Gym intimidation is one of the main barriers to exercise for people who are looking to begin their fitness journey. So, what are some factors of gym intimidation (or anxiety), and how can you overcome them?
- “I don’t know where to start.”
- “I don’t know how to use any of the equipment.”
- “I feel lonely and singled-out.”
- “I’m self-conscious about how I look.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
If you feel like you lack the skills and knowledge to begin your fitness journey, don’t worry! Remember that EVERYONE started somewhere. There are many resources available for brand new gym-goers, ranging from YouTube videos, books, and articles to experienced personal trainers. I recommend committing to a fitness program. Always remember that consistency is key, and following a program will give you a roadmap of how to start. NTF has knowledgeable trainers that can design programs with your goals in mind. NTF also offers a wide variety of classes geared toward beginners.
“I don’t know how to use any of the equipment.”
Never be afraid to ask for help! Using the machines properly and lifting weights with good form is important to prevent injury and promote progress. NTF trainers are well-versed in using the equipment, and they can also point you in the direction of quality online resources to help you learn. NTF members are also notoriously friendly, and most people would be willing to provide advice if asked.
“I feel lonely and singled-out.”
Remember: you don’t have to do this alone. You have the option of recruiting a workout buddy to join you on your fitness journey. In fact, 95% of gym-goers who started a weight loss program with a friend completed it! Friends can be a great source of discipline and motivation, but we also have personal trainers who are educated and experienced gym partners with knowledge and tools to keep you on track. NTF trainers can help guide you and push you through your workouts. Don’t be afraid to get to know other members, too. Gym-goers are often like-minded people, and many friendships have been forged within the walls of NTF! If a busy gym intimidates you, try to start off by going at off-peak hours, such as early in the morning or in the middle of the day.
“I’m self-conscious about how I look.”
Social physique anxiety is a major contributor to gym intimidation. Everyone is in the gym for the same reason: to become a better and healthier version of themselves. Each person has their own goals that they are focusing on, and you should stay focused on your goals as well. It helps to “keep your blinders on” and focus on yourself instead of worrying about others. Keep your head up- it is proven that your confidence will grow as you exercise regularly (thanks to the endorphins released by the brain). There are MANY mental health benefits to regular physical activity, two of which include increased self esteem and reduced stress. Remind yourself that you are working to better your health, and you should be proud of your commitment to the gym! A good way to gain confidence is to set achievable goals and track your progress along the way.
Gym intimidation effects more people than you probably think. Ready to start your journey, but still have some concerns? Stop by the gym for a consultation so we can help!