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Gregory Florez, national spokesman for the American Council on Exercise, says the search should begin with you.
Curves, for example, focuses on the needs of female gym-goers. The open spaces can be intimidating.
And one day soon, you just might find yourself completely at home in the gym, wondering what all that anxiety was about. Gallivan, personal trainer and instructor in Human Performance and sports sciences at Tennessee State University.
The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association recommends that you bring a checklist of important items with you on your first visit, confirming such provisions as personal training, childcare, group exercise classes, changing facilities, parking and cardio equipment.
The cardio machines may feel too close together and, of course, the aggressive salespeople can send anyone packing.
But things are changing as the industry recognizes the need to address customers of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. They usually show six-pack hunks and size-zero beauty queens. But make certain you know what your goals are and be sure to mention them to your trainer.
Or is it part of a new weight-loss plan?
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Keep reading for some surefire suggestions from five fitness experts on how to better understand and use the gym and make it an enjoyable part of your fitness program. Choosing the Right Gym Finding the right health club could mean the difference between lasting happiness or a quickie split that costs you money.
In short, gyms can be intimidating. Try a workout class! But you get through it and you do fine. His career has primarily been in newspapers, including 22 years at "The Dallas Morning News.
Awesome Abdominal Workouts For Women!
What else would you tell gym newbies? In general, she says, more men are at least familiar with the atmosphere and the experience of being in a gym.
Video of the Day You might think most gyms are filled with incredible hulks and smiling supermodels, surrounded by mysterious, sinister-looking weights and machines. Gyms have every kind of person -- young, old, skinny, heavy, male and female. Whitmarsh says working out with a friend or in a group also helps some people gain confidence at the gym.
Practice Your Self-Confidence Still a bit uneasy?
On To The Programs
Or maybe you just want to start some healthier habits. You almost never see overweight people sweating hard to lose a pound or two in gym ads.
Share your thoughts, stories and suggestions in the comments below! And everyone is at the gym for the same reason -- to improve. Did any of this advice resonate with you? This is particularly important if you intend to do any circuit training and would rather not wait for a machine.
Warner notes that many women also did not participate in the sorts of school team sports that required gym workouts.
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And the increase in the number of smaller, boutique gyms, as well as Pilates and yoga studios, speak to the need for all kinds of different workout spaces. Are you a little nervous about walking into a gym for the first time or returning after a hiatus?
With all this in mind, you can start to move past your fears of going to the gym. Also be sure the trainer knows you want to be able to work out on your own as well.
That, says Gallivan, goes back to the misconception that gyms are the domain of the muscular and the perfect.