So, I’ve joined a gym. Now what?

One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to be healthier. That may mean a new gym membership or a promise to be more active. But starting (or re-starting) a fitness routine can be scary. We have a few suggestions to help you reach your “new year, new you” goals.

New kid in town

A gym membership is a great start for an active lifestyle – if you use it. First time at a gym? Check out the beginner classes. You’ll meet fellow newbies and learn what activities you enjoy. Be sure to ask the fitness trainers to help you safely navigate the equipment and avoid injury. For added incentive, bring a buddy. You’ll keep each other accountable and act as built-in cheerleaders.

Walk before you run

It’s great that you want to run a 5K, but you need to work up to it. Without practical training, you can get injured or burn out. “Couch to 5K” programs can help you ease into training and ensure you’re ready for race day. Here’s a sample training program from WebMD. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Add activity into every day

Even if you can’t make it to the gym, there are other ways to stay active.

  • Park farther away from the door to get steps in.
  • Try walking meetings to get blood and ideas flowing.
  • Skip the email or IM and walk over to someone if you have a question.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • Keep stretch bands in your desk and use them during conference calls.

It’s important to remember that even little things add up. Ease into your new fitness routine, and you may find you have greater long-term success.