So, you’ve made the decision. You’re going to go to the gym! You’re going to work out, get familiar with the machines, and push your body to achieve wonderful things.
But then you get to the gym, and you see them: the fit people. The people who look like they’ve been coming here every day of their lives. In an instant, all of your confidence evaporates, because you’re convinced that they’re going to judge you for not being able to keep up.
That kind of anxiety has driven several people away from the gym and away from their weight loss dreams. However, you need to push through it if you want to find your comfort in this space.
So, what are a few different ways to work through your gym anxiety?
Pay Them No Mind
One of the simplest solutions to gym anxiety is to ignore the other people. Of course, when we say “simple,” we’re probably exaggerating a bit. If you’re feeling nervous, it’s not easy to actively separate yourself from the perceived judgments of other people.
But here’s the thing. The other people in the gym are trying to get healthy, just like you. They’re also supposed to be focusing on their own workouts. That means that they’ll be too busy trying to take care of themselves to worry about you! So, blast the music in your headphones and keep your eyes forward. You’re at the gym to make yourself feel better and to live more healthily – embrace that, and the atmosphere should lighten.
Avoid High-Traffic Hours
Alternatively, you can try to visit the gym when you think no one else is going to be there. This is a little difficult for people who have full-time jobs. However, see if you can’t visit the gym later in the evening, once everyone’s settled in after work. You can also try to wake up a little earlier in the morning and enjoy a quiet gym to yourself.
This is simultaneously one of the easiest and most difficult ways to grow comfortable with the gym. It’s difficult because you’re going to have to play with your schedule a bit. It’s easier, though, because you can go into the gym and poke any unfamiliar machines without feeling like everyone else there is watching you.
The more time you’re able to spend in the gym alone, the more likely it is that you’ll grow to feel comfortable in the space.
Bring a Friend
If you feel like you need some extra moral support, why not talk a friend into coming to the gym with you?
So long as your gym is big enough, you’ll both be able to find treadmills to walk on while warming up. Then you can spot each other in the weight room or just chat as you move from machine to machine. You can even laugh with one another as you try to figure out what some of the more obscure machines actually do!
Friends make all new experiences a little easier, because they remind you that you’re not doing your workout alone. They’ll boost you up and help you start feeling more comfortable in what was originally a hostile space.
Last but not least, embrace some self-love and be confident. Yes, you might not know what you’re doing at first. But that’s okay! Everyone has to start on their weight loss journey somewhere. Boldly make mistakes and correct them. Laugh at yourself a little. Remember to smile when you see yourself in the gym mirror.
Going to the gym for the first time is a difficult task. After you’ve done it once, though, it’ll be easier to do it a second time, and then a third. Celebrate yourself and your dedication, and don’t let your nerves keep you down.