A great way to get fitter
by Roger Childs
Gyms are great places to increase your fitness and extend your boundaries. There was time when gyms were seen as the preserve for strong, muscular men, and svelte, fit women in lycra.
However, these days there are people of all ages there and an increasing number of retired folks.
Obviously, there is a cost to belong, but if you want plenty of options to improve your health, well-being and fitness, being part of a gym is money well spent.
Most gyms will allow you to try them out for nothing, so that you have a chance with no obligations to see if it’s your thing.
When you join a gym you will get help from the staff. Usually an initial orientation programme will be part of the deal. Beyond that you can employ a personal trainer to set up a fitness programme for you and monitor your progress.
The advantage of having a good personal trainer is that you get expert advice and have a motivator to keep you going. However, once you’ve got into the swing of things and experimented with the enormous range of equipment on offer, you may be happy to settle in to your own routine.
You will also get to know people who are regulars and they can give you good tips on particular machines, equipment and stretches.
The bigger gyms offer many classes, which range from Zumba and yoga to ride and stretching sessions. There will be pamphlets available to tell what all the different classes involve and how they can get you fitter.
People are sometimes embarrassed about joining classes, because they think they will stand out and look foolish. However everybody was a “first timer” once and you can always start down the back where no-one can see you!
The instructors are always very helpful and you can talk to them individually before or after class to get advice.
Like all the other equipment and machines, you can try classes out and see what’s right for you.
Plenty of options
Once you join up at a gym the sky’s the limit. You can
- go as often as you like
- do as many classes as you want
- access whatever equipment you want to use
- take advantage of personal trainer advice and expertise if you wish.
You can walk, run, ride, row, dance, use a Swiss ball, lift weights, employ resistance machines, stretch, plank, meditate, do yoga and pilates … you name it.
At gyms you also meet a lot of interesting people who can help you and perhaps become friends. However, it’s comforting to know that members are usually focusing on their own routines and are not staring at what you’re doing!
Nevertheless, if you want advice, people are invariably happy to share.