Have you been feeling "blah" and unmotivated lately?

Guy lying on a green couch and holding the remote, looking zoned out and unmotivated.

Are you ready to get moving, raise your fitness level, and feel better all-around?

It's time to hit the gym!

Image of a gym with weight rack in the foreground. A woman is working out in the background. Photo by Danielle Cerullo on Unsplash

Going to the gym for the first time can be intimidating, but these tips will help you feel confident beginning on day one!

Take a Tour Before Your First Day

Ostrich looking all around.

All gyms have staff who would love to show you around. Some gyms even offer virtual tours on their websites. A tour will help to orient you to:

  • General facilities — Where to find workout rooms, lockers, and changing areas

  • Equipment — Treadmills, weights machines, bikes, etc.

  • Classes — What's offered (spinning, pilates, yoga, Zumba, etc.) and at what time

  • Rules and etiquette — Check-in, hygiene procedures, and phone use rules

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You may need to tour more than one gym to decide which one is right for you. Consider:

  • Do you want lots of workout options?

  • Do you prefer a fancy gym or something more basic?

  • Is the location convenient to home or work?

  • Do the hours work for you?

  • Does the overall vibe fit your personality?

Homer Simpson lifting a small hand weight while a buff trainer looks on. He's saying,


Cassie is no-nonsense and plans to primarily run on a treadmill during her gym workouts. Which gym would be the best fit for her?

Gather the Right Gear

T-shirt, sneakers, towel, shorts, Smartphone and headphones, water bottle.

You'll need:

  • Sneakers that are suitable for the activity(ies) you plan to do

  • Athletic clothes that aren't too tight yet not too loose

  • Water bottle

  • Towel for wiping off equipment

  • Gym bag or backpack to hold your stuff

  • Headphones to listen to music or TV, if you want

  • A change of clothes if you're heading someplace afterwards

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Don't forget your keycard!

You'll use it to check in and access locker rooms.

Make a Plan

Man wearing blue shirt and cap, writing a game plan with a marker on a white board.

Once you've selected your gym, finalize your plans for the big day!

  • Decide on a time of day that works for you. Consider going at an off-peak time of day to avoid crowds and ease in.

  • Plan your workout. Think about your fitness goals. Want to build muscle, reduce stress, burn calories? Determining your goals will help you decide what you want to try first.

  • Create a backup plan. What will you do if your preferred equipment is in use or your class is cancelled?

Be Positive, Yet Realistic

Remember, everyone at the gym was new once! It takes a while to get in a routine and feel comfortable.

Listen to these encouraging words from fitness trainer Namoi Kong:

Nala's First Day at the Gym

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Nala wants to be more fit. She's never worked out and feels pretty intimidated at the prospect of going to a gym for the first time. She wonders, Will everyone else be in perfect shape and know how to expertly use all of the machines?

Which of these strategies will help Nala prepare for her first day at the gym?

🤗 Ask her friends for advice

🏋️‍♀️ Tour the gym online

🎒 Pack a bag with gear

👚 Buy a super cute outfit


What will help Nala get ready for her first day at the gym? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Man saying,

Preparing for your first trip to the gym will help you feel comfortable and confident! Soon you'll get into a routine and before you know it, you'll be able to advise others.

Take these next steps on your fitness journey:


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