406, Lotus Plaza, 30 Mtr Rd, Near Vishranti Heritage, Opp Yash Complex, Ashwamegh Twp, Laxmipura, Vadodara, Gujarat 390021
Is Gym Anxiety Stopping You from Working Out?Admin 28-10-2020
A lot of people avoid going to gyms for a variety of
reasons, “I don’t have the time.”, “I work till late.”, “Gym just isn’t for
me.” While these could be valid reasons for not being able to go to a gym, for most
people, the real reason behind it is Gym Anxiety.
Yes, gym anxiety is a thing and a very common thing at that.
A gym can be a very daunting place, especially for those who are going there
for the first time. Where most people can get over the initial intimidation,
many become anxious about the whole experience, and it is completely okay. All
you need to do is find out a way to overcome that anxiety.
Several things can trigger gym anxiety, being able to
identify those triggers is the first step towards overcoming it. Once we know
what causes us anxiety, it becomes easier to work around it to become more
relaxed in our surroundings at a gym.
What may cause gym anxiety?
Gym anxiety is a result of having the fear of facing any
potentially embarrassing situation at a gym. It often leads to a person
avoiding the gym or any place to exercise.
Anxiety triggers may differ from person to person. However,
certain things potentially raise a person’s anxiety levels. We have listed some
of them below.
Feeling overwhelmed by the regular crowd.
Trying new equipment but not knowing how to.
Thinking that others are staring or laughing at
Worrying about sweating or getting easily out of
Thinking that you don’t belong there.
These are some of the major reasons why you may get anxious
at a gym. People may have other triggers as well. However, it is not impossible
to overcome gym anxiety.
If you have put your mind to it then let us help you to find
ways that can help you relax at the gym and workout more confidently.
How to overcome gym anxiety?
Feeling uneasy at the gym can affect your workout and your
fitness. Your mind is constantly thinking about all sorts of negative possible
outcomes of any activity you do at a gym. Because of that, you may lose focus
on what you came there to do.
That being said, there are certain ways you can control and
manage your gym anxiety for a better workout experience at a gym or fitness
center. Here’s what you can do:
Chart out your plan of action
When you are new to something, most of your fear is about
the unknown. You don’t know what you are going to face there or what you might
need to do there. Researching about your gym, its equipment, and the
accessories needed, can give you an idea of what the gym might be like.
Knowing what lies ahead can ease off some of your
nervousness and help reduce your fears. You can then go there with at least
some knowledge to get you through your first day while you collect more
information from the gym for the next day.
Meet your instructor
One of the main reasons why most people suffer from gym
anxiety is that they do not know how to use the equipment. Thoughts like “are
they judging me”, “Are they laughing at me”, “Am I doing this right”, “I’m not
making a fool of myself, am I?” constantly go around in people’s minds when
they try to use new equipment or not know what to do.
In situations like this, it is better to hire a personal trainer who can show you
how to work out with any equipment. Or you can join a fitness center where an
instructor always shows you how to do a particular exercise.
At the fitness center, most of the crowd is new and
inexperienced so that setting can also alleviate your anxiety.
Ask your friend to come along
This friend can be familiar with the gym equipment or
someone who is not. In any case, you will have someone you know around you. If
your friend is a regular at a gym, he/she can help you understand how to use
the gym equipment.
If they are as new to the gym as you are, then you will get
a companion you trust at the new place. That way you can focus on your workout
along with your friend.
Find a suitable time for your workout
The serious crowd often frequents a gym during peak hours.
If you don’t feel easy around them, then it is better to avoid that time of the
day. Instead, you can schedule your time when the gym is less crowded.
This will give you time to get used to the environment
without having a lot of people around you.
On the contrary, if you really want to face the factors that
induce anxiety so that you get used to it, you might want to choose the peak
hours for your workout. It is a known fact that when you avoid situations that
make you anxious, then those situations become scarier as time passes.
The best way to overcome any anxiety-inducing situation is to
keep facing it one after another until you get so used to it that you forget
what about it made you anxious.
When you go to a gym for exercise, one way to stop any
negative thought that induces anxiety is to distract yourself. You can listen
to music, podcasts, or an audiobook while working out.
This will help your mind focus on something when your body
is exercising. When your focus is on something else, you will feel less anxious
about the situation.
It will also help you to manage your thoughts and pull them
in a more positive direction.
Find your crowd
If your body shape and fitness are what’s making you feel
nervous about going to the gym then know that you are not alone to feel that
way. Many people feel that since they do not fit in a particular body shape,
they do not belong to a gym.
That is not even remotely the truth. So, what you can do is,
find other people like you to work out with. When you have those similarities
in your body shape and size, you will be more comfortable to do exercise with
Know what makes you move
Exercising is not only about treadmills or weights. There
are different ways with which you can keep your body fit. You need to find out what suits you best.
Say if you love dancing, it is better to join a dance or
Zumba class rather than a traditional gym. Or if you like the quiet pose and
hold exercises rather than cardio, you can choose to go to a yoga studio.
In the end, if you like what you are doing then your focus
will be shifted to the activity from those anxious thoughts.
Exercise is often used as an additional therapy for anxiety disorder
along with the medication. However, if going to a gym makes you feel more
anxious then, simple things like distraction, preparation, or having a friend
may help you feel at ease.
Remember to have more confidence in yourself and focus on
exercising. Challenge your negative thoughts and push them in a positive
direction. These small changes will help you in a long run.
Do you find it difficult to go to a gym? What do you do to
overcome your anxiety? Tell us in the comments below.