How to Use the Gym Correctly: Getting the Best Benefits and Avoiding Injury
Exercising in the gym can be of great benefit to women’s health and well being, but it is important to know how to go about it and to avoid the risk of injuries to women’s more delicate joints and tendons.
Using the gym correctly starts with getting the proper outfit. One can often observe women hitting the gym with shorts and a lose T-shirt. Both are not a good idea. A proper gym outfit should be body-hugging without being too tight and restraining, which can impede circulation.
Sleeves and legs of T-shirts and shorts can get stuck in the machines and tear at best, cause injury at worst. A leotard, apart from being fashionable is best, because it doesn’t slip upwards when you are bending down and doesn’t expose the back to any possible cold draft. Gyms are air-conditioned, so there is always the possibility of a stream of cold air coming directly from a vent.
Leg warmers should be worn on top to keep muscles and tendons smooth whilst warming up, which is an essential part of every gym session. They can be discarded later. Always wear soft-soled gym shoes, never go barefoot. Incorrect footwear may lead to slipping on the machines and not getting a proper foothold. Hygienic reasons for not going barefoot are self-explanatory.
Tie back your hair or pin it up so it doesn’t get in the way when moving around and doesn’t get caught either. Bring a towel and don’t forget a bottle of water. Hydration during exercise is vital.
The array of machines available in modern gyms can be quite confusing and the use of some is difficult. In order to get the best effect from your gym exercise, you need to know what you want to achieve, which parts of your body you wish to tone and train and where your weak points lie to avoid injury.
It’s nearly impossible to make a proper assessment by oneself, so it’s a very good idea to splash out on, say, five sessions with a qualified personal trainer. Make sure, you see his/her credentials before contracting the service. The trainer will assess your needs and your abilities, make suggestions as to complimentary diet and, most important of all, explain to you how the machines which work best for you are operated. It’s also much more fun to train in company during the first few sessions until you get the hang of it.
Try to get the first sessions in twice weekly. One strenuous exercise followed by weeks doing nothing will do more harm than good. Your trainer will also explain which is the best posture to take on any given machine. Twisting or bending the wrong way can cause serious injury to your back or tendons and must be avoided at all cost. Only a professional can show you the correct use. You can’t learn from observing and imitating other gym users, because each individual’s needs and capabilities are different.
The key to success is perseverance. If you decide to use the gym to improve your health and well being make sure you go on a regular basis. Perhaps you can persuade a friend to train with you, because it’s easier to keep up a regular schedule if you have a commitment with someone else. Don’t expect to get rid of the arm flap and bulging stomach after three sessions. The desired results take time and effort, but you will already notice a difference after a few sessions. Try to exercise in the moring rather than in the evening. Exercise stimulates blood pressure and circulation and the effect might make it difficult for you to sleep later.