If you take just one thing from this article, let it be this:

The key to wellbeing is patience

This is certainly the case in all aspects of wellbeing.

Playing a sport keeps you fit, and with regular practice and a bit of patience, you’ll improve your skills and become more confident.

So, it’s a proven fact that sport is great for your physical and mental health – but certain goals demand certain areas of expertise.

So, if you’re looking to improve your training techniques, you’ll need a sports coach who can watch you carefully and help you maximize your efficiency. However, if you aim to lose or gain weight, a personal fitness trainer will be able to advise you on a physical training plan as well as your diet.

The results of your hard work are many and varied:

  • Increase self-confidence
  • Improve your motor skills
  • Tone your figure
  • Lose excess body fat
  • Gain in physical strength

In order to begin your fitness education and achieve your personal fitness goals as well as reap these rewards, you must first find out which training program is best for you.

The fitness industry is booming, and gyms have many services on offer, including nutritionists, group training classes, personal training sessions, relaxation sessions and spa facilities.

So, here is a run-down of the commonly-available services in gyms across the UK, and how each one could help you.

Keep an Eye on Your Eating Habits with a Nutritionist

To make effective physical progress, you’ll need to be fuelling your body with the right stuff.

In training, you’ll be expected to ditch the fast-food and opt for a protein-packed meal to aid muscle recovery.

Nutrition is fundamental to physical fitness and staying well, and it’s for this reason that so many fitness clubs offer nutritional advice as part of their services.

So, if you choose to see a nutrition expert, you’ll learn all about how protein helps build muscle tissue and how carbohydrates replace glycogen stores, so you can work out for longer.

Discover the best fitness classes near me.

Energy Drinks and Training

Contrary to their exercise science inspired labels, the vast majority of energy drinks don’t do much for physical performance and contain far too much sugar – so steer clear!

Studies have shown that such beverages can be far more dangerous than they are helpful.

The high levels of sugar and caffeine can make it more difficult for the human body to take on fluids during exercise, increasing the risk of dehydration and digestion issues.

Health isn't just about your performance output; it's also to do with how you fuel your workouts
Be mindful about what you put into your body ¦ source: Pixabay - dbreen

Caffeine, which is known for its ability to increase physical endurance, can also be dangerous in high quantities by increasing heart rate and leading to injury as athletes push themselves further than their body’s limits.

So, what kind of drinks are beneficial when it comes to working out?

Isotonic drinks, which are made for replacing vital fluids and nutrients, are specifically adapted for physical exercise.

These drinks have the same particle concentration as blood, making them easy to absorb and they won’t upset your stomach.

They also ditch the chemicals so that you only get what you need for an optimum workout.

The careful composition of isotonic drinks makes sure that each athlete gets enough of the good stuff, including water, vitamins, minerals and protein.

These indispensable ingredients come together to help you fuel your workout and make a speedy recovery so that you can spend more time working towards your goals.

Group Fitness Classes at the Gym

Whether it’s your strength, stamina, figure, weight, or flexibility you want to improve, or if you just want to learn how to become healthier, there are all kinds of classes at various levels to help you along the way. Depending on your gym membership plan, these classes might be included in the price or cost extra.

Between resistance training, cardio dance classes and stretching in yoga, there are dozens of options for every need:

  • Step : A dance class with a plastic step of 10-15cm, which is used to step on and off in time with the music. An ideal class to improve coordination, cardiovascular strength, and your sense of rhythm
  • Low-Impact Aerobics: Another dance class, this time without any equipment. Every exercise is done in contact with the floor, and there is no jumping involved – reducing the risk of injury. Low-Impact Aerobics is ideal for improving cardiovascular strength and burning excess energy while gently exercising the muscles. These classes are usually marketed as senior fitness classes for older people and those who are trying to lose weight.
  • High Impact Aerobics: An intense version of the previous class, where more advanced athletes come to sweat to the rhythm.
  • Body Combat: The Body Combat method takes its inspiration from the martial arts. It was originally designed by a personal trainer who developed and choreographed movements for muscle strengthening which could be done to music.
  • Zumba: A full body workout with program design inspired by Latin-American dance.
  • Body Pump: Using weights and dumbbells to develop muscle tone and strength as well as cardio fitness.
  • Body Balance: A light exercise class inspired by yoga with the aim of improving flexibility and balance. Body Balance lessons use relaxation methods from Tai Chi, yoga and Pilates and incorporate breathing methods into stretching and balancing.
  • Body Sculpt: A body conditioning class focusing on muscle tone.

Personal Sports Coaching

A far more effective option than group classes, individualised training from an accredited and certified personal trainer provides each person with a fitness assessment to create a fitness program which is adapted to their needs, physiology and fitness goals.

Sessions take place in the gym with a fitness specialist who devises a tailored progress plan which takes into account the level and objectives of their trainee.

Personal training is by far the best and most rewarding option for anyone with a goal to reach, however, it is also the most costly! A lot of low-cost gyms and fitness centres don't offer personal trainer services - but you can meet your private sports tutor at your gym to work out instead!

Don’t forget that every personal fitness instructor has worked hard to pass their personal training certification exams in order to become a personal trainer and their fitness expertise is the reason their programmes are so effective.

So, if you need someone to motivate you to smash your goal and you have some cash to spare, why not search for a "personal trainer near me" for support!

Running Clubs

When it comes to improving physical fitness, gym classes and personal training usually take centre stage.

However, jogging outdoors is a fabulous way to get fresh air and burn some calories whilst you explore your local neighbourhood.

Long-distance running is brilliant for working on your physical and mental endurance, as well as helping rid your body of toxins so that you feel more energised in your day-to-day life.

However, getting started can be the most difficult part.

Running with a group will not only motivate you to lace up and get outside, but you will also make friends and celebrate your achievements together.

Jogging and running are brilliant, low-cost ways to stay fit
Keep up your cardio stamina by running regularly alongside your gym sessions ¦ source: Pixabay - stevepb

The key is to start small; try aiming for a 20-minute run, and walk if you need to. As you practice this, your level of fitness will increase to the point where you no longer need to stop and can run further than before.

And don’t forget to stretch after you run! This will help you avoid being stiff the next day, especially when you’re just starting out.

There are many gyms and sports shops with their own running clubs for all kinds of levels to keep you motivated – so it’s worth looking around!

If you want to try something on a bigger scale, why not sign up to your local parkrun?

Parkrun is a weekly timed 5km event which takes place nationally on Saturday mornings. You can walk, jog or run and meet all kinds of people whilst doing so – and it’s 100% free!

Workout Equipment

When you take up a new sport, there are all kinds of new tools you need to work out and measure your progress.

These could be anything from a GPS watch to a heart rate monitor, and equipment such as yoga mats for stretching and balancing exercises.

So, training can be expensive, however, a gym membership will get you access to the latest high-spec equipment without having to buy it or store it in your house.

Here is just some of the available workout equipment:

  • Swiss ball/Gym ball: ideal for Pilates
  • Weights and kettlebells: used for strength training and aerobic fitness classes
  • Elastic bands: Not the kind you find in packaging! These are used in yoga and pilates to help with stretching
  • TRX suspension trainers: For muscle exercises in the air such as pull-ups
  • Step boxes: For step classes
  • Skipping ropes: For practising coordination and cardio workouts

Sauna Facilities

More and more health and fitness centres are offering saunas for their clients to relax following a gruelling workout.

There are many benefits to saunas, particularly when it comes to strength training and overall wellbeing, as they help the body recover from exercise.

But how does it work?

The human body’s largest organ, the skin, is covered in tiny pores which open at a high temperature. The heat raises blood flow which increases the circulation of oxygen in the body.

Spa facilities offer a space to relax and recover from your workout
Don't underestimate the importance of recovery! ¦ source: Pixabay - TheUjulala

Toxins leave the body through the open pores and you begin to feel relaxed. Another known benefit is that spending time in a sauna improves sleep quality – helping you to quickly recover before your next workout.

And if you’re planning to exercise in your lunch break, don’t worry! Gyms have changing and shower facilities for their members, so you can return to work feeling fresh as a daisy! Most will have same-sex saunas - or you can go to a ladies-only gym or take advantage of your mixed gym's ladies-only options for exercise equipement or fitness classes.

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I'm an active energetic person. I enjoy long-distance running and have taken part in many organised events including the 2016 Prague Marathon. I'm a keen skier and love open-water swimming, when the weather is right!