Heading back to the gym after a long break? Picking up where you left off might not be easy but here are some tips on how to get started and what to pack for that first day back!
Maybe it’s the extra pounds that’s been slowly piling on or a serious wake-up call from your doctor – but you’ve finally decided to take your health into your own hands again and get back into shape. That’s really great! Here are a few tips to smooth your way back into the gym:
1. Assess your fitness level.
If you have not been exercising for some time and if you’re above 35 or have a medical condition, you should first speak to your doctor as well as a gym professional to assess your fitness level and get some advice on what types of exercise are best for starting again.
2. Set a goal.
Are you aiming to lose weight? Or just get back into shape — and maybe tackle that upcoming half-marathon in six months’ time? Knowing your goals will help you (and your gym professional) put together an appropriate fitness programme as well as measure your progress as you go along.
3. Schedule it in.
Most adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once. If you are just starting out, fitting in two 15-minute sessions a day might be way easier and more convenient than a single 30-minute session.
4. Mix it up.
It’s easy to start a fitness programme — but harder to maintain the habit. Getting creative and adding variety to your workouts is one way to keep motivated and moving. Mix it up with team sports, dance classes, yoga sessions and more. What’s more, varying your exercise routine will also help you get more out of your workout and reduce your chances of injuring/overusing any specific muscle or joints.
5. Dress Right
Thinking about fashion while you exercise might seem frivolous — but the right sports clothing can make a huge difference! For a start, looking good and fitting in while you exercise will give you a well-deserved boost of confidence and urge you to keep going back to the gym. What’s more, these clothes are specially designed to keep your body cool and dry while you sweat it out, thus making exercise more bearable.
6. Feet First!
Having the right footwear for the activity you’re doing can make a HUGE difference — after all, nobody wants to be stuck with overheated feet, cramped toes or aching arches. Find a specialist sports footwear shop and speak to an experienced sales person who will be able to recommend the correct size, fit and support you need.
Grab sporty chic pieces at:
Adidas – Causeway Point (#02-04)
Adidas Outlet – Changi City Point (#02-35)
ASICS Factory Outlet – Changi City Point (#02-20)
bods.bodynits – Changi City Point (#01-47)
Everlast – Causeway Point (#02-20)
In 2 Style – Bedok Point (#02-20/22)
Key Power Sports Outlet – Changi City Point (#02-26)
Metro – Causeway Point (#01-18/19, #02-13/14/15, #03-16/17)
Metro – The Centrepoint (#01-14 to 17/25/26, #02-07/11, #03-06, #04-04/101)
New Balance – Changi City Point (#01-09)
Nike Factory Store – Changi City Point (#02-31/32/33/34)
Puma Outlet – Changi City Point (#01-02/03)
Royal Sporting House – Causeway Point (#02-02), Northpoint (#02-43/45)
Royal Sporting House Outlet – Changi City Point (#02-38/39)
Sportslink – Causeway Point (#03-02), Northpoint (#02-40/41), The Centrepoint (#02-15/15), Eastpoint Mall (#03-25), Waterway Point West Wing (#B1-06/07)
7. Fitness Tech
If you’re planning to invest in exercise equipment, choose something that’s fun and easy to use (thus reducing the chances of it collecting dust in a corner of your home). Modern gadgets such as a fitness tracker or smartphone app can also help you keep track of your fitness programme and progress.
Fitness gadgets can be found at:
Best Denki – Waterway Point East Wing (#B1-24)
Challenger – Bedok Point (#B1-05/06/07/08/09/K15), Causeway Point (#04-07), Changi City Point (#01-56/57/58/59), Northpoint (#03-12/15) & Eastpoint Mall (#B1-08)
Courts – Causeway Point (#04-19/20)
Harvey Norman – Bedok Point (#B1-01/02, #B1-16 to 32, #B1-K1 to K14), Northpoint (#03-61/67)
Here’s what to pack for your first day back in the gym!
Select breathable fabrics and comfy cuts that suit the sport/activity you will be doing. For the ladies, remember that a good quality, full-support sports bra is a must. It really depends on the individual and you might need to go through several rounds of fitting to find one that’s right for you. Just make sure you don’t get ones that are too tight fitting which can be suffocating, or bras that are too loose – which would not provide the right support!
- Water Bottle
Water is crucial for the body to perform, making this a must! Explore the different sizes, shapes, materials and nozzles and find one that is right for the sport or activity you will be doing. Choose a bottle that is not too narrow in design as you want it to be easy to wash and scrub.
- Workout Towel
For mopping up sweat as you go along! Some even come with a built-in pocket for valuables.
- Workout Music
Prep a smart phone or portable music player with playlists of warm-up and workout music to get you into the mood and pump up your adrenaline. You might also want to invest in an arm-band so you can strap your device on and keep your hands free!
- Bluetooth Earphones
Will also help you avoid getting dangerously entangled with earphone cords while exercising. Look for models which are sweat and/or water resistant.
- Fitness Watch
These handy gadgets will keep track of your heart rate, calories burnt, distance covered, and more.
- Yoga Mat
Sure, you can use one provided by the gym, but wouldn’t you rather have one that’s not been covered in someone’s sweat?
- Sports Deodorant
Not a luxury, but a must. Pick something that is aluminium-free as these can cause irritation.
- Beauty Essentials
Do not forget the works: shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, face wash and moisturiser. The trick is to get small bottled versions from Watsons or Guardian that can fit easily into a cosmetics pouch – which you can leave in your gym bag.If your gym does not have a shower or if you prefer not to shower there or if you are in a rush, then wet wipes and make-up wipes will do the trick!
For use in the shower and changing room! Trust us, you don’t want to be going barefoot in there.
- A Change Of Clothing — because we know that you don’t want to keep on wearing those sweaty gym clothes after your workout. Remember to bring a plastic bag to keep your dirty clothes in too!
- Gymbag — and yes, a proper gymbag! Find one that is not too large as you might need to carry it on the train or bus, but which has enough compartments for all your barang.