How to Start Going to the Gym

As you get older and your life starts to get busier, it becomes easier not to focus as much on fitness. Pretty much up until I got to college, almost everyone I knew was involved in some sort of sport, and we all really liked it! As someone who danced competitively for almost 12 years, I never had to worry about exercising, I got all that done when I was practicing. When I moved on from dancing to lacrosse and softball, the same thing was true. I already had scheduled practices and games, so I never had to worry about making time in my life to reach my fitness goals. That changed drastically when I got to college. While I had really enjoyed playing team sports in high school, it wasn’t something I was interested in pursuing in college (not that I could be a D1 athlete, I’m talking club or rec leagues people). It was difficult to know what to do in terms of fitness, because I had no guidance. I had never gone to the gym, and I no longer had a coach telling me what to do and when to be at practice. I didn’t even know what kinds of things I would like. But after trying lots of different things, I feel like I’ve found a couple of good tips and would love to share them with you. 

            I had no idea where to start, but one of my friends told me that the gym offered classes you could go to. I saw that they had cardio dance classes, and I knew that dance was something that I already enjoyed so I gave it a shot. These classes are so motivating because you get the group aspect like you do with sports, and you have an instructor leading you through the exercises so that you feel like you have a coach. When I first started going to the gym by myself, those types of classes were easy. Since you have to register for them, they keep you accountable so that you’ll go, and when you plan in advance you can get excited about them. These classes are offered to anyone who goes to State at no cost, from pretty much 7:30 am-6:00 pm every weekday and there’s such a variety of classes! Everything from Yoga and HITT, to dance and pound classes. You can take these classes with friends, and they’re always so much fun. If you’re working remotely right now, don’t worry, the classes are offered over zoom too!

            After I felt comfortable going to those classes I started my endeavor into going to the regular gym. It was definitely daunting at first. I felt like everyone knew what they were doing, and that they were judging me. But the truth is, I’ve never judged anyone at the gym. I’m so focused on my own fitness and what I’m working on that I don’t have time to worry about anyone else and figured everyone else was pretty much in the same boat. I also watched one tv show when I went to the gym, and only when I went to the gym. That was like an incentive, if I wanted to watch an episode of the show, I had to go spend half an hour on the treadmill! That really helped me keep a consistent schedule with going to the gym, because I had multiple things motivating me. 

            I’ve learned a lot transitioning from someone telling me exactly what I need to do in practice, to creating my own workout routines. The most important thing to remember is do whatever makes you feel good and what you enjoy. If you like lifting weights, do that. If you’re more of a cardio person, or you only like to do bodyweight exercises, do that! Staying active and feeling good is the goal,  and as long as you're being safe and having fun, that’s all that matters.