8 Tips To Overcome Your Fear of the Gym
A few weeks ago I stepped into the gym for the first time in 8 months. I just needed to take a break because I wasn't using the gym in a healthy state. It was more to force a workout, burn calories, and do what I thought I had to do. So after taking 8 months off from a gym I decided to start going once a week with my friend and my boyfriend. Everything was going great during our workout but a lot of things came up for me. I started to feel self conscious, I was comparing myself to others, I was analyzing myself in the mirror, I had negative self talk in my head... I was thinking this is exactly why the gym just isn't for me; it's very triggering!
But then I thought to myself this is perfect. I need to be aware of what's happening because this is a simple fix. I do enjoy working out and I do enjoy the gym (not everyday but at least 1-2x a week), so I get to figure out how to make the gym an enjoyable positive place to be. This is what I came up with... just to ask you some questions about yourself.....
Are you someone who swears they will never step foot into a gym? You wish you could have a positive experience at the gym but every time you go you either look like you don't know what you are doing, you are extremely self-conscious of your body, you are constantly looking to your left and your right comparing yourself to others, and to top it off you are alone.
Here are 8 tips to overcome your fear of the gym and hopefully encourage you to give it another try- and come out with a positive experience.
- Have a set routine
Before you even head to the gym, decide what your routine is going to be. What muscles do you feel like working out that day? Are you doing cardio? Are you joining a group class? Are you doing a circuit? If you have no idea where to even start then the best place to go is to look up a routine on the internet. There are so many workout routines that you can follow that are free. You can also look up free apps on your smart phone. It doesn't matter how simple your workout is. Just be prepared so when you walk into the gym you are confident with your routine and what you will be doing.
- Do not look in the mirrors
If you have ever been body conscious like myself it's difficult not to look in the millions of mirrors surrounding you at the gym. I invite you to stay away from the mirrors. They can be very triggering. One bad angel can send you into a whirlwind of negative thoughts and body judgement. Do yourself a favor and just focus on your workout not how your body looks in the mirror. Remember, you are at the gym because you care about your health so let your body move without the negative self-talk.
- Wear comfortable clothes
Have you ever put on workout clothes that you just don't feel comfortable in? Either your pants keep slipping down your butt or your shirt is way too tight. You told yourself you don't even like this outfit but put it on anyways just because it was the only thing that wasn't dirty. I know, I've been there. Make sure to wear workout clothes that fit your body comfortably. That makes you feel confident. Not something that keeps you looking down and judging body parts you wish weren't sticking out.
- Do not compare yourself to others
This is a tough one but please it's important. Comparing yourself to others can be the number one soul reason you never step foot into a gym. We all have bodes that are different shapes and sizes. If you compare yourself to someone that has smaller thighs or buffer arms or tighter abs it will send so much self-hate your way that it could leave you running for your car in the middle of your workout routine. Focus on you. Don't worry if the girl next to you has a body you consider "fitter" than yours. You do not know the battle she may be facing everyday. You get to send love to all parts of your body no matter what.
- Workout with a friend
I love this one. Most people love to workout with a friend because it makes it so much more enjoyable. You have someone who will be your motivation when you don't feel like getting to the gym. You have someone to help you feel comfortable, and hey you get to catch up on each others lives. If you haven't found a friend to hit the gym with you it's completely okay just keep searching for that someone.
- Set your intention before you go to the gym
This one goes a littler deeper but it's extremely important. Before you start your workout get to the bottom of why you are working out in the first place. What is making you show up? Is it because you want to feel good about yourself? Are you doing it for your vitality? Setting an intention will help you stay focused on why you are there. It will help you block out the judgment, the comparing yourself to others, and the negative self talk. You can kindly tell that voice, thank you for sharing, but my intention to be at the gym today is to move my body so I can feel healthy and live a life I love with confidence, you can kindly see your way out of my head.
- Move with LOVE
There is no other way to move other than moving with love. Your body deserves to be treated with kindness. Send love to your body as you workout. Be grateful for what your body has to offer you and that you are healthy enough to even be working out. Our body houses our soul, therefore we get to treat it with the utmost respect. Radiating love at a workout will banish all fear that you may have. Love is powerful!
Using these techniques will help you get out of your head and into the gym minus the fear. This can be used for any workout that you wish to be a part of.
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