you may soon find yourself finding excuses as to why you don't want to go to the gym after all. For example if you like to dance, then look for an exercise class that offers aerobics which includes dance moves. If you are a social person then go shopping for a health club or a gym membership as opposed to exercising alone at home. Also, don't join a club that has more to offer than you will realistically use or do. For example, if you have no love of a steam bath, then why join a gym that offers sauna privileges?
Whether you choose to exercise at home or at a gym, be sure to maintain variety in your routine. This will help to prevent overuse or injury to a specific joint or group of muscles. It will also help to prevent boredom resulting from a repetitive exercise routine.
If it looks like a gym or health club is the way you want to go, then you should consider the location. Depending on what time of day you plan to exercise and where it will fit into you daily/weekly schedule, you may want to have your gym be handy to home, or on your route to work. Also be sure to visit the gym you are considering at the time of day you plan to be there to do your workout. If you dislike crowds or prefer a large group to workout with, this will give you a heads up as to how busy the place is going to be when you plan on being there. When you visit, check the locker rooms to see if the showers are fresh and clean and look well maintained, or do they look like something from a horror movie?
You should also consider your financial status. Sometimes home gym equipment can be pricey as can memberships in health clubs. Don't join a gym to benefit your health then spend each day stressing out about how to come up with next month's fees. Instead, if the dues are just too expensive, check your local city or municipality recreation department. Many times they will have regular exercise programs offered at a much more affordable rate, and with just as good of a variety of programs as your local gym.
Once you are involved in a regular exercise routine, don't forget that when you have achieved the goals you set for yourself, set new ones based on your new fitness level. This way you will always feel motivated and continue to grow physically and emotionally.
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