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Five reasons to join a gym

Don't beat yourself up if your resolutions went out the window, and forget about that feast followed by a 'cheeky Nandos' you had last week. Start the new month with good intentions and begin a new chapter towards a healthier and happier you. If you're not sure where to begin or get back on the wagon, a good place could be the gym. From setting goals to keeping you on the straight and narrow, here are five reasons to join.

The goals you set will stick

One of the best places to start is setting yourself goals. Whether you want to run a 5K or shape up, the gym can help you get there. So write down what you want to achieve and set yourself 'mini-goals' to get yourself there. You could start with five reps on a machine and build up to 10 or 15 reps over time. Don't go in all guns blazing - the key to success is to build up incrementally.  And remember, goals can also change over time. What started out as running a 5K could evolve into run 5K under 30 minutes. Set up the right foundations, give yourself a goal and you'll stay more motivated.

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You can create a realistic plan

It's all very well setting yourself goals but you'll also need a consistent plan. Be honest, how often can you commit to going to the gym. There's no point going hard for a week, and then resting for six weeks. The best way to ensure you reach your goals is by working towards them regularly. If this means working out once a week, then so be it. Think about when you can schedule the time in and stick to it. Not a morning person? There's no point getting up at the crack of dawn as you'll soon begin to resent it. Instead, build your workout into your daily routine so you don't think about it as a chore but more something you do regularly.

Help is there when you need it

Joining a gym can be daunting. You're faced with new equipment, a different environment and potential fear that you don't know what you're doing. People are there to help. When you join a gym, you will be offered an induction (depending on membership). During your induction, a Fitness Instructor will talk you through your goals, set you a plan and show you how to use the equipment. Use this time to ask any questions so you come away feeling motivated, confident and ready to go. 

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You can make it about you

Whether you have a busy work schedule, family life or both, it can be difficult to get time out for you. Here's where the gym comes in. You can use this to focus on you and your individual goals, without general life distractions. So head to the gym to workout and take time out. And if you think about it, other people are doing exactly the same. When you're sweating, others are also focusing on themselves not what you look like. 

Meet new people

When you start going regularly, you'll get to see the same people around. Why not get to know some of the people in the gym? You can then share experiences, maybe learn some techniques or motivate each other to keep going. Of course, you don't have to talk to everyone in the gym (and there may be some people, understandably, who you want to avoid) but making one of two gym buddies could be a very good things indeed. 

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