How to Get Over Your Fear of Going to the Gym
Gym intimidation – the fear one feels when first stepping inside a gym to exercise. It is real for some people and can be so powerful that people experience symptoms ranging from anxiety to a full-blown panic attack just by walking through the doorway. For those people, going there one time is enough and they quit, which is a shame because for many it could be their ticket to finally making the decision to get healthy.
In cases of apprehension, it is the person experiencing it and usually not the other people inside the gym. In most gyms, the people working out are so self-centered (and not in a bad way) in what they are doing, that they never pay attention to you. And if the truth be known even if they would notice you, they would admire you for coming in to try to lose a few pounds, tone up and get healthy.
People are scared of gyms for various reasons, but the two most common are:
1) Ashamed of physical appearance
Let’s start with the last one first. If you are significantly overweight and out-of-shape because you have been out of the exercise game for a while, it is easy to get intimidated by seeing all of the fit bodies sweating it up in their tight-fitting workout clothes.
But in most gyms, it doesn’t matter what you look like in workout clothes because they … don’t … care. As a matter of fact, you can use their looks as motivation of what you could look like in a few months from now. So put on that tight moisture-wicking color-splashed exercise outfit and get started! After a few times of going to the gym, your fear should subside knowing you deserve to be there as much as anyone else.
2) Not knowing how to use the machines and equipment
This fear is almost as strong in people who are afraid to embarrass themselves by not knowing how to use the equipment or are afraid they will break the equipment.
First, you won’t break the equipment, however not knowing how to use it properly can result in it breaking you, meaning if not used properly, gym equipment can be dangerous. But fear not – just ask a personal trainer to show you how to use each piece you are not familiar with the first time. Fear gone as you now know how to use it safely and know you won’t embarrass yourself or break something.
So with those two intimidations resolved, what is holding you back? If you find the gym not friendly toward you, try another one. In the U.S. two different gym companies advertise themselves as not being intimidating, so they cater particularly to people who are scared of the gym environment at first.
There really is no valid excuse not to join a gym and start your journey toward a healthier you. Just think a few months from now, you could be one of the role models in your gym for others to admire!
4 Tips for Working Out When You’re Embarrassed of Your Body
If overweight and out of shape, walking into a gym the first time can be a terribly humiliating and embarrassing experience… to the point where some people only do it once and never go back. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By using these tips, you can have an enjoyable experience and start getting into (or back into) shape.
Picking the right gym
Not all gyms are the same. Some are less judgmental than others. Sometimes just by switching to a different gym, you can feel more comfortable. If you don’t like your gym, try a few others. Look for one where the people are more your own age and are there to exercise and not ogle you and make snide comments. They will commend you for trying to get healthy by exercising and be there to support you.
Seek help from a trainer
If new to the modern-day gym, don’t be afraid to ask for help from one of the personal trainers. Not only can s/he show you how to use the machines (properly and safely), but can also create a tailored workout that will help you accomplish your health goals.
Wear comfortable clothes
Get a couple of basic workout outfits made from one of the new moisture-wicking materials. Avoid wearing baggy clothes that hide your figure. It sends you and everyone else in the gym the wrong message and mentally does not support your goals. Instead “look the part”; dress appropriately, but in clothes meant to workout. That way you will fit in better and people will know you are there for the same purpose ad them – to exercise and get healthy. Believe it or not, most of them will commend you for taking the first step on your journey to a healthier life. Many will reflect back to a time when they were where you are at now.
Ditch the paranoia
Put on a new workout outfit, strap on your cross-fit trainer shoes, put on your headphones to listen to your favorite music and go to work. Most of the other people in the gym are doing the same thing and could care less about what you are doing there or why. Just be yourself.
Know that you are there for the same purpose as everyone else. Use the fit people working out as inspiration and examples of where you want to be in a few months. As the popular sports apparel maker Nike® says “Just do it”!