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Beginning in the Gym? Steps to Success

As a beginner, getting started at the gym is usually the hardest part of meeting your fitness goals. Here are a few tips for beginners to get on track to meeting your goals for the New Year and finally getting started in the gym.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
Goal setting is vital when you first start going to the gym as it gives you something to work towards. Goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). It is a lot harder to stay motivated to reach a broad goal such as “I want to get fit” when compared to a S.M.A.R.T. goal such as “I want to be able to do 10 consecutive push-ups by the end of 3 months”. S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you to measure your progress towards reaching your goals, and make any changes to your routine or seek advice if you unsure that you’re on track.

2. Consult with a health professional
Seeking advice from a health professional prior to getting started at the gym is important, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may be affected by exercise. A health professional such as a physiotherapist can offer advice on how to prevent injury if you have not been in a gym environment before.

3. Have someone look at your form
This step is particularly important if you would like to start lifting weights. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a trained professional such as a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or a personal trainer at your gym. These professionals can offer you advice on how to perform exercises correctly, and how to prevent injury.

4. Don’t go too hard too quickly
When starting out, a big mistake that a lot of beginners make is lifting too much weight or going too hard too early. It is vital that you gradually increase the weight you lift, the time spent on the treadmill, and the amount of repetitions that you perform. This is to prevent an avoidable injury from occurring from doing too much too soon.

5. Have fun!
A great way to stay motivated for your fitness goals when first starting out is to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to mix up your gym routine with exercises including cardio, resistance training, pilates, Tai Chi, yoga and anything else that you can think of.

If you would like a physiotherapist to set you up for success with a winning gym routine, book an appointment at PhysioWest online or by calling 8352 3582 and get on track to achieving your goals!

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Written by Spencer Davis

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