Intro To Health Part 2 SOU Campus Recreation

Introduction to Health Part 2: “What You Want is What You Do”

Content Warning: this article contains mention of diet culture and weight loss.

Hi everyone, Alivia here again! It looks like you committed yourself to Part 1 of your journey and have graduated to Part 2. I know you are probably saying to yourself that you haven’t done much yet, but plot twist: you have already made a hundred steps in the right direction. Over 50% of committing to this journey is simply showing up, and well, here you are! Part 1 was a simple layout that went over a few key factors of committing to your health journey. For Part 2, I would like to take some time to go over a few tips and tricks of the fitness world. Starting anything new is the recipe for insecurity, so I will ease you into the next few steps.

Gym Etiquette
Walking into the SRC gym, or any other gym, for the first time in your life or after a long time away can always be intimidating. You may be scared of some machines/exercises, you may feel uncomfortable in your workout clothes, and you may even be overwhelmed with no direction on what to do. The truth is, growth is uncomfortable; however, the good news is that everyone else in that gym is uncomfortable too. I enjoy gym culture because everyone is there to work on themselves, and when you commit to that culture, people will start supporting your growth more and more the longer you stay committed to it. Here are a few do’s and don’ts just to make sure you respect everyone else’s journey there.


  • Clean off the equipment after using it
  • Re-rack any weights after use in their correct place
  • Offer someone a spotter if they look like they might need/want help
  • Cheer others on


  • Stand in front of others in the mirror
  • Crowd others while they’re working out
  • Hog time on a popular machine or piece of equipment (especially during busy hours)
  • Judge others

As long as you keep these few tips in mind, you shouldn’t have any issues with any other gym-goers.


Beginner Workouts
Our generation is blessed with the internet, meaning you could have literally no idea what workouts to do; however, YouTube will always have your back. No matter where you are in your fitness journey or what parts of your body you want to target, there will be workouts you can find. When you are first starting, you will want to choose lighter weights and work on your form/technique. So grab some 10 lb dumbbells and start working on your curls for the girls. Working on the basics first will decrease your chances of injury later on. Most gyms also have people who can help you, but that is only if you want guidance. The majority of the staff at the SRC also has some good knowledge of workout equipment if you ever need any help as well.

Start with your basic exercises until you get a better idea of what you are doing and where you want to go with your growth. Machines like the leg press or the shoulder press will have descriptions on them to help guide you too, which will minimize injury. You could be someone that wants to do a 30-minute HIIT workout, you could be someone that wants to do strict abs and cardio, or you could be someone that goes to the gym every day for 2 hours and has an assigned day for each muscle group. You may even just want to utilize the studio room and do some fun dancing in front of the mirrors. Whatever you want to do, we have the machines, equipment, and support at the SRC to help you do it in hopes that you show up doing it for you and because it is what you want for yourself.


Diet culture is probably one of my least favorite aspects of the fitness industry. There are always 100 different people telling you 100 different ways of eating. They tell you to cut all carbs and sugars out, they tell you to minimize your calories, and they tell you to basically starve yourself if you have any desire to lose a couple of pounds. In reality, none of those concepts can become a lifestyle. Those are not concepts you can work into becoming a simple part of your life. Those concepts are just shortcuts to an unhealthy relationship with food with a side of weight loss. That weight loss will only stay around for a limited amount of time, though, since cutting all those foods out isn’t a way anyone can live happily for a prolonged amount of time.

What has worked the best for me personally (which isn’t always for everyone, so take it with a grain of salt) is simply eating everything in moderation. Depending on your goals, the portions of food you are consuming will vary. This means you don’t cut out any food group altogether. It could just mean decreasing your added sugar intake or trying to eat healthier carbs. Finding the balance of food that works best for you is all about listening to your body and feeding it what it needs. Your diet will directly reflect how you feel both physically and mentally. A diet that fits your lifestyle will make you feel better than you ever have. Diets can also be relative to your goals; if you want to lose weight, you’ll just have to be in a caloric deficit, burning more calories than you are consuming. If you’re trying to gain weight, you will have to maximize your caloric intake. Daily exercise, from walks to weight lifting, to running, will promote good health no matter what foods your diet consists of. The best thing you can do for yourself within your health journey is to find a way of life that makes you feel good about what you are putting in your body as well as what you’re doing with your body on a daily basis.


Between diet and exercise, there will always be a balance. As long as you have a solid daily routine of your movement and diet, there is always room for days where you do nothing but sit on the couch and binge eat ice cream or popcorn. Eating in moderation means you can have daily treats, and having a workout plan means you have rest and recovery days. That is how you keep yourself physically healthy and mentally healthy as well. You just have to always remember that what you are doing is for you, and it is to make YOU happy. Those who can’t get behind that may just have to take a step to the side so you can keep moving forward towards better things. And what is better than good overall health?