Drink a lot of water the day before and day of your workout. Being properly hydrated not only gives you more energy, but it helps prevent soreness. Also, protein! Lean protein. Protein is a vital building block to your body. Not just muscles, but hormones and general functioning. Make sure you get enough protein for your body.
Bring earbuds and a lot of water and something to deal with your hair in your face. haha.
Nobody at the gym actually cares that you’re there, so don’t be nervous! 😉 They all just care about themselves and if anyone is paying attention to them. So definitely no worries.
I’d strongly advise you to invest in a Heart Rate Monitor. It tracks your heart rate and calculates calories (by age, sex, weight, etc). For me, it always pushes me because I like to round out my calorie count. Haha. It’s also nice to keep track because some days I feel like I’m really pushing myself, but my heart rate says “Nope. You suck today.” And I have to push harder to get to my norm. The Polar FT7 is a pretty good one to start with (amazon or ebay).
Seeing how difficult it is to get to 150 calories definitely makes you think twice about eating that cookie ;D
Get someone to help you for sure at the very beginning. If you’re not doing it right, it won’t work (or nearly as quickly) and/or you’ll hurt yourself. If your gym has classes, start with those too so you can get more comfortable and get a feel of “pushing” yourself correctly. People don’t really understand that if it’s not uncomfortable, nothing is changing (basically). Classes can help you push yourself more easily and in a more structured way.
Make sure if you’re huffing and puffing after you’re done, keep walking around or biking or whatever you’re doing until you’re breathing normally again. This isn’t just to keep you from passing out, but over time, varicose veins could appear on your legs from the blood pooling in them. So make sure you don’t go from super huffy-puffy to completely sedentary. Walk around, move your legs, whatever until you’re breathing normally. This helps your body return to its normal state.
Don’t stretch at the beginning. “Stretching” is for when you’re done and you’re cooling down and will do very little for you at the beginning of a workout and worse, not prepare you for what you’re going to be doing and you’ll be more likely to hurt yourself. Worse still, if you stretch a cold muscle, you could potentially damage it. So… no stretching at the beginning. You want to prepare to work out by getting your circulatory system going, body temperature higher, and blood and nutrients and oxygen pumping into your muscles (i.e. “warmed up”)… basically it prepares your body for more strenuous activity. You should warm up by doing easy movements of whatever you plan on doing, if possible. So if you are weight-lifting, start with very light weights and go through a the movements, or do squats without weights, etc. If you’re on a bike, start slowly for about 5 minutes and then do varying resistance levels for another 5 minutes. If you’re going to run or be on the elliptical, start with walking and then brisk walking.
Stretch when you’re done your workout. This helps flexibility. It also helps long term because as you work out your muscles have contracted repeatedly and are often left tight or shortened. Stretching them out helps revert this process. Also, don’t bounce anything when you stretch.
Definitely if you try and do weights, get some help because almost nobody knows the proper forms… especially when doing squats. Ask them how to breathe when you’re working out too, because that’s an overlooked but important aspect. Also, whenever you work with weights, remember that you should be feeling it in whatever body part you’re working. A lot of people will do some move… say, bicep curls, but if they’re slightly off they won’t feel it in their biceps, but they just think “I’m lifting the weight and doing the movement seemingly correctly” and don’t really realize that they’re not working the body part that they intend to work on.
Um… yes. There’s a lot. haha.
Also, what is your goal? Why are you at the gym?