Do you want to get serious about your fitness goals but the prospect of going to the gym leaves you filled with dread? Gym anxiety, also known as gymtimidation, is a common experience for many people. While you may be fine with working out on your own, going to the gym could benefit you; yet, you don’t really know how to get over your anxiety. Identifying your triggers is an important first step so you can find coping strategies to overcome them and build regular gym attendance for your health and quality of life.
Common causes of gym anxiety include:
- Being a beginner
- Crowded indoor spaces
- Having to change clothes in a public locker room
- Not having attended a gym in months or years
- Unfamiliarity with the equipment
The good news is that there are practical tips to overcome gymtimidation. You can choose to implement one or more, depending on your specific situation and local opportunities.
Do Your Research
Fear of the unknown often plays a big role in someone’s anxiety. Allocating time to research your local gyms, their business hours, their available equipment, and their class offerings can help you acquaint yourself with your options and start making a plan to go.
It is okay to stick with the basics, some stretches, or only use a machine you are familiar with when you first go. You do not have to learn all the new things at once. Building your habit bit by bit can ensure that you keep going. You can always diversify your workouts as time goes on.
Go During Off-Peak Hours
Knowing what the peak hours are at your local gym can help you schedule your visits at different times if possible. While work and other duties may not always let you go during off-peak hours, you may be able to at least plan some of your visits to the gym during quieter time slots.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can start by attending for shorter amounts of time. You do not need to spend one or two hours per visit right away. If you want to dip your toes in with regular sessions that last 15 or 30 minutes, this can help you build consistency and familiarize yourself with the gym.
Wear Comfortable Clothes that Boost Your Confidence
When you are planning your trips to the gym, make sure to consider your clothing. Comfortable sports outfits that provide adequate support and do not require adjustments while working out will help to make your experience a positive one.
If what you wear affects your confidence, you should also consider what clothes feel both comfortable and flattering. Don’t hesitate to get that cute and comfortable outfit before hitting the gym!
Listen to a Motivating Workout Playlist
If you feel self-conscious about any eyes on you while you are working out, you should consider creating a workout playlist and listening to it with headphones while at the gym. Curating songs that feel empowering and put you in a good mood can help you get into your own world instead of getting distracted by other people or letting your thoughts wander into negative self-talk.
This can be especially helpful if you go to the gym alone so you can be in your bubble and focus on whatever fitness activity you are doing. It can also help time fly quicker as you build longer workouts over time.
Bring a Friend or Try Group Fitness
If going alone is a significant hurdle for your fitness goals, you have two options: you can either sign up for a class or go to the gym with a friend. The latter can be especially helpful if you experience social anxiety. Both options can also help build accountability and increase your motivation and commitment to work out.
If group fitness is an appealing opportunity, signing up for a class allows you to explore new workout options and learn about the machines at the gym. Focusing on the instructor and their guidance can also alleviate self-consciousness and boost your confidence.
Hire a Trainer
Another way you can learn how to properly perform certain workouts and use the equipment at your gym is to hire a trainer for one-on-one sessions. This can help you establish a fitness program that addresses your specific needs and any limitations you may have.
Hiring a trainer can be an effective option whether you are interested in a single session to understand how to use training devices or would like to go through a custom fitness program for continuous support and accountability.
Remember Your Why
Knowing why you invest time and energy into working out at the gym can help you not only build but sustain your fitness habits. Whether you want to engage in more social activities, address a health concern, fit into that fancy outfit, or generally feel more comfortable in your body, remembering your why can be a powerful motivator.
If you notice your self-talk becomes negative while at the gym, take a moment to do some deep breathing and focus on positive affirmation to get you back into a neutral or positive mindset. Like every habit, getting used to going to the gym when it feels daunting takes time, but the more you go the more comfortable you can become. Consistency is key for any practice!
Call Soza Weight Loss today at (504) 475-9817 or use our online form to get started on your wellness journey in Covington, Metairie, or Harvey.