You might have chosen an exercise environment by now that can match your needs and personality. Now check your calendar and plan your most realistic workout time and days. Call or visit the fitness center to set up your first appointment. Here are the tips that you can apply on your first day of workout so you can make it a positive experience.

Prepare your mind and body
Get enough sleep and eat a light meal an hour or two before your scheduled fitness orientation. Bring your towel, water bottle and wear comfortable workout gear, although most gyms offer almost everything. Arrive at the gym a few minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment so you can observe the whole environment. Do not be intimidated by people around you. Be positive and keep in mind that they were all once beginners too.

Consider your goals and needs
An assigned coach will give you a fitness orientation and assessment covering your health, exercise and lifestyle history.  Be open to talk about your exercise preferences, personality, short and long-term health and fitness goals so that a well-designed program can be customized for your needs.

Discover your baseline fitness
An initial fitness evaluation (body composition, endurance, strength, core and flexibility) is conducted to test your current level of fitness. Just do what you can and do not exert too much during the tests to avoid injuries and muscle soreness. The test results are used to design your complete exercise program (exercise frequency, type, duration, intensity, sets and reps) from warm-up, cardio, strength and core, flexibility to cool-down. Try your best to stick with your initial exercise program consistently so you can get results and progress to the next level.

Explore program options
Aside from exercise machines and small equipment, bigger gyms offer group fitness classes (dance, yoga, core, circuit, group strength, Pilates, cardio-boxing, high-intensity training, etc.) to cater to a huge number of exercisers. Inquire about the features and benefits of the programs and check with your fitness coach if your current fitness level can already sustain the intensity of some classes, and if not, ask for exercise modifications based on your condition (e.g., no jumping, use lighter weights, do half-range, etc.)

Train with a fitness coach
It is highly recommended that you avail at least 2-3 sessions of personal training for more tips, proper form and exercise execution, so you can safely and effectively execute the exercises if you decide to do everything on your own.  Do not forget to ask for a written exercise program. However, you can always avail of private, semi-private or small group sessions with a trainer on a regular basis. Ask for a credible fitness trainer that can match your personality. Inquire about training packages. If you are just starting, it is good to get 5 or 10 sessions, then renew for a bigger package after.

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Mitch has been in the health and fitness industry for 17 years. She is a Licensed Physical Therapist and holds a masters degree in psychology from Ateneo de Manila University focusing on lifestyle and weight management. She is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise, health coach and group fitness instructor. She is a fully certified Pilates instructor in B and B studio and an Indoor Cycling Instructor at Electric Studio. She is also certified in PIYO (Pilates-Yoga), Piloxing, Zumba and Schwinn Indoor Cycling. website: http://positivebody.ph