The icy cold winter weather makes it hard to exercise in the great outdoors: walking, gardening, biking, and the like. So what could be a better time to join an indoor fitness center? If you’re like most seniors, however, your image of a gym is a room filled with hard-bodied young people and machines that require a degree in engineering to operate. While it’s true that fitness centers are popular with the younger set, gyms offer plenty of opportunities for seniors to work out at their own level. Here are some tips on overcoming your “gym-o-phobia”:
- Get a more realistic image of what gyms are really like. Members come in all shapes and sizes, and you won’t be the only person in spandex.
- No one is going to focus on you. Most people are busy working on their own routine. You might get a few glances as “the new kid” but people quickly go back to their own activities.
- Try going at “off” hours. To help get past the shock of working out in public, go during off-peak hours — late morning and mid-to-late afternoon. You’ll also get more attention from the staff at these times.
- Make friends with the staff, who can explain the machines and offer tips on your workout technique. It’s helpful to enlist the services of a “personal trainer” if you are very serious about getting in shape.
- Bring a buddy for support. There is safety in numbers, so enlist a friend at the same fitness level as yourself to brave the gym with you.
- You’re worth it. Remind yourself that, while it’s uncomfortable to enter uncharted territory, this is one time it’s worth it. Working out in a gym exposes you to new ideas and new people. You might even find other “gym-o-phobes” to make friends with!
SOURCE: Senior Health at iVillage
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