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Best tips to enjoy the gym

It may sound crazy to a lot of people for someone to admit that they are too embarrassed to go to the gym.

Many times, it is easy to assume that as soon as you step foot inside a gym, everyone will be watching you or judging you.

The fear of the gym

Some people feel uncomfortable for many reasons. Feeling embarrassed can be due to insecurity about one’s physical appearance or feeling awkward using the gym equipment.

I belonged to a gym for several years and in the beginning I used to wonder if people were watching me and judging me but over time, I realized that most people in the gym could care less what you are doing.

Really, when you stop to really look around, everyone is focused on their own workouts to stop and worry about what everyone else is doing.

A lot of times, we make situations much bigger than they are. Most people are not spending their time thinking about you – particularly strangers in a gym.

However, I understand that some folks still won’t join a gym for their own reasons, regardless of any reassurance from others. Joining a gym is not the only way to get into shape. In fact, you don’t really need to join one if you have no desire to.

There are plenty of ways to stay fit without a gym membership:

  • Create your own small home gym with equipment that you can afford.Workout outdoors – check out boot camp classes in your area.
  • Run or jog – it’s free!
  • Home fitness programs are awesome – I’m using P90X and love it!
  • Hire a personal trainer who will train you at home.

If anything, go into a gym and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Chances are, they are not concerned about your appearance, which machines you use, your form using the weights, etc.

Focus on your workout and remember that you are a paying member just like everyone else. Be proud that you are exercising and improving your health!

P90X

I started the P90X workout program last year.

If you are not familiar with P90X it is an extreme home fitness program on a set of 12 dvds. The 90 stands for 90-days, the length of the program. There are three types of workouts you can do. There is the classic, doubles, and lean. I chose lean because it is more cardio and less resistance for maximum weight loss.

Right now I am in Phase 1 which is weeks 1 – 3. My schedule for this phase consists of:

  • Core Synergistics (very tough!)
  • Cardio XShoulders & Arms
  • Ab Ripper X (One of my favorites)
  • Yoga X (makes you sweat!)
  • Legs & Back
  • Ab Ripper
  • XKenpo X (fun moves)
  • Rest or X Stretch

Why I Really Like This Program

There are so many reasons why I am enjoying this workout so much:

Variety – You are working everything – core, arms, legs. You are also getting cardio and resistance training.

Support – If you are doing this program, get your free account in WOWY (online gym.) Every day you will see hundreds of people working out using P90X. There are forums, a chatroom, and you can buddy up with people. It keeps you motivated knowing so many people are working out using the same program. It is a very positive and motivated community of users.

Minimal Equipment – Dumbbells, yoga mat, pull-up bar (doorframe) or elastic bands, and heart rate monitor (optional) are really all that you need.

You See and Feel Results – I’ve been eating well and working out for just a week and have dropped 2 pounds. I sleep better because of the physical activity and I feel better energy wise.

This is why it’s important to take before and after photos of yourself so that you can see your progress. Specifically at 30, 60, and 90 days.It is an extreme fitness program and may be a bit too much for some people, particularly if you have not exercised in years. I started off with the first program called Power 90.

It may be a good start for those who want to lose weight first and get back into the groove of working out before taking on a more challenging program like P90X.

If you are not sure what type of workout you should start, check with your health care provider. They can recommend what type of exercise will work for your current fitness level.

So far I am very excited. I have seen the transformation stories of people who have done one and two rounds of the program. I’m really sticking to a healthy diet and logging my workouts into WOWY every day.

Don’t forget proper nutrition

Do you find yourself eating the wrong foods more than you like?

It’s all too easy to go through a drive-thru when you’re craving something salty, sweet, crunchy, etc. My weakness is for sweets. I’m the type of person that likes having dessert after dinner. Eating junk food on a regular basis can have a negative impact on our bodies, primarily in the form of weight gain

There was a point in my life where I would eat fast food several times a week.

I felt sluggish, bloated, and the more I ate it, the less I was motivated to do much of anything else. Why bother exercising when I already ate poorly the entire day? Below are some tips that may help you stop the cravings for junk food and crave foods that are healthier.

Change where you shop for food – Local supermarkets are fine but if you live near a health food market, try shopping there for most of your meals. These types of markets have healthier alternatives to most foods. You won’t (at least shouldn’t) find junk like cupcakes and cheese puffs.

Pack a cooler of healthy food – Many times, it’s tempting to pull into a fast food restaurant because you’re short on time and hungry.

Keep a small cooler in your car packed with healthy sandwiches and snacks. When that temptation hits, you can grab something from your cooler and pass right by those fast food places.

Cook your own meals – Common sense right? It really does work. The more you get into the habit of preparing healthy meals, the easier it becomes, and the less you will crave the junk.

Choose your snacks wisely – Do you tend to crave salty snacks or sweet cake treats? Find alternatives to satisfy those cravings. This is where a health food store will come in handy.

Keep healthy alternatives stocked, especially if you live with someone who likes to keep junk food in the house. You can reach for your food and feel less tempted to eat their junk.
Those are just some tips that may help to stop cravings. What has helped you?