People need to stop being afraid of going to the gym because they think members who are already in shape will judge them.

Many students worry they will gain unhealthy weight during their time at APSU; however, some are too embarrassed to work out at the Foy Fitness and Recreation Center because they are not physically fit.

The only way to live a healthy, fit lifestyle is to forget the stereotypical lean and muscular body, which can make some feel negative about themselves.

The Foy Center’s facility can be an intimidating environment for an individual who first walks in and examines the wide array of gym equipment, ranging from cardio machines to bars and dumbbells in a 10,000 square-foot area. The atmosphere of built men and woman lifting heavy weights or sprinting on a treadmill can make beginners nervous.

If someone never breaks away from his or her fear of not being fit enough, he or she will never achieve the body he or she desires.

“Deciding to make fitness a part of your life is one of the best decisions you can make,” said Ankit Patel, junior health pre-medicine major. “You will feel more energetic and confident, and you will be an overall happier person. Plus, if you exercise, you can occasionally binge-eat ice cream and not get fat.”

The first thing is to ignore the “macho man” and his 300-pound bench press. One should start out at comfortable weights and ignore the feeling that everyone is staring.

Most people working out are there to better themselves, so they will not be judging those below them, but rather encouraging beginners, because they were once beginners, too.

The gym members are like a family, always aspiring to assist those who are just starting out, whether it be a spot for the bench press or a simple nod of encouragement.

Another way for a student to feel comfortable conditioning into a lean body is to work out with a partner. Having a friend reaching for the same goal is highly encouraging, because you can rely on each other.

When an extra body is there, the novice does not feel as if they are alone. With help from a partner, weightlifting, long runs and hard circuits seem easier and more fun.

The Foy offers even more ways for newcomers to tone their bodies without going in completely clueless on  gym terms.

The facility has four different personal trainers willing to help people strive for a healthy lifestyle. Also, group fitness classes are a creative, highly energetic way to get in shape.

At the Foy, more than 20 classes are available throughout the week, ranging from Hip-Hop Dance to Power Yoga. All classes are directed by a trained instructor. By participating in group fitness, you are able to feel confident knowing what you are doing is beneficial. It is a great opportunity to meet other beginners, as well. 

As one continues the journey of learning the proper techniques to a fit body, he or she will become more comfortable with getting out there and completing the routine.

What helps novices most is watching those who have been weightlifting or running for a long time and receiving advice on new tricks for training.

Whether one is walking into the Foy for the first time or has been a member for years, everyone at the gym has one common goal: To live an active, fresh life.