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Tips for Getting Comfortable Working Out at a Fitness Center

Health clubs aren't just for younger people

NIH/National Institute on Aging

If you’re new to exercise, you might be reluctant to join a fitness center or exercise program at your local senior center. You may have not-so-fond memories of high school gym class. Or you may think the fast pace and large numbers of people might be overwhelming.

Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable.

Look and Listen

  • Ask for a tour of the center and the exercise equipment.
  • Talk with other members your age about their experience and how comfortable they feel at the center.
  • Talk with the staff about their experience working with older adults.
  • Ask if they offer special help for new exercisers or people who’ve never exercised in a fitness center before.

Check Out the Programs and Classes

  • Does the center offer classes for seniors or classes just for women or just for men?
  • Does the center offer classes in the middle of the day, when things will be less crowded and busy?
  • Are there half-hour as well as hourlong classes or programs?
  • Does the center offer a variety of classes so you can try out new exercises?

Other Tips to Help You Feel Comfortable

  • Go to the center with a friend.
  • Don’t pay attention to what others are doing. Focus on your own workout and have fun.
  • Don’t worry about wearing the latest fitness fashion. Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move.

Quick Tip

Ask if it’s possible to have one or two trial sessions to see if a fitness center or exercise program is right for you.

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