Ah, January. The month in which we wake up staring a new year down the nose and get motivated to make big changes. I’m just as guilty – I’ve spent the past six weeks indulging in Thanksgiving treats, delights during my Mexican vacation and an amazing Christmas candy cane crunch fudge. But the Ironman waits for no one, so it’s time to get back on track.
So back to the gym I trek, but I’m also joined by lots of new future friends. Gyms can be a source of frustration this time of year as an influx of new, enthusiastic exercisers sign up and create a Resolutioner Rush – a deluge of people trying or revisiting a healthy lifestyle.
I encourage you to embrace and welcome these newbies, because we all started somewhere. I was terrified of gyms in college and my early adulthood, and could have used a friendly face. Here are four fast tips to make the most of this opportunity.
1. Allow extra time. Your favorite spin bike might have a new rider or you may have to jostle for a treadmill. Try to give yourself a bit more time than normal to complete your workouts.
2. Smile. Every Resolutioner is trying to make a change and improve themselves. You never know who will be your new training buddy. A simple smile can go a long way. You’re the veteran here, so it’s up to you to make new members feel welcome.
3. Embrace the opportunities. Many facilities have orientation sessions, open houses or “meet the trainers” activities. Even if you’ve been a member of a gym for a decade, take a look at your workout destination with fresh eyes by checking out these sessions.
4. You never know who you’re inspiring. If you’re a frequent gymrat, there very well might be a neophyte member who’s copying your workout or watching you to see how to use a machine. Be a role model, show them the ropes. They’re relying on you.
Kelly Janowski is a triathlete, a food lover, and an Ironman competitor. Follow Kelly’s travel, athletic, and food adventures on Twitter @KellyCulinarian. And don’t forget to circle up with Kelly on Google+!