So many people all around Ireland are members of gyms and yet they don’t really get the best usage out of them, not knowing what to do or what their programmes should contain. In this part of our movement for mood series, I want to talk you through the different aspects of a gym programme and how to ensure you are getting the very best out of your gym membership, for your physical health, your mental health and also for your financial health too.
Firstly, and most importantly, I would recommend that you ensure that you have had a gym assessment in your gym and get a reassessment every four to six weeks by the staff there. An assessment should measure your progress, your improvements and show you how to use the various machines in the gym. The staff will be more than happy to help I’m sure so don’t be afraid to ask, it’s a crucial component to getting the most from your programme. Each programme should contain some version of the following
If you have seen the videos that we have shot so far or read the exercise you will know I love cardiovascular exercise. It’s great for your mood, your heart, your waistline and pretty much everything. It is anything that gets your heart rate going, in a gym it could be a treadmill, cross trainer, spin bike, rower or swimming in a pool. Remember, the really important element is that you are working hard enough to get the benefits. Aim to be slightly out of breath but still able to hold a conversation, it’s called your Talk Test and is a great free way of ensuring you are going to get the best from the session, this is especially true as you get fitter, you need to keep working hard to get the results.
Resistance training is simply anything that involves lifting a weight, be it your body weight or lifting a weight in a gym. It is incredible for your mental health, your bone density, your energy and the tone of your body. It will even help to slow down the natural ageing process, keeping you healthier for longer. Yet it is the form of exercise that most people fear as it’s a little more complicated than just walking or swimming. You can get instruction from your gym instructor or also using healthcoach by laya healthcare where you get a face to face consultation with a Healthcoach who will build a programme for you to follow following an in-depth health and fitness assessment. Resistance exercise is crucial for health so make sure to make it part of your gym programme.
This is something that women are brilliant at and men tend not to do enough of. Stretching and stretching based forms of exercise are brilliant ways to keep the body agile and reduce the risk of injury. Yoga, pilates, tai chi and body balance classes are all great ways to get some stretching into your life. In terms of your gym programme, you should have some cool down or stretching component to them, especially at the end of the session, to help reduce the risk of soreness after exercise too. If you find that you struggle, why not enroll in a stretching based class in your local gym, it will keep you focused and motivated to do it and you will have lots of fun in the process.