Deciding you want to take that first step to start getting healthier is great! But it can also be intimidating. No worries, here are some easy steps for you! Summer is almost here which means shorts, swimsuits and lots of skin in the sun. This can be really intimidating for people. After being bundled up to keep warm during the winter, we start shedding those layers to enjoy outdoor activities. Plenty of people spent the holidays eating delicious food and snuggling up with their loved ones on the couch, and not really embracing the gym as much. Now it's down to the wire so people are feeling the pressure to get into shape as soon as possible. But where do you start? Beginning your active lifestyle can be difficult, and confusing to try and navigate the world of fitness.

When I began my fitness journey, I had the exact same concerns. Walking into a gym for the first time was terrifying to me and I was intimidated by everything. It was one of the reasons I didn't want to use the weights or machines and stuck to the perimeters of the gym where the cardio equipment was. It's hard to screw up on a treadmill or elliptical when there is a button that says "quick start." But I finally gathered the courage and made serious moves to better myself and lifestyle. I'm not a healthy lifestyle guru and will never claim to be one, but I do know what steps helped me start maybe they can help you too.

Try Out All The Gyms' Free Trials You Can

Many gyms have a free week, three days or whatever trial. So go try it for free! And imagine all the gyms you can go to and get free workouts from. If you look around town enough, you may end up not having to get a gym membership for a couple of months, and you can see what your city really offers in the way of fitness. Attending the gym doesn't even have to be inside a traditional gym. So go to a Zumba class, CrossFit, hot yoga, boxing, MMA, rock climbing, swim class, spinning class, or whatever you can find! You may find your new obsession through your gym routine.

Get A Trainer To Show You The Ropes

Trying to use a machine at the gym for the first time can be intimidating and some machines are hard to understand. So having a trainer to show you how to use them properly will help you become more familiar and make you less likely to injure yourself. Most gyms even offer a free session with a trainer so they can show you where everything is, and how to use the machines. Remember, not only do they want you to use them properly and safely, they really don't want you to break them on accident either. When I got a trainer for the first time, she showed me what machines did what, how to use them and what weight was good for me to start at and work up from. With her help, the gym wasn't scary anymore, it was a place I wanted to go to every day.

Find Out What Works For You

While you're using every free gym trial in town, you can also try different workout classes and see what you enjoy. People raved to me about hot yoga so I tried a class- and I fell asleep. I didn't work out as much as just got a nice nap in on a Saturday. Hot yoga isn't for me.  I found that I need a high energy workout to keep me entertained and engaged in what I'm doing. And I need a change in my workouts. I can't do the same routine or work out forever because I get bored easily. I find that HIIT workouts, CrossFit, and yes even Zumba are more on my level. But I only discovered that after I tried going to the gym alone, then getting a trainer, then yoga, then finally to my CrossFit classes. Trial and error until I found what works best for me and my body.

No Matter What, The First Week Will Suck

After my first CrossFit workout, I couldn't walk properly for days. I was so worried about looking dumb and not being as fast or as strong as the other members and I pushed myself too hard. But after attending class, the trainers knew me and my skill level better and I found myself becoming less sore. Then I was spending my time wanting to be sore from a great workout and lift heavier and run faster. That first week was torture but once it was over, I started noticing my improvements.

Start Drinking More Water Now

Working out makes you sweat and you lose water. Nothing sucks more than waking up in the middle of the night with a charlie horse in your leg. And it happens to me still every so often, because I didn't drink enough water. Get your body used to your new workout schedule by properly hydrating yourself. The better prepared the better your body will feel before and after a workout.

Don't Expect To Be A Whole New Person

One week isn't going to change your body or your outlook on working out. If you go to the gym now, your eating habits aren't going to miraculously change. Your tastebuds will probably still want that delicious ice cream or a gooey slice of pizza. Working out is only one piece of the puzzle.

Baby Steps Are Still Small Wins

Did you make it to the gym 5 days this week? Awesome! Did you drink a gallon of water every day? Cool! Did you still eat pizza the other night and have a couple of beers with your friends? That's okay too! Small changes are great and they are steps toward your bigger accomplishments you want to see. A ladder isn't something you can jump from the bottom to the top on, you still have to climb each rung at a time.

Accomplish Goals, Move On To The Next One

Try to just drink more water this week, then move on to only water the next week. Or cut out fast food this week then next week only eat home cooked meals. Once you see you can achieve one goal, the next one doesn't seem so far away!

Setbacks Happen

So you tried all week to only drink water but last night you went to a concert and had a beer. Don't throw the next day away by binging on soda, smoothies, and milkshakes. Let that setback teach you about yourself and how you can still finish the rest of your goal. Then next time you know what could trigger you back into a bad habit.

Hopefully, these tips help you! I use them all still to this very day. If I find myself getting restless from my typical workout class, I'll try something new! If I am craving sugar sweets, I set a goal to not have any all week, then treat myself on Sunday. If I start the week bad and don't get to the gym, I'll try to finish strong and go on Sunday, even though it's usually my rest day. Every day is an opportunity for you to do something for yourself and your health, and treat it like that! Now, I can't imagine not going to the gym and seeing my friends and beating that PR from last week. My gym buddies motivate me daily and I look forward to what is next for me, whether it's a goal to accomplish or to just see myself finish another hard day's work at the gym.