Summer is here and the procrastination continues for those of you who are looking to get that summer bod. You might be too busy, can't go to a gym or if you are like me just scared of it. Going into an area filled with mostly buff people can be very intimidating especially if you are like me who is scrawny and has the strength of a two year old. I'm very self-conscious about my looks and there have been times where I avoided going to the gym alone. During the school year the only time I went to the gym was with a friend because I felt comfortable around people... well there are times where I have to learn to be alone and the gym was a struggle, but I do have tips for those people who want to go to the gym, but the people around them are scary and causes them to skip the gym and head back to the couch.
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1. Bring Headphones!
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Headphones are the most common thing to have in the gym besides clothes and a water bottle. Your headphones are the gateway between all the people around you. Put on a playlist or for me American Psycho the Musical and then do your thing. Music is a wonderful safe gateway to get into your own world. Plus you really don't want to hear yourself dying of air when you are running and also the music in the gym is usually not my taste. It is why I never listen to the radio. I don't have control in what I want to listen to and I really do like to have that kind of control. If I want to listen to Smooth Jazz while I run a mile, then dammit I will. Finally, people won't bother you when you have headphones on. You are in the zone and if they interrupt your zone then they are looking for trouble aka you just casually walk away and maybe move to a new city and start over in life... yeah don't interrupt someones zone. Also make sure your headphones work and there are no short circuits in the wires. It really sucks when you are running or lifting or whatever workout things people do and only half of an earbud works. They need to invent affordable wireless headphones (if they do, someone let me know, thanks!)
2. Go During the Summer
This relates more to college campus gyms. If you are someone like me who lives in the area that your college is in for whatever reason, use that summer for gym time. 90% of the student body is gone. The people who are left are student workers and faculty. So you have a good three months to go to the gym without it being packed. The most might be like 5 people, but they are by themselves and focusing on looking good so no worries. Plus this gives you the opportunity to try out new workouts without looking like a fool, because when I'm lifting weights and trying something new with them, my face looks like a hot mess and I don't want anyone to look at me. This will give you time to excel at those workouts or at least look like you know what you are doing as well.
3. Go During the Usual Lunch Time or Usual Class Time
This works during the regular academic year. If you are the kind of person who is too tired to get up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym or too scared to go late at night then the best time (if you have the time) is during lunch or when class is in session. If you are someone like me who doesn't have any classes on a certain day I can go during class time and not worry about having a lot of people since they are in class learning and I'm casually sweating to death. Now if you have classes most of the time, but not during lunch well this is where responsibility and time management comes in. If you go during the usual lunch rush there won't be that many people and plus when you are finish and you have time then you can go to lunch when it isn't crowded which is always great. Now if you can't sit down and eat, but have a class that allows you, then pack a light classroom lunch. Water, granola bars or trail mix to keep your hunger cravings satisfied till you get home and pig out (I'm not a nutritionist so you can ignore all the food tips I give you.)
4. Don't Over Work Yourself
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I understand when you go to the gym after not going for a long time and you try to go in there guns blazing hoping you look super fit in 20 minutes... well, spoiler alert, you won't. You are going to look real sweaty and not in the attractive way (if you can work the attractive way then I secretly hate you.) It takes time and something I do remember in my health class is that you have to slowly build yourself up. Unless you go macho crazy training, then take small steps because the victory will be longer if you do. When I run my miles I try to at least cut 5 seconds in my time per week. So by 3 months maybe I can transfer from a 9 minute mile to an 8 minute one as well. Same with weights. Lifting the heaviest thing doesn't make you cool... plus, no one wants to deal with a crying you when you break your bones or pull a muscle for grabbing a weight that is too heavy for you to lift. If you over work yourself it might lead you getting injured or passing out which is embarrassing especially to me. Take everything 10% and once you feel comfortable moving to a new level or exercise slowly get into it. In the long run it will benefit you.
5. Do What You Know and Research What You Don't Know
This corresponds with the last post to help save you from looking awkward around the people you are at the gym with since there will be times that someone will be there even if you go to a 24 hour fitness one probably. If you know how to run on a treadmill great, but if you have no clue how to work a weight lifting machine or the stair master... read the instructions, google it or if you have the courage ask a front desk person. Knowing what to do makes everything good.
6. Just Breathe
That is all... yes you need to live especially when working out, but in general just breathe. You are going to the gym to be healthier in your body. Most people in there are doing the same thing as well. If someone is in there just to make fun of people in gym, well there is a special place in hell for that kind of immaturity and cruelness.[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F06%2F6360343937150722371379120152_How%2520Dare%2520You.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=15&h=34c9ac4ac9331928da6bc26e17520402d2c18e8eca6eca81fc2a117468538d79&size=980x&c=1064133594 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F06%252F6360343937150722371379120152_How%252520Dare%252520You.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D15%26h%3D34c9ac4ac9331928da6bc26e17520402d2c18e8eca6eca81fc2a117468538d79%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1064133594%22%7D" expand=1]
It is hard trying to make change in an environment you may not be comfortable in. Just breathe, get lost with music, work out and things will be alright.
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