Beating Gym Anxiety!
Have you ever walked into a gym and 2 seconds later made a beeline for the nearest exit after feeling completely overwhelmed? Just seeing those professional looking gym goers and all that confusing equipment is enough to send you running, out the door! This is classic Gym Anxiety.
Gym Anxiety is actually super normal and you are not alone in this feeling. Joining a gym, no matter how big or small can be extremely daunting. I’ve been there and I want to share my top tips for breaking down the barriers and becoming comfortable in a gym setting.
Invest in some Personal Training sessions
The Personal Trainers working in the gym know it like the back of their hand, they will help you become familiar with the gym, they’ll guide you through the mysterious machines, helping you understand how to use them, and how they can benefit you. They’ll also teach you exercises that suit your body and goals and make sure your technique is on point so that you’re getting the most out of your workout.
BUT don’t just book with the first trainer that bombards you with the hard sell. Take the time to ask for recommendations from fellow gym-goers or specifically seek out female trainers if that’s what you prefer. Go and stalk their social media accounts (in a non-creepy way, of course) and see if anyone resonates with you. You could even schedule in a chat with a couple of different trainers beforehand to see if you click. Remember, if you’re going to invest in personal training, make sure you feel comfortable and understood by the person you’ll be working with.
Set realistic expectations
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do an hour-long workout on your first solo visit to the gym. If you wander around for 20 minutes and end up spending only 10 minutes on the treadmill, that’s totally fine! Every little step counts, each time you go from then on you’ll feel a little more comfortable, and before you know it’ll become second nature.
Bring a friend along to beat gym anxiety
Whether your friend is a gym veteran or complete newbie, having a buddy can make the whole experience way more enjoyable. You can figure out the gym labyrinth together, laugh at each other’s attempts to use that weird looking machine and even master some workout sessions together. Gym buddies are like the secret sauce to unlocking the fun in fitness.
Sign up to a smaller gym, or small group classes
If the idea of a big box gym gives you heart palpitations, try hunting down a smaller, more boutique gym or look for small group classes in your area. These places tend to be less intimidating, and you’ll likely have more access to a fitness coach who can guide you through the exercises. They’re also fantastic for making new gym buddies who won’t judge you for turning up with your t-shirt on backwards. #mumbrain!
I know from first-hand experience that joining a gym can be daunting, however it’s so worthwhile breaking down the barriers to exercise and taking those steps that will help you get into the habit of regular exercise.