For the first year at the gym, I didn’t like interacting with anyone at the gym. I had a regular weekly routine established that included commuting to the City on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and popping into the gym most of those nights. On Tuesday and Thursday, I was at the gym for cardio at 5am and back around 2pm for my session with my personal trainer. I was also in on the weekends.
How I Work
When I am in workout mode the gym, I tend to plug in to music and tune out the rest of the world. I have always been this way. What has changed over the past couple of years is my interactions with people and their interactions with me. As I was losing the weight, I started interacting more with the personal trainers and eventually some of their clients and other gym members. People also started chatting with me more and more because they were noticing my changes.
Why it Matters
Gyms can be intimidating. Pushing through personal and physical challenges is…challenging. Social interactions and human contact is very important for overall health. Based on personal experience, I would say it is even more important when you are unhealthy and trying to get moving at a gym. In previous gym-life experiences, I never interacted with people. I also never lost weight and I lost interest in going. The gym can be a fantastic place to establish a sense of family. A family to help you mentally disconnect from other daily stressors and bring up your endorphins.
Paying it Forward
When I am at the gym now, I make a point of chatting with various people before and after my workouts. Anyone who I know struggles to make it to the gym – either because they are older or struggling with health – I congratulate them on getting into the gym. When people compliment me on my work ethic and weight loss, my responses vary from a simple thank you, to a “you can also do it”, or tips to give them personal challenges. I encourage you – regardless of your personal goals – to not only join a gym to get moving, but interact with people and find some good gym friends.
Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.