Whether thinner, bigger, stronger, or leaner, many of us dream of a better body. But sometimes, the most challenging part of working out isn’t the exercise; it’s the intimidation from the gym. Gym anxiety is a common fear that prevents many people from reaching their fitness goals and breaking out of their comfort zones.
Recognizing your triggers, overcoming fears, and pushing through are necessary for positive change. Here are some tips you can use the next time you walk into the gym.
Tip 1: Research Beforehand
Many of us face anxiety and fear from uncertainty. Not knowing what to expect can cause you to worry and overthink. One way you can reduce fear is to do some research ahead of time. Information can give you a better idea of what to expect and help you feel more at ease when you head into the gym.
Look into the locations, amenities, layout, busy hours, and programs. You might even want to schedule a tour before you sign up and familiarize yourself with the environment. You can even consult the staff for greater insight into the gym and culture.
Tip 2: Take Your Time
There’s no reason you have to go all out during your first gym session. You can start slowly and take time to get acclimated to your new environment. You might consider small goals like 15 minutes on the treadmill and work your way up over time. If you are kind to yourself and stay consistent, you’ll eventually reach your desired activity level.
Tip 3: Plan Ahead Of Time
Besides researching the facility ahead of time, you can also plan your workout beforehand. A plan can increase your confidence, help you manage your time, and reduce uncertainty. You’ll know the exercises you want to accomplish, the order, and the machines you need to use.
If areas like the locker room or showers strike fear in your heart, you can also get dressed ahead of time. You can also pack certain things in your gym bag, like deodorant, towels, or other items that reduce your stress.
Tip 4: Bring a Friend
Tagging along with a friend or family member can significantly reduce gym anxiety. You can go with a friend who loves the gym or someone who has the same skill level. They’ll help you feel more at ease, comfortable, and supported when you feel anxious. After you get your bearings straight, you can start exercising by yourself.
Tip 5: Don’t Give Up
It’s essential to keep pushing through your anxiety and fear, even when it gets complicated. The more you expose yourself to stress, the more familiar it will become and the less intense it will be. You’ll become more confident and notice improvements over time if you don’t give up.
Don’t Let Gym Anxiety Win!
Don’t worry if you feel a bit nervous or apprehensive about visiting the gym. Gym anxiety is a common experience that many people face. Thankfully, with these tips and enough time, you can overcome the uncertainty and improve your life. It might not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it in the end.