Getting the most from your gym experience

It may be to your advantage to use the services of a certified personal trainer who is capable of creating a personalized training program for you and guiding you toward success.

Joining a gym is a step toward improving your fitness and health. Getting the most from your gym experience requires proper planning, adequate preparation and an attitude that fosters success.

• Determine your purpose for joining a gym. Is it to get in shape, lose weight, build muscle or something else?

• Discuss your decision to improve your fitness or health with your physician.

• Visit a number of gyms to determine the best one for you. The one you select should be favorable to your schedule, affordable and provide the equipment and other services required to help you reach your goal.

• Your first few days at the gym are important ones. Normally, you will be given a tour of the facility and be introduced to the various pieces of equipment. Also, a training program may be established for you. Some gyms will create a program for you that is based on a standard template. Such a program often lacks the personal touch. To improve your chances for success, it is important that you secure a personalized training program.

• Some gyms will assign you a temporary personal trainer. He/she will work with you until you are comfortable using the equipment. It may be to your advantage to use the services of a certified personal trainer who is capable of creating a personalized training program for you and guiding you toward success. In many cases, a few paid sessions are all you need. Once you become familiar with the program you can continue training on your own.

• Train three or more times each week. Each session should be 45 minutes or longer and should include a variety of activities. Be patient, train to acquire results progressively and safely.

• Success at the gym depends on the time and effort you contribute to the experience, plus your general attitude, are the elements that will help to ensure your success.

For more information, visit the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center at 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, or call 941-625-4175, ext. 263.

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