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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Colgate chapter.

During my fall freshman semester last year, I juggled a whirlwind of classes, homework, clubs, and a social life. I felt like I was running from one thing to the next, and amidst this bustling schedule, I struggled to maintain a sense of control and well-being. I learned that establishing a consistent routine was critical to regaining balance in my life, and an important part of my routine was going to the gym. 

I love going to the gym because it improves my self-esteem and confidence and helps me sleep at night. Going to the Colgate gym was terrifying at first, but as I embedded it into my daily routine, it became easier. It began as a source of stress but transformed into a source of stress relief. 

So, for those who want to start going to the gym but are nervous, here are my tips for you!

  1. When to workout and when to avoid the gym

Navigating the gym can be a source of considerable stress, especially during peak hours when it is bustling with activity. If you are seeking a serene and stress-relieving workout experience, there are certainly times you should consider avoiding it.

The gym operates on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Align your gym visits with a schedule that suits you and test out a few times to gauge the crowd and your comfort level.

Typically, the gym peaks between 2:30 and 5:00 p.m., as many students finish their classes and aim to squeeze in a workout before tackling homework or attending club meetings. During this time, you’ll encounter a flurry of occupied machines and a bustling atmosphere. Personally, I steer clear of this period whenever possible.

For those who savor peaceful workouts, the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. offer a quieter environment. 

  1. Cardio!

Trudy Fitness Center is split into two levels: the weight room and the cardio room. If you are apprehensive about hitting the gym, I suggest to start your fitness journey in the cardio room.

Hopping on the treadmill and doing an incline walk or a slow stationary bike is a great way to slowly acclimate yourself to the gym. Remember, your workouts do not need to be super intense. Just going to the gym is an accomplishment for yourself! Your primary goal should be to move your body in any way you feel comfortable. 

  1. The weight room: how to navigate it

The weight room at Colgate can be quite intimidating due to unfamiliarity, and it often seems to be dominated by muscular men. Whenever I spot women working out in that space, I give them major props. 

I have found two valuable pieces of advice for conquering this fear. First, consider visiting the weight room during less crowded hours. This allows you the freedom to familiarize yourself with the machines without the pressure of an audience. This way, you will not feel rushed or self-conscious when trying out new equipment.

Second, I recommend taking advantage of resources like YouTube or TikTok, where you can find tutorials from people demonstrating the proper use of basic gym equipment. This extra step of research can significantly boost your confidence and preparedness when stepping into the weight room.

  1. Start watching a show you exclusively watch at the gym

When it comes to maintaining a consistent gym routine, a valuable tip I have found is to choose a show you reserve exclusively for your workout sessions. This technique is particularly effective for individuals who favor cardio exercises.

In my personal routine, I exclusively watch “Dance Moms” when I am at the gym. The allure of catching up on one of my favorite shows serves as a powerful motivator to get me to the gym. 

  1. Find a gym buddy

The most enjoyable aspect of my fitness routine is having a gym buddy. Back home, I have the best gym partner ever, and it has transformed my gym visits into the high point of my day. In fact, my gym buddy and I often joke that the muscle we exercise the most at the gym is our mouths because we talk more than we exercise!

I highly recommend asking a friend if they would like to join you for a few gym sessions each week. This not only alleviates the stress associated with working out but also provides an ideal opportunity to connect with a friend.

  1. Doing other exercise activities instead of the gym

Lastly, if the gym isn’t your thing, Colgate offers various alternative exercise options, such as group fitness classes, club participation, intramural sports, and Outdoor Education trips. The world of physical activity offers diverse opportunities beyond the typical gym setting.

I hope you will take my advice into consideration when you’re at the gym! Remember, going consistently will make you feel 100x stronger and more confident in your body. It is all about getting some exercise and staying healthy. Good luck, and I hope to see you at the gym!

Savannah is a sophomore at Colgate University, and she's originally from Freeport, Maine. Besides hanging out with friends, she loves to read, play sports, and take walks with her dog, Jack. Her current obsession is the show Survivor, and she loves all reality TV!