Are you new to Future Fitness Centers? Just beginning your fitness journey, restarting a routine you temporarily set aside, or simply changing gyms to better match your lifestyle and schedule? Regardless of your reasoning, we welcome our new members with open arms, and our excellent health and wellness staff are always on standby to help those new to fitness (and veterans alike) to adjust to their routines.

That said, completely green gym-goers may benefit from a few crucial tips, cherry-picked from suggestions made by those with decades of experience behind them, on how to make it through those first few gym trips unscathed until it’s smooth sailing!

Prepare early on for your gym trip. Becoming a gym rat can help structure your entire day, in more ways than simply making time to exercise. You’ll see noticeable differences in your performance and energy and feel much better after your workout if you follow a few simple guidelines.

  • Drink water all day to ensure you are well-hydrated before your workout. This can make a huge difference in energy level; oftentimes, fatigue is caused by simple dehydration.
  • Warm up, preferably several times, with dynamic stretching. You never want to jump from couch to workout, even on the weekends; take the time to do some warm-up cardio, such as jumping jacks, and dynamic stretches, prior to starting your “official” workout. This will help ease you into it and reduce risk of injury.
  • Eat well – but don’t eat immediately before your workout. Whatever your chosen diet, eating carefully is fully half of the equation when it comes to health, fitness, and weight loss; however, abstaining from eating at least one hour before working out, otherwise you may feel sluggish and nauseous.

Bring a water bottle.  You’ll be surprised at how thirsty you get! Staying hydrated throughout your workout will keep your energy levels up and allow you to cool down faster; it also helps prevent repeat trips to the water fountain, where you may need to wait in line, which can disrupt the flow of your workout, leading to suboptimal results.

Learn some gym lingo. Seeing acronyms like “DOMS,” “HIIT,” “HST,” and “MHR” flying around? Not sure if Tabata is a food or a training method? Not to worry – everyone starts somewhere! Learning some acronyms (those are “delayed-onset Muscle Soreness,” “High-Intensity Interval Training,” “Hypertrophy-Specific Training,”    and “Maximum Heart Rate”, for the record) and other fitness lingo regarding methods, moves, machinery, etc. can be helpful in your quest to find a training plan that works for you, and to understanding the fitness world. Our blog provides explanations of many of these lesser-known terms, and we promise, it’s not so intimidating once you get into it.

Try this Ultimate Guide to Fitness Lingo for a very helpful list of some of the most commonly-used terms.

Familiarize yourself with gym etiquette. It can be embarrassing to realize you have accidentally committed a gym faux pas, so reading the list of rules (you can view a blog on ours here) will help you get a head start. Things like re-racking weights (that is, taking them off machinery and putting them back where they came from), wiping down equipment, and not leaving bags where they don’t belong will keep you in great esteem with your fellow gym-goers.

Take advantage of our amenities! Congratulations on choosing Future Fitness Centers, where you will have access to a host of different benefits rarely offered at health clubs. Along with our salt-water pools, abundance of classes to fit in with almost any schedule, and hundreds of different pieces of equipment, we also offer all members FREE access to registered nurses, dieticians, and trainers, all to help you in your quest to get fit in a healthy, sustainable manner. Call us or visit one of our South Jersey locations to learn more!