Probably, one of the best ways of getting or staying in shape is to join a Fitness Center.
The Gym environment of today, is not what it generally was way back when I first began training as a pre-teen (I'm almost 70 now) So, if you haven't set foot inside a Gym for many years, you might be surprised how much they have changed.
A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of going to a Gym for various reasons. One of the most intimidating thoughts is that 'I'll feel embarrassed in front of all those in-shape people' It's common to harbor the false belief that most people at a modern Gym are fit, strong and healthy...but, that is far from the truth.
Most people at the average Fitness Centers are 'NOT' fit, strong or healthy, a mere few are; so get that false notion out of your head for starters...
I've been in and out of more Fitness Centers in my time that I've lost count of. I even ran a Gym many years ago. As an operator, manager, trainer and fitness advocate for most of my adult life, I think that I'm qualified enough to have my judgement trusted.
Whether you're old like me, or young...you 'CAN' get your body into much better shape, and it can be easy, fun and relatively quick.
The reason I advise a membership at a Fitness Center rather than anywhere else, is because most facilities have ample equipment for you to choose between. They generally have people on staff who can guide you through a simple workout program and show you how to use the machines.
You do not need to pay extra for the centers initial guidance either; no need to hire a personal trainer (although, if you can afford it...a 'good' personal trainer will get you fit and healthier at a quicker rate than usually on your own)
A good personal trainer will assist you in every way. They will not only set up an exercise program for you to follow, but they will also keep an eye on your execution of the movement (Many people have terrible form) Most people also fail to adjust their intensity level correctly as they become stronger over time; a good instructor will guide you in that area as well, eventually understanding the process on your own.
Since this article is not about Personal Trainers, I'll stop commenting about them, but there is a lot more I can say about the subject...perhaps in a future article.
Don't be the type who thinks that all they need to do for optimum fitness, is to get on a piece of aerobic machine and walk, run or peddle to an ideal level of health and fitness; most people at Fitness Centers seem to think this way, and most get little overall results in comparison to a well rounded program of exercise.
So...what I recommend, besides getting on a stationary bike and ride for twenty or thirty minutes, you also incorporate a weight training program as well. You need to get that upper body toned and healthy as well, and you can do it by using the weight machines, instead of barbells and dumbbells if your uncomfortable "lifting weights"
Why use weights? Because they'll get you toned and stronger much more quickly than any other known way. Not only will you see marked improvement within a relatively short period of time...the time you must spend in a Gym doing it will be diminished as well.
What basic program do I recommend for general fitness? It is Circuit Training
Circuit Training is basically a system of training where you move through a pre-selected group of machines that will enable you to have hit every muscle group in a single session. There are a few different systems built around the most popularized method of Nautilis Founder 'Arthur Jones' in the 1970's.
The Circuit Training link I provided above, will bring you to a page that better describes the method using weights or machines. If you just Google the term, it will bring you to all sorts of explanations and suggestions which can easily leave you confused and dizzy. The 1953 method, attributed to a University in the UK was designed around mostly calisthenics; not weights.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope it helps to get you off the couch and into a Gym. If you stay the course for about 30 days, you will be at the start of 'positive' habit...after 90 days, the good habit will be well ingrained within you.
Two days per week is actually all you need to devote to this particular weight training method in order to see quick and steady progress... If you choose to workout three days per week, fine...do it...Images from Pixabay.com