Point blank, not everyone is a gym rat. Some people live for the gym, looking forward to every sweat session and feeding off the high energy of other people nearby with shared goals. But for others, simply stepping foot inside the gym is a daunting experience — and perhaps even more so if you’ve got a significant amount of weight that you’re trying to lose.
Facing Your Fitness Fears
There’s nothing wrong with steering clear of the gym if it’s just not your style. Many people prefer the quiet solitude of their own homes/neighborhoods vs a crowded gym with a lot going on.
But if you’re avoiding the gym because you’re nervous, intimidated or doubtful of yourself — and you secretly want to join the hype — perhaps it’s time to face your fitness fears and jump on in.
What a Gym Can Offer You:
Gyms are popular because they offer an impressive amount of equipment, services and amenities to help individuals of all sizes and fitness levels meet their health goals. Don’t let your fear of stepping in prevent you from reaping a host of big benefits:
- Versatility – Get a killer workout using a variety of different machines and equipment.
- Group Fitness – Socialize, sweat it out, correct your form and find accountability.
- Community – Energize by working out in the company of others with common goals.
- Personal Trainers – Purchase a plan or session to gain guidance toward your goals.
- Bonus Amenities – Many gyms offer saunas, hydro-massage stations and more.
Jumping in: Quick Tips
While gyms have a lot to offer, they can understandably still be jolting for a new-timer or someone who’s been off the wagon for a long period of time. If you’re wanting to get into the swings of things at the gym but are not sure where to start, consider these quick tips.
- Memberships: Join on a promo sale for discounts or choose a limited membership level. The idea is to help you get the hang of a gym without wasting any high fees.
- Time of Day: Avoid big crowds by working out early in the morning or later in the evening.
- Splurge on Gym Clothes: Sometimes a new wardrobe can be a motivating confidence boost.
- Meet with a Trainer: Trainers exist to help you confront your fears, learn more about your body and get on a fitness track that will help you meet your goals.
- Try a Beginner’s Class: If you’re not ready to navigate the gym on your own, hop in a class that is beginner friendly to warm up to the experience.
- Bring a Loved One: A friend, family member, spouse or co-worker may help you feel more comfortable and encourage you to try something that feels scary.
- Take Time to Explore: If you’re not sure what a piece of equipment does or how to use it, ask someone to show you and take your time getting used to what’s available.
One of most difficult barriers to jumping into a gym routine is ditching your solo workouts to be among the company of others. If you struggle with self-confidence or you have introverted personality traits, gyms can feel overwhelming. But on the other hand, remember that making gym buddies can give you that extra dose of accountability to keep you on track — as well as support, tips for technique and much more. Maybe it’s time to step outside your comfort zone!