Fitness wasn’t part of my early life. I grew up binging on chips and cookies, watching endless hours of television and rarely leaving the house.

When I decided it was time to change, I knew I needed to hit the gym, so I signed up for a membership – and realized I had no idea what I was doing.

Through trial and error, I made slow but steady progress, while I’m happy with the progress I’ve made on my fitness journey, there are definitely a few things I wish I learned before I got started.

Here are a few tips I wish someone shared with me before I started hitting the gym:

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You aren’t going to get results overnight.

It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t feel like you’re making progress, especially when you’re dedicating hours each week to working out.

Muscles don’t appear overnight. Fat doesn’t just magically melt away.

Getting your body to its current state took a bit of time, and you should expect any changes to come slowly now, too.

If you’re worried you won’t actually notice changes when they occur, take some “before” pictures to compare against later.

You’re going to feel silly sometimes – and that’s ok.

There are some people who always look like they know what they’re doing when they’re working out. Those people have been doing this for a loooooong time.

When you first start working out, you’re not going to have a clue what you’re doing.

You’re going to do things that feel weird and look even weirder. And that’s OK!

Getting comfortable and learning how your body moves is part of the process. Enjoy it!

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Related: 5 of The Very Best Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

Everyone started somewhere.

Those people who know what they’re doing?

I promise they didn’t look this good when they got started. They weren’t born with those muscles.

Keep this in mind when you start to feel discouraged, or if you find yourself comparing your body against others at the gym.

They didn’t always look like this – and with a little work and dedication, you can transform your body, too.

Stretching is your friend!

When I started lifting weights and working out, I’d always skip stretching. Big mistake.

Stretching before your workout allows tight muscles to loosen, lowering your potential for injury, and stretching when you’re finished is a great way to cool down and prevent some of the soreness that will set in later on.

Stretching might feel like a waste of time, especially if you’re in a rush, but you’ll regret not incorporating it earlier when you’re stiff and sore a few months down the road.

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Related: 5 Easy Ways To Make Working Out Way More Fun

You’ve gotta watch what you eat.

You’ve heard the saying – abs are made in the kitchen.

While it isn’t entirely true, there’s a lot of merit in the statement.

You can work out as hard as you’d like, but if you immediately down a milkshake and fries post-workout, you’ve essentially just negated all of your hard work.

While there’s nothing wrong with splurging on a treat once in a while, your gym results will suffer if you don’t watch your diet.

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There you have it – the advice I wish someone gave me when I first joined the gym and made a commitment to my personal fitness.

Are there any words of wisdom or bits of advice that have helped you on your fitness journey? Share in the comments!



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[/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”]While I’m happy with the progress I’ve made on my fitness journey, there are definitely a few things I wish I learned before I got started. Click to read the tips that I wish someone had shared with me before I started hitting the gym.


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5 years ago

Great post. Diving into something like exercise certainly has its unknowns and I’m glad you shared these things to help others out.