Going to your local gym is a great way to keep fit and to start looking after your body. No matter what your age or size, you’ll find that there are classes and workouts available to cater for everyone.
Whether you want to improve your body strength, endurance or just general health, signing up to a gym is a fantastic idea.
Be warned though. Keeping fit is something that takes a great deal of dedication. It is so easy to slip back into old and unhealthy habits.
If you are serious about changing your lifestyle to a healthier and fitter one, then you need to take the good times with the bad, and when you experience one of those days where you simply want to give up, just remember what you are trying to achieve.
What Workout Should I Consider?
You will find there are lots of different workouts that you can do when you visit the gym. It all depends on what your goals are and what you are hoping to benefit from. When working out it is always a good idea to vary the type of exercise that you do.
If you stick to the same exercises and routine again and again, you will only be working one particular set of muscles, and you may find that you soon start getting bored. It is always a good idea to mix things up, and take a different workout on each visit.
If you are a member of a gym, then it would be a good idea to talk to one of the fitness coaches and ask them to help you come up with a workout that will be beneficial for you, and one that you can easily follow. You’ll want to start slow and gradual, and build up the strength and lengths of your workouts. Let your body adjust to the exercises and start working those unused muscles gradually.
Building Your Strength
One of the inevitable results of working out in the gym is that you will gradually be building the strength in your muscles. The strength of our muscles weakens as we age, so it is very beneficial for your health to include various exercises that help strengthen the muscles.
This doesn’t just mean you need to start lifting weights every time. There are lots of exercises that you can do in the gym such as cycling, running or even a class of Pilates which can all help work the muscles of your body. You may not come out of the gym looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger when he won Mr. Universe, but at least you’ll feel strong and good about yourself.
There are several main exercises that you should follow to help build up your body strength. These include bench presses, squats and deadlifts. At the beginning you will want to start with a weight that you can lift easily – the last thing you want to do at the beginning is stretch your muscles too much and cause damage. Most people will do a repetition of around 12 to 15, so it’s important that you use a weight that you can do this without too much struggle.
Keeping your body flexible is very important for your wellbeing. If you are in a job where you are sitting down for long periods of the day, then taking part in a workout to improve your flexibility is a great idea. Your local gym probably has a range of different classes that you can join to help with flexibility such as Pilates and yoga.
There are a number of different exercises that you can do in the gym or even at home to help improve your flexibility. These include shoulder rolls, where you roll your shoulder up and down in a forward moving motion, and then repeat it again in a backwards moving motion. Hamstring stretches are another one that is easy to do. Simply stand up with your feet slightly apart. Take a step forward on one foot and flex the foot towards you. Bend down with the outstretched leg remaining straight and bend at the knee with the other leg.
Another good one to do is lovingly referred to as the cat stretch. Get down on all fours on the floor and begin to draw your chest upwards while arching your back and relaxing your neck. You can find lots of tutorials online as well as a good choice of videos on YouTube to help teach you the proper techniques for all of the stretching exercises that you can do.
If you are working on your flexibility, then it is a good idea to workout two or three times a week. You don’t want to leave large gaps between each workout, as you want to keep the muscles flexing and in good shape.
This is one of the more strenuous forms of exercise and helps build up your overall fitness. It also goes by the name of cardio exercise as it gets the heart pumping. There are many types of aerobic exercises that you can do, and you don’t even need to be in the gym to do them. Things such as walking, climbing stairs and dancing can all be done at home. You can also go swimming which is an excellent workout for the whole body.
If you do prefer to workout in the gym, you can find a range of aerobic classes that you can join that will get your heart pumping. You could try some of the new dance classes that are very popular such as Bokwa and Zumba. These are great for people of all ages, shapes and sizes and you can find classes for all levels of fitness. If you’ve never taken a dance workout before, you’ll quickly discover that despite being hard, they are also great fun.
As well as being beneficial for mental wellbeing as well as physical health, it is also said that aerobic exercises can be helpful in the prevention of serious illness such as osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
This is a very popular form of exercise as it is mainly done without any gym equipment or other machinery. It uses the body weight of the person, and is a very good workout for improving strength and endurance.
This is a workout that can also be done at home, as well as in the gym. Workouts such as this are great for the overall body, and as well as offering physical benefits, it also offers a lot for the mind and one’s mental health.
Some of the advantages of calisthenics over other types of workouts is that it is something you can do anywhere, at any time. There are no rules you need to follow and you can create your own type of workouts. Whereas some workouts or classes take place at a specific hour on a specific day in the gym each week, if you feel like doing a calisthenic workout, you can simply do one.
These are new types of workouts that have been growing in popularity at gyms and centers around the world. They often go by other names such as Aerial yoga or Aerial Hoops, where the exercises are performed as you hold onto and use a large elastic type ribbon that is held on the ceiling.
These will give your whole body a good workout and in particular your arms. These programs are generally preferred by younger people who have more strength and flexibility, but there should be classes for all levels if you are interested in giving it a try.
Workouts for Over 60
Age is just a number, and if you want to stay fit and healthy, then nothing should stop you. You might think that the gym is full of youngsters all trying to get fit and look hip, but that is far from the truth. You will find people of all ages working out in the gym. Obviously some of the older members won’t be able to do the same type of workouts as the younger ones, but there are various exercises and workouts that older members can partake in.
Some of the popular exercise routines for older people include swimming, cycling, walking and resistance workouts. You’ll also find that a lot of older people will also take part in yoga and Pilates classes. There are however a number of exercises that should be avoided by people over a certain age, as they have the potential to cause injury and other health issues. These include bench presses, squats, deadlift and abdominal crunches.
The Bottom Line
Whatever type of workout you do in the gym or at home, you will want to make sure that they are exercises that you can physically do, and ones that work all of your body. If you are not sure, then it is best to speak to a fitness coach at your local gym. They will be able to prepare a workout plan for you, which will be suitable for your fitness level and will be one that you can easily follow.