A Beginner’s Guide to the Gym
Just getting started at the gym? This map will help you strategically navigate the
fitness center floor so you can target four crucial types of exercise:
Your goal: Increase your breathing and heart rate with aerobic activity.
Treadmills: Try walking briskly on a comfortable incline or lightly jogging.
Stationary bikes: Pedal while maintaining a steady but increased heart rate.
Other endurance equipment includes:
Your goal: Make your muscles stronger by lifting weights.
Free weights: Also known as dumbbells, free weights require more muscular stability
than a weight machine. Start with two light weights as you practice bicep curls, shoulder
presses, and tricep extensions.
Mats: Try working against your own body weight with lunges or squats. You may also
use a stability ball, which can help with core exercises.
Studios: Scan your gym’s instructor schedule for classes focused on strength training.
Your goal: Improve your balance to prevent falls, which is a common risk for older
Mats: Practice standing on one foot, then the other. Or try holding a side plank for
15 seconds on each side.
Studios: Scan your gym’s instructor schedule for yoga or tai chi classes.
Your goal: Stretch your muscles to give you more freedom of movement.
If you are unsure about how to properly use a machine or perform a particular exercise,
ask a member of your gym’s training staff.