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 How To Get Back In Shape 

Find a Gym - The Right Gym for You

When you are ready to get back in shape you need to find a gym that is right for you.  It may be a home gym.  Or you may want to join a gym.  First do your research so you can choose the right gym for your success in getting back in shape.

Don't waste your time or money on the wrong gym! You need the right gym for you. Choose:

  • An atmosphere where you feel comfortable and motivated with clean and safe equipment
  • A convenient location to work or home
  • Hours that work for you
  • If you travel, decide whether you want a regional or a national chain?
  • What qualifications and training do staff have?
  • What is the cost and what are the services?
  • Instruction?
  • What type of equipment? Do you have special needs?
  • Do they have Pilates, Yoga, Pool, Basketball, Racquetball, other classes etc?
  • Where do your friends go?
  • While family memberships are nice, realize that the right gym for your spouse or your family may not be the right gym for you. The right gym for you is the one you will use regularly and successfully!

    Make sure you ask if they require a letter from you doctor saying you have had a check up and are cleared for exercise. Many gyms and trainers require this before you begin.

Find a Gym -

At they offer free guest passes so that you can try out a gym of your choice near you. For a more comprehensive listing of gyms try At they help you locate a gym, map it out and give you some details. To find a gym that is the right fit for all your needs may take some time and patience, but if it helps you get back in shape, then it is worth the work.

Traveling? Don't let life on the road or in the air interrupt your workout schedule. Find a gym at Airport Gyms so that you can keep consistent with your back in shape program when you travel. And when choosing a hotel, consider one that has its own gym.

YMCA - many YMCAs offer gyms, fitness classes, yoga, Arthritis or Diabetes classes, cycling, aquatics, dance, personal training and fitness consultations.

WebMD has a nice article on Finding the right gym for you.


 Create your home gym.  

If you decided to do your exercise program at home, there are a few supplies you may want to consider in equipping your home gym. Create the atmosphere that makes you want to exercise. It can be as simple as an exercise ball in front of the TV. Or if you have the room, you can create a full gym without too much expense. The following are some good choices:

  • An exercise ball - great for conditioning, strengthening especially, the trunk muscles and to work-up to full body weight exercises. Watch TV and bounce on the ball. The ball can replace a weight bench for some exercises. If you have fragile bones or balance problems and might fall off, don't do sitting exercises on the ball.
  • A rebounder or mini-tramp if you want to shake up your lymph system. It is also good for conditioning and easy on the joints.
  • A piece of conditioning equipment such as:
    •  a treadmill,
    •  an elliptical machine which is easier on the knees than a treadmill,
    •  a stationary cycle (ergometer), a recumbent cycle is easier on the back
    •  a rowing machine
  • Some free weights, kettle bells or resistance bands for strength training. You can make a very versatile home gym with some hooks in the wall and a few resistance bands.
  • A ballet barre can be used for stretching and to hold onto for squats.
  • A Reformer if you want to do home Pilates. (For home, choose one with bands rather than springs for safety, unless you are experienced.) Get expert instruction with a DVD. Set up your video camera and check your form.
  • A Total Gym makes a nice all around gym for strength training and conditioning. It is especially good if you are not able to support your full body weight with exercises such as squats.
  • Walking - shoes, pedometer, maybe a heart rate monitor if your doctor says to or if you want to push do interval training. For indoor weather consider a treadmill or elliptical.

Just start with the basics and add as you go. Discover what works best for you. If possible have a dedicated place to leave your exercise equipment set up. You are more likely to be consistent with your program if your exercise equipment is easily accessible. If you have to set up your equipment each time, you may use that as an excuse to skip workouts. Set yourself up for success by making your home gym as enjoyable and convenient as possible.

To complete your home gym, make sure you have a TV, VCR or DVD player to play instructional exercise videos or watch your favorite program. Have a music source or an MP3 player. Music enhances any workout. And you may consider a video camera to watch your form especially for weight lifting, checking your yoga poses, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, and Pilates moves.

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