Going to the gym can be scary, especially if you're new to working out. The thought of going into a busy gym where everyone seems to know what they're doing except you can be overwhelming. You may picture a worst-case scenario like going into the gym and everyone turning to look in your direction. You may think everyone will be judging your fitness level or body type. You may even have nightmares before going to the gym your first time. No matter how your fear of going to the gym manifests itself, you can overcome it with a little preparation and a few tricks. Below are 9 tips for overcoming your fear of going to the gym.
Choose the right gym for you.
Research potential gyms before committing to one. Make sure they have the equipment you need, and if you're interested in group classes, see which ones they offer. Knowing that a gym will meet your needs will help calm you down and make going the first day easier.
Tour the gym ahead of time.
If you didn't tour the facility before joining, make sure you schedule a tour before your first visit. Most gyms will be more than happy to give you a tour at your request, and many require it for new patrons.
Make an appointment with a personal trainer.
If you are new to working out, schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. They can teach you how to use equipment, give you information about fitness or workout routines, and answer any questions you might have. Being knowledgeable will help you be more comfortable your first day at the gym.
At our YMCA's a wellness coach is the one who shows you how to use the equipment. Appointments with the coaches are free while those with trainers cost a monthly fee after your initial session. Check with your gym for the appropriate person for equipment instruction.
Research equipment and exercises ahead of time.
If you choose not to make an appointment with a personal trainer, at the very least research equipment and exercises ahead of time. This will give you some basic knowledge and will prepare you for your first visit.
Plan your workout ahead of time.
Before your first visit to the gym, plan your workout. Have an idea of what you will do during your time at the gym. If you're new to fitness, choose a pre-made workout regimen to start with. You can always change it up later when you're more experienced.
Plan your first few visits during non-peak hours.
Choose non-peak times to visit the gym until you're more comfortable. A less busy gym is a lot less intimidating than a busy one is. You will also be able to make it through your workout with less pressure and you'll be able to take your time.
Wear headphones during your workout.
Music is a wonderful way to calm anxiety. You can listen to your favorite songs, or something upbeat to workout to.
Don't compare yourself to others.
Try not to compare yourself to others. You don't know where anyone else started, and you don't know their story. The only person you should worry about in a gym is yourself. Compare your today to your yesterday, and gauge your progress on what you accomplish.
Going to the gym can be scary for anyone, especially for someone beginning their fitness journey. Don't let fear keep you from achieving your fitness goals. Use the tips above to overcome your fear of going to the gym. Don't let fear keep you from reaching your fitness goals.