Whether you’re heading to the gym for the first time or coming back after a hiatus, then welcome back! You’re already on a path to better health and wellness, and with dedication you’re sure to reach your goals. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind as you start out on your journey.

Ease into it

The worst thing you can do is push yourself too hard, too fast and injure yourself. Put in the work, but pay attention to your body and recognize your limits (they’ll start to expand quicker than you think).

Fuel and water

Make sure you’re bringing your water bottle with you to replenish everything you’re sweating out. Be mindful of when and what you’re eating before and after your workouts as well. It’s important to have fuel, but what you’re fueling with is just as important.

Make it a habit

Experts say it takes 21 days to make something a habit, but we’re willing to bet you’ll be enjoying it too much to realize when you hit that 21st day. Aim to workout 3 to 4 times a week for 3 weeks to build up your fitness habits.

Seek out professional help

Especially if you’re wanting to lift weights, your form is crucial for ensuring maximum results and avoiding injury. Booking a session with a personal trainer is a great way to not only ensure you’re using proper form, but will help you stay accountable and really help you focus on your goals.

Compound moves

Exercises that require more than just one muscle group not only aid in creating full body results, but they also require your body to use up more energy (burn more calories). Moves like the squat, bench press, deadlift and lunge all use multiple muscle groups at once so you’ll be able to get more work done with fewer moves.

Focus on you

No one is more of an expert on you than yourself. Make sure that you’re keeping the focus on you. Start a food and workout journal and document what you do and how it made you feel. If you’re doing what you like and what works, you’re more likely to stick with it in the long run.

Mind on the muscle

If you know what muscles each exercise is working on, keeping them in mind as you complete the movement will create what’s called the mind-muscle connection. This will help you maximize your workouts and help you get to know your body.