You should never, ever feel afraid to exercise. If you have made it a goal to become more fit, healthier, or just exercise more, the gym can be your best friend–and it should be! Unfortunately, for a lot of people, simply entering the gym is harder and scarier than the workout itself.
Gym intimidation is common, and it affects many people regardless of age, fitness level, gender, or size. The feeling of judgement can hold people back from becoming healthier, more confident, and happier.
Whether you’ve never been to a gym before or you just started at a new gym, you may find yourself nervous, overwhelmed, or even dreadful. Gym intimidation takes the fun and rewarding feeling out of exercising–but please don’t let it stop you!
Here are five reminders that will help you conquer gym intimidation and get you focused back on what’s really important, your health and wellness:
Everyone is at the gym for the same reasons. To get healthier and more fit! In reality, you actually have more things in common with your fellow gym-goers than you might think. While everyone’s personal fitness goals are unique to their own situation, you are all at the gym to improve yourselves in one way or another.
You don’t need to be in shape to go. One of the biggest misconceptions about the gym is that everyone is already in perfect shape. This simply isn’t true. While everyone may have a different starting point while first joining a gym, there is absolutely no certain “shape” you must be in to go to the gym.
Not everyone is an expert. Gym equipment can be intimidating, especially when you are just starting out. Remember that most people at the gym are not personal trainers or know exactly how to use every machine properly. It’s about changing your perception of the types of people at the gym. Not everyone is a fitness model or gym guru.
No one is watching you! Trust us. Everyone is focused on themselves, not you! Don’t worry about looking awkward while trying out a new routine or machine–no one is paying attention to every move you make. If they are, then it’s time to find a new gym!
You are boosting your confidence. The more you go, the more confident you will become. If you can get yourself past the fear of judgement or failure, you will start to focus more on exercising and start seeing results.
Tips for dealing with gym intimidation:
- Make a great playlist. Listen to your favorite music! Keeping your ear buds in and playing your favorite pump-up tracks will boost your mood, confidence, and keep you concentrated on your workout.
- Bring a cheat sheet. If it’s your first time stepping into a gym or if it’s been a while since you’ve worked out, a cheat sheet will help you out a lot. Use the cheat sheet to help you know which exercises you want to focus on and how to use certain equipment.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. If you aren’t sure of where to start in your workout or how to use certain equipment, ask a trainer or staff member. If you're at a good gym, they will be happy to help you out and assist you with anything you need.
- Get a gym buddy. If all else fails and you are still too anxious to go to the gym solo, get a gym buddy! Having a gym buddy will give you someone to talk to, and it will make going to the gym a more fun and comfortable experience.
Keep these reminders in mind the next time you enter the gym, and don’t let your fears talk you out of exercising and bettering yourself. The false expectations that come with gym intimidation will only hold you back and keep you from reaching your goals.
Did any of this advice about gym intimidation resonate with you? Share your thoughts, stories, or recommendations below!
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