We've all been there. You pack on a few extra pounds during a summer of excess and swear to yourself that you're going to join a gym. For some, including your writer, you may have even joined a gym in the past before summarily quitting and vowing to never look a treadmill again.
It's easy to decide to join a gym, the hard part is actually keeping up a semi-regular routine that does you good, improves your health and is fun (at least part of the time).
But what should you be mindful of before signing up to a new membership? Allows Balls to explain...
Have A Personal Training Session
We are all different - especially when it comes to the gym. We all have different gaits, different postures and different strength and weaknesses. Most gyms will allow you a free session with one of their personal trainers when you join and this is a source of invaluable advices to all gym newbies. Not only will you learn how to actually use the machines, you will be given a workout routine which will match what it is that you actually want to achieve.
Gyms are very social environments, most of the time anyway. Don't be that weird person in the corner who never talks to anyone. Be responsive, help people if they need it and chat to people. Why? Because if you make friends in your gym, you are ten times more likely to keep going back.
Invest In Some Proper Gym Gear
Okay, you don't have to be the person who throws down a couple of hundred euro on the latest gym gear ahead of your first session but we do recommend that, at the very least, you get your hands on a pair of decent running shoes, shorts and t-shirts. Everything else you can pick up as you need it.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race
This isn't a competition, it's a pursuit of self-improvement. Don't push yourself too hard at the beginning. Your body will take some time to adjust to its new routine, so keep to your prescribed routine otherwise you run a serious risk of injuring yourself out there.
Take Some Classes
Most gyms, those of a certain size at least, will offer a range of free classes from yoga to boxercise to spin. Sign up for as many of these as you can reasonably fit into your schedule as your regular workout routine can over time become a little monotonous. Anything to keep it fresh is a good thing.
Bring A Towel
No, we're not deliberately quoting Towelie from South Park here but you should really listen to him anyway. It's good gym manners to have your own towel with you at all times to wipe down the machines after use. And that brings us to...
Practice Good Gym Etiquette
Taking selfies? Don't make it look like you're taking a photo of anyone else in the gym. These are places where people don't often look or feel at their best, so if it looks like you're taking a photo of someone else - that is a big no-no. In fact, there's really no need for gym selfies either. You don't need to be that person.
Share The Equipment
This is a big one. Say you are using a machine which requires ten reps and then a break and then ten more reps? Don't just sit there while you are taking your break, someone else might be waiting to use the machine. Anyone who has spent more than half an hour inside a gym will tell you that this is one of the more infuriating gym no-no's.
It may seem hard sometimes. Or it might be raining out. None of that matters. Decide upon a routine and stick to it as much as you can. When you start to notice those subtle improvements, it will make your time spent grinding seem worth every second.