I have been a dedicated gym goer in previous years, but this changed when I started university and was splitting my time between two cities, so I took up running and using workout DVDs which I could easily do anywhere.
As a graduate in employment, I decided to rejoin the gym as a way to destress, whilst becoming healthier and stronger. I initially did a 7-day trial to see how I felt about the gym, the facilities and classes on offer. I highly recommend that you do the same if you are considering joining a new gym. It would be silly to commit to a 12-month membership if you aren’t sure whether the gym in general, as well as the specific gym that you are considering, is right for you.
Before starting, I wondered whether the gym was something I would stick with long term.
I commute an hour each way to work and admittedly working out is the last thing that I want to do when I get home sometimes. However, you just have to motivate yourself and power through it. My minimum target of attending 3 times a week helps.
My other concern was feeling like I’m being watched whilst I’m working out, as I find this really off-putting and know that other women do too. Being concerned about how you are perceived also comes into play. I mean, let’s be real… Red faces, sweat patches and wobbly bits are the realities of working out. There is nothing to be embarrassed or concerned about regarding your appearance at the gym (or anywhere else for that matter). Exercise is effort and taking the time to work out and take care of your health and well-being takes courage, determination and good old hard work, which is something to be proud of.
By powering on and making myself keep going, these concerns have faded, and I am now a confident gym goer once again!
Overall, the first attempt went well. With it being a 7-day trial initially, I took my fiancé along for moral support. Having a gym buddy is a good way to get started! We did some cardio and arm weights before I braved a Zumba class by myself. We then had a dip in the pool and tried out the sauna to see what these facilities were like. The Zumba class was really good fun, even though I didn’t know the routine (it took a few weeks to learn), but nobody cares!
I would highly recommend using a gym as there really is something for everyone. You can do your own thing, attend classes or go for a swim. You have the option to mix things up depending on how you feel. I find that gym classes are a good way to work out when you lack motivation because there’s loads of other people there going for it and it feels like a group effort! On days when I feel like taking my time and doing my own thing, that’s exactly what I do. Once you feel comfortable, the gym can be a fantastic, motivating and safe place to work out, which is why I recommend it.
If you’ve been inspired by Laura’s story, check out her blog L Talks Life.