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Gym Shorts: What motivates you to get you moving?

October 5, 2023

So you’re thinking about becoming more physically active, but don’t know where to start. Or you’re thinking about joining a gym but worried you cannot make the changes you want to see.

When we start to think about living a healthier lifestyle that includes becoming more active or working out, for some people, thinking is as far as they will go. Why? Fear.

Some people will not take the next steps toward a healthier lifestyle. It’s important not to let fear hold you back from your health or fitness goals.

That fear or anxiety is an honest emotion many of us feel. It took me a full year before I would join a gym. My excuse? My knee replacements. Hey, this was a great excuse since you’re not supposed to do any high impact exercises. I figured many gym exercises, such as skipping and running, were off the table. I didn’t want to do anything to damage or wear out my new knees.

But after doing my research, I found out the gym I was researching had a fitness program called “Level Method” that offered “scaling” for each member. It means that each member’s work-out is tailored to fit his/her fitness ability. The fact that one of the coaches is a Functional Aging Specialist was also a bonus!

So that fear of joining a gym is real and can be demotivating. Coaches understand that coming into a gym can be intimidating so they use their specialized training and guidance to help you overcome this fear. When you join a gym, a coach will work with you to develop a personalized fitness program that works for you. Coaches help set achievable, realistic goals in a motivating environment.

I have heard from many gym members who said one of their biggest fears to joining a gym was working out in a class with other people they didn’t know. That is why some gym programs will include an initial series of private training sessions before you enter a class. If you are new to a gym, this allows you to get used to the environment and learn what to expect. The coaches get you ready to enter a group class setting.

Everyone is different and will work out at different fitness levels. That is why that scaling process I mentioned earlier is important. Members can also have all kinds of injuries, such as shoulder pain or arthritis, and still work out. They just work out at a lighter or different pace than others.

Good coaches will use their knowledge base to focus on individual clients to ensure they get the right support and they are there to guide you every step of the way. The really good coaches are also able to provide a level of custom support to each member - even in a group class setting. They will know your limitations and adjust your work-out accordingly.

The best part about joining a gym or any fitness organization or group is the new friends you make.

Next time, I will focus on taking that first big step - joining a fitness group.

Always consult first with a medical professional or coach before starting a fitness program.

Fun team competitions are popular at gyms and help build new friendships

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