Suffering from gymtimidation? Here's how to beat it
All of us have things about ourselves that we're a little self-conscious or insecure about. While revving up your workout routine might be part of the fix, it just so happens that gyms aren't always super conducive to boosting up your confidence, esepcially if you're a beginner.
Everywhere you turn there's another crazy toned human being lifting heavier weights or running faster than you on the adjacent treadmill. If you've never been able to quite name this anxious feeling, you might be one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from gymtimidation. But don't worry...it's totally natural and curable! It's all about taking baby steps and finding confidence within yourself.
Start with group classes.
Ease into the idea of working out around people by going to group fitness class like Zumba, yoga or cycling. There will likely be people of all ages and fitness levels so it will be easy for you to find your stride. Everyone in class is learning on-the-go so mistakes are expected. You'll be able to really focus on perfecting the movements as opposed to trying to match the pace of the person beside you.
Avoid peak hours.
Early mornings and late aftenoons are when the most people are likely to go to the gym. If your schedule permits, start by going at off hours like mid-day or late at night—but def not alone, safety first. That way you can get better acquainted with the gym and try out the machines that you might have been afraid to use at first for fear of doing it wrong (trust, we've been there). Get a feel for the facility when it's not super crowded and work your way up to going at the more popular hours.
Look around you—the people working out beside you shouldn't intimidate you, they should *inspire* you. From personal experience, you can learn so much just from watching or interacting with people who are more experienced than yourself. If you've got a question or notice that someone seems to have the same gym schedule as you, don't be afraid to say hi or start a convo.
Dress for success.
When you look good, you feel good. While there isn't necessarily a gym dress code, treat yourself to some workout clothes that you feel both comfortable and empowered in. Oversized t-shirts will serve their functional purpose but there's somthing about knocking out a set of squats in sleek leggings and a Lulu tank that just makes you feel like a powerful boss–even if you really don't know what the heck you're doing.
Don't compare yourself to others.
You're taking time out of *your* day to work on *your* personal health so don't waste it holding yourself back from doing what you want for fear of being judged. Set healthy realistic personal goals. Ones that don't include you getting down to the same size as some supermodel either. Getting fit is both a mental and physical uphill battle. Focus on you and don't give up...you got this.
Were you ever scared of the gym? Tell us how you overcame it!
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Photo credit: Cristina Capron.