4 questions to ask when starting at the gym

October 9, 2015

When it comes to the gym, many people don't know what to expect, or where to start. But with the answers to these common gym-related questions, you can start your exercise journey with the right information.

4 questions to ask when starting at the gym

1. What should I expect at the beginning?

  • The effects of the kind of mild exercise you may do to start, such as five or ten minute walks, might not be noticeable in your first few weeks.
  • You might not like the effects. Expect to struggle with initial muscle soreness or tiredness, insecurities and the discomfort of changes in your routine.
  • There's no science to it, but new exercisers say these benefits often kick in after four to six weeks of steady fitness.

2. How will I know if it's working?

In less time than you think, there will be several markers of success:

  1. You should start feeling more energetic.
  2. Your stamina will increase.
  3. Your sleep should improve.
  4. A consistent exercise routine boosts your overall mood.
  5. Your eating habits likely will change for the better.
  6. After a few months, there should be improvements in your blood-sugar measures.
  7. Your blood pressure will drop, as will cholesterol levels.

3. Are aerobics and aerobic activity different?

  • Simply put: Yes.
  • When people mention aerobics, they're usually referring to classes where an instructor leads you through a rigorous, dance-like workout.
  • Aerobic fitness is any activity that raises your heart rate for a prolonged period.
  • Fast walking, biking, cross-country skiing, playing soccer, swimming, jogging, tennis, dancing and aerobics classes are all forms of aerobic activity.
  • You don't need to take an aerobics class to get aerobic exercise.

4. How will I know if I'm getting into trouble?

  • It's important to tune in to what your body is telling you while you exercise.
  • Stop exercising immediately if you experience chest, arm or jaw pain.
  • You should also stop if you experience nausea, dizziness or fainting, unusual shortness of breath or an irregular heartbeat. All are signs of heart problems and should be checked out right away.
  • For people with diabetes, the mantra "No pain, no gain" definitely does not apply.

Starting out at the gym can be difficult, but you could feel better and start seeing results in less time than you think. Be sure to set modest goals and stick with it. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

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