Nervous About Working Out in Public? These 8 Tips Will Help
If you’re serious about getting into shape, sooner or later, you’ll have to join a gym. However, many people find themselves extremely reluctant to exercise in public, especially if they’re shy, not in the best of shape, or new to fitness in general. Still, you shouldn’t let shyness or embarrassment keep you from making a healthy lifestyle choice. So, to help you overcome your “gym jitters,” we’ve come up with some tips.
Here are 8 Easy Ways to Overcome Your Gym Anxiety and Tackle Your Fear of the Gym
1. Find the Right Workout Spot
Not all gyms are created equal, and it pays to do some shopping around before you commit. Keep in mind that we’re not just talking about price (though that IS important), we’re talking about ensuring the gym has the equipment you want to use and provides the sort of classes or training you might want to try. You also want to make sure it’s the sort of environment where you’ll feel comfortable. The more you know what to expect, the more at ease you’ll feel.
2. Feel Free to Take a Tour
Believe it or not, a lot of people are reluctant to go to the gym simply because they don’t know their way around! This can be easily solved by taking a guided tour of the facility. Better yet, a tour will give you a chance to ask all the questions about the equipment or services that you want. On your first day, you can exit that locker room with a bit more confidence.
3. Plan Your Workouts from Home
If you want to blend in at the gym, all you need to do is plan your workouts ahead of time. If you’re new to working out, you can find dozens of pre-made workout plans that fit your goals, experience level – even your age and weight! Or, if you’d like, you can also design your workout. Just write it down and stick it in the pocket of your gym shorts for quick reference.
4. Consider Hiring a Personal Trainer
If you’re new to exercise routines, it’s worth it to consider scheduling an appointment with a personal trainer. After all, these men and women aren’t just for the super-rich or super-buff – they work with all sorts of people to help them accomplish specific fitness goals. Best of all, they’ll give you first-hand examples of how to use the equipment while also helping you stay confident as you exercise.
5. Go with Someone Else
Going to the gym with someone else can help ease any fears or anxiety you have about the gym. You can both concentrate on each other and the equipment around you. If you know someone who has more experience with the gym, ask them if they can go with you a few times as you get more acquainted with the gym. It will only be a matter of time before you are brave enough to go on your own.
6. Plug-in and “Tune Out”
A great way to bring a little bit of familiarity into your workout sessions is to wear headphones. You can listen to podcasts, music – even books on tape! Once you’re “in your own world,” you can tune out everyone else more easily, which will help you relax. Best of all, your workout will fly by!
7. Do Your Homework on Exercises and Equipment
At first glance, a modern gym can look more like a factory assembly line than a fitness center. We remain skeptical that there’s a single person who knows how to use all of that equipment properly (maybe except for a personal trainer)! So, to keep yourself safe (and to keep from standing out), try researching the equipment from home beforehand. This will save you time and help you avoid any embarrassment. The same goes for exercises. Just pop on YouTube and search for the exercises you’re interested in. You’ll find countless videos explaining them in detail.
8. Plan Your Visits Around Busy Times
If the goal is to reduce the number of eyes on you as you work out, consider going to the gym when it’s less busy. You can usually find an average “peak time” chart on Google by looking up the name and location of the gym. Alternatively, you can ask an employee. You’ll be amazed at how less pressured you feel when fewer people are waiting to use the equipment.
***Bonus!*** 9. Don’t Make Comparisons
Everyone has their own fitness goals, sure, but everyone has their fitness past as well. If you are new to fitness or getting back into shape, you have as much reason to be in the gym as someone who’s spent their whole life working out. Don’t compare yourselves to others – we all have our own story!
For someone starting their fitness journey, the gym can be intimidating for the first few sessions. Keep these tips in mind when trying to overcome your gym anxiety. For the most part, everyone you see at the gym was once where you are right now. It’s part of the process. As you continue to go to the gym, your fear and anxiety will get smaller. Your confidence will grow.
One day you may find yourself helping someone else ease their anxiety and fears of going to the gym.
Remember this quote: “the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.“
– The 32nd U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt