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How to Get the Most of My Gym Sessions?

Woman in NYHRC gym session
December 26, 2019

The total number of memberships at US health clubs and fitness centers has risen from around 32.8 million in 2000 to about 60.9 million in 2017, according to figures published by Statista. With growing awareness of the importance of fitness and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, joining a gym has gained popularity, not just in the US but across the globe. In fact, the global fitness and health club industry generates more than $80 billion dollars in revenue per year.

Advantages of Joining a Gym

Health and fitness clubs provide the infrastructure for workouts and physical activity as well as guidance from trained professionals. The main reasons driving the rising popularity of gyms are:

Health Benefits

Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type II diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Access Benefits

Gyms provide access to:

  • Expertise of professionals
  • Right equipment
  • Training buddies
  • Knowledge of different workouts

Other Benefits

  • Establishing a healthy routine
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Remaining motivated to achieve fitness goals

Making the Most of Your Time at the Gym

Several factors need to be considered to make the most of the time you spend at the gym. Here are a few:

Choose a Good Gym

This is a critical decision, as it can impact the workout you perform, how motivated you remain and the results you achieve. Consider the following:

  • Full-service health club
  • Has state-of-the-art equipment
  • Offers personal training
  • Has many branches
  • Offers numerous amenities, like steam room, sauna, swimming pool and massage services
  • Is well established

Increase the Effectiveness of Workouts

Commit to it: Be consistent. Commit to at least 30 days.

Have a plan: Set up fitness goals and accordingly select the exercises and diet to include in your routine.

Track your progress: Maintain a journal and put down the exercise sets to follow. Make a note of how much you exercised every day. Measure and weigh yourself and record these on a regular basis, say every month.

Warm up: While this is important, choose a warm-up routine according to your workout.

Mix it up: Performing the same workout can lead to a training plateau. Experts recommend five days of exercise per week, including twice a week of intense activities.

Take help from a professional trainer: An expert can show you the right way to use equipment, help you plan the routine according to your body weight, age and athletic ability, provide diet-related advice, help avoid or manage injuries and make recommendations as per your unique needs.

Have a workout buddy: This will help you enjoy your workouts more and can motivate you into completing your routine.

Avoid multitasking: Don’t think of emailing a colleague while cycling or walking on the treadmill. If you can multitask, exercise your arms instead. Similarly, don’t take a call in between sets. If you don’t need the rest, increase the intensity of your workout!

Role of the Right Diet

What you eat is as important to achieving your fitness goals as the time you spend in the gym and the workout you perform. Here are four foods to make the most of your time at the gym:

Eggs: Rich source of protein and quick and easy to cook.

Broccoli: Rich in calcium, fiber, iron and Vitamin C, which strengthens your bones, builds tissues in the body and aids faster healing of cuts and wounds.

Salmon: Rich in healthy fats, protein, bioactive peptides, iodine and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Bananas: Gives an instant energy boost and, being rich in potassium, helps muscle function, and a good carbohydrate.

Also, ensure that you drink enough water to remain hydrated. The amount would depend on your body weight and exercise routine. It’s a good idea to consult your personal trainer or instructor about this.

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