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Getting started at the gym

How to avoid common mistakes while getting in shape

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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 4:09 pm

 Everyone wants to get in shape, though sometimes it is easier said than done. Today, the availability of gym equipment is not a major issue, with more gyms available than ever. Of course, two major obstacles remain for those who want to get fit — knowledge and motivation.

 People can encounter a lot of problems when first starting an exercise regime at home or at a gym. Craig Fisher of Fenton Fitness and Athletic Center said that a lot of mistakes he sees people make relate to posture and proper form.

 Fisher said that it is common for many gym first timers to overdo their workout, and then be too sore to pick up where they left off the next day.

 Other times, people may come in to the gym wanting to replicate a particular exercise they have seen in a magazine, without knowing how to properly do it, or even what it is supposed to do for your body. He said for those who are just getting started and are serious, that they should look into working with a personal trainer.

 “If you didn’t know anything about cars, you wouldn’t try to fix your own transmission. The same is true with your body,” Fisher said.

 The cost of a personal trainer can vary from place to place, with discounts sometimes being offered as you pay for more sessions. Fisher said that he recommends spending four to six sessions with a gym trainer to learn what you need, and make certain that you are able to fully remember what you need to.

 If the idea of learning from a personal trainer sounds appealing, but you are worried about the price, there is an alternative in group coaching. While you will not have as much one-on-one time with a personal trainer in group coaching, it can be a more affordable away to gain the knowledge you need to get in shape.

 Getting in shape requires a lot of commitment and can be difficult. Make a habit out of going to the gym, and try not to break it. Once you have made it into a routine, keep it up.

 Start small with what you can do, and build up over time. Set goals for yourself, whether it be the distance you have travelled on the treadmill, or the amount of weights you are lifting. Keeping track of these goals will give you a challenge to keep returning to.

 If the challenge is not enough to bring you back, find other ways to reward yourself for keeping a regular gym schedule. Finding the motivation to keep going is the key to getting in shape.

Staying safe while getting healthy

Get a yearly check up and discuss your exercise plan with your doctor. This is important if you have any active health problems or risks to make certain your fitness plan works for you, but also to stay ahead of any additional health risks that may sneak up on you.

Remember to warm up and cool down. When you start your exercise session, remember to do your stretches and to include a warm up period of light exertion. When finishing, don’t come to a dead stop, take some time to slowly lower your exertion level.

Remember good form. If you are doing a particular exercise wrong, not only are you not getting the most out of it, you may also hurt yourself.

Know the equipment. If you want to use a piece of gym equipment, read the instructions on the machinery carefully. If you have any questions, ask someone who is already using it. Like improper form, improper use of gym machinery can more trouble than it is worth.

Work out with a partner. Not only will working out with a friend give you extra encouragement to go to the gym, but you will have someone who can provide you feedback on your form.

Source: About.com

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