If you’re following a weight loss plan or just want to tone up, there will be days that you feel tempted to skip your gym time. Maybe you have a hectic schedule, or you’re tired, or you don’t enjoy your workout very much. There are ways to address all of these problems. But if your real issue is “gym anxiety” (you just feel uncomfortable or self conscious in the gym), try these methods to address your feelings and overcome them.
Choose the right time. Many people feel more anxious in a crowd, particularly if they’re already engaging in an activity that makes them nervous. Figure out when your gym is less crowded, and try to schedule your visits during that time.
Take along a podcast or audio book. Music helps some people tune out the world and focus, but if that’s not working for you, step it up a notch. Try an audio book or a podcast on a fascinating topic.
Focus on the “after”. Sometimes anxiety is fueled when we focus on how we feel right now (nervous, self conscious, etc). Remind yourself of how good you always feel after your workout, and how you’ve been meeting goals lately. In other words, focus on the results rather than the (slightly intimidating) process.
Consult with a personal trainer. If your anxiety stems from feeling unfamiliar with the machines, or uncertainty about your workout, schedule a few sessions with a personal trainer. They are familiar with gym anxiety, and can help you become more comfortable in this environment.
Focus on one thing at a time. Rather than trying to tackle five different goals at once, focus on one activity and get it done. Decide that you’re going to ride thirty minutes on a stationary bike, for example, and then you’re done. You can gradually challenge yourself more, as you feel more comfortable.
Challenge your perspective. If you worry that people are judging you, remind yourself that few adults actually do this. And even if they do, that says more about them than it does about you! In truth, most people at the gym are focused on themselves and their own goals. And when seasoned gym-goers see a newbie walk in, most are actually happy to see yet another person taking charge of their health. Really!
Of course, if you need more help designing your weight loss plan or exercise regimen, please do give us a call. We can help you set realistic goals and then create a strategy to reach them.