You want to start going to the gym, but the thought of actually going and getting started is causing you some serious gym anxiety.
It might be because you haven’t went to the gym before and it’s making you feel like you will be out of place. Perhaps you don’t want to feel like you’re embarrassing yourself, because you don’t really know what exercises to do or how to use the machines. In any case, your gym anxiety can be a major obstacle standing in the way of your personal health and fitness goals.
Gym anxiety actually affects many people in different ways and it’s only natural if you’re not familiar with going to the gym. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips for you.
Here are 5 practical and straightforward ways you can beat gym anxiety to get started on working towards your health and fitness goals.
1. Find a gym buddy
Bringing a friend to the gym can make the whole experience a lot less stressful and scary. It can make your workout sessions a lot more sociable and enjoyable, helping to take your mind off the things that are making you anxious.
Having a gym buddy who knows what they’re doing is also a major bonus, since they can help you with the different exercises and any questions you may have around health and fitness.
Many people seem to get anxious at the thought of being looked at and judged it the gym. Brining a friend to your workout session will take some of that unwanted attention away from you.
2. Go when it’s quiet
If it’s at all possible you should avoid the peak times at the gym – usually from 4-7pm. The gym can get really crowded during the peak times and you will struggle to even get to use a lot of the equipment! If you’re someone who dislikes crowded places, it’s best to try to go to the gym during off-peak hours. Some gyms have mobile apps that let you check the number of people currently in the gym, so you can time your session well.
During the off-peak times the gym will be a lot quieter, so you can use the time to explore new equipment that you may not have used before to build your confidence with it. If your gym has personal trainers, you can ask them for help and it’s more likely that they won’t be as busy as during peak times to help you.
3. Plan your gym sessions
Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. You should plan your gym sessions before you go, so that you know exactly what you’re going to be doing. What body part or aspect of fitness do you want to focus on? Do you know which exercises you like and dislike? These are all important things that you should include in your plan and this way you won’t get anxious about trying to think of what, where and how, when you’re in the gym.
Once you know what you’re going to be training and what exercises you will be doing, you can mentally rehearse your session. This has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing anxiety in a sports performance setting.
4, Make a gym playlist
It’s the eye of the tiger! Probably nothing will get you as pumped about hitting the gym, as listening to your favourite motivational tunes. Turn on the music and turn off the outside world. Listening to music has been shown to have many benefits on sports performance, including reducing anxiety!
Just make sure you make (or find) the right playlist and you’re good to go!
5. Wear whatever makes you feel confident
We all know that the right outfit can make you feel a lot more confident, so the same thing applies to your gym clothing. Whether it’s baggy jogging bottoms and a hoodie or skinny leggings and a vest, the right outfit can make a big difference in reducing your gym anxiety.
Whatever gym outfit makes you feel more confident, wear it and you’ll feel a lot more ready to get in the gym and smash your workout.
This article first appeared on GYMNASIUMPOST.com on 21st October, 2020.