How to Ease Your Gym Anxiety

Everyone Has Been Nervous in the Gym

As the year comes to a close, more and more people will set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. For many of them, this means making their personal fitness a priority. While your health should always be a priority, not as many people make it one. The start of a new year is the perfect time for many people to finally take that next step and prioritize their health.

However, simply setting fitness goals is only one step. Getting into the gym and working towards it is another. Many individuals who are just beginning their fitness journey are often plagued with nervousness and anxiety. Whether they feel embarrassed by how they look or their skills or are afraid of being ridiculed, many have their reasons for feeling anxious.

However, it’s important to know that everyone has experienced some form of gym anxiety at least once in their life. Even the most dedicated and experienced gym-goers have felt anxiety going to the gym before. While it may be debilitating for many, Fitness Nation is here to help ease your gym anxiety and overcome it.

What is Gym Anxiety?

Simply put, gym anxiety is a self-conscience feeling that you may experience when posed with going to the gym. It can easily rid you of any confidence or motivation to workout you may have had. Typically, people go through this when they imagine or experience intimidating, embarrassing, or awkward moments at the gym.

You may feel intimidated by more in-shape and experienced individuals in the gym. You may feel like you will be judged and ridiculed for your fitness level and your lack of knowledge and skill. While you may feel alone, chances are there are several other people in the gym going through the same thing as you.

However, you can’t let it slow you down. You must overcome it to meet your fitness goals. We’re here to provide you with some helpful tips to ease your gym anxiety.

Build a Routine

It takes quite some time before you can form a new habit. A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that, on average, it took a little over two months for people to form a new habit. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Your mind and body do not operate the same way as your neighbor’s, but it’s still important to build a routine to ease your anxiety.

You must ritualize this process. Take out the indecision when going to the gym. You can do this by:

  • Going to the gym at the same time every day
  • Having a set workout plan for each day
  • Going to the same location every day
  • Going to the gym even when you are tired or busy at work

It also helps to visit your gym before you even start your journey so you can get an idea of how the gym is organized and create a plan around that.

Focus on Yourself

A major area of concern for many people with gym anxiety is that they spend too much time worrying about other people. While it can be helpful to have a fitness role model, you shouldn’t compare yourself to everyone around you. When you are truly working hard, you shouldn’t have time to focus on anyone else in the gym but yourself. Concentrate on your workouts. This helps you make the most out of your time there.

If you need to, listen to music while you work out. Studies have shown just how helpful music can be when it comes to focusing on your workout.

Bring a Buddy

An extremely helpful way to ease your gym anxiety is by bringing a friend. Maybe you both started this journey together, or perhaps they have already been active in their own fitness journey. Regardless of the reason, having a friend with you can do wonders. Researchers at Kansas State University found that working out with others can increase your workout time and intensity by as much as 200%.

Your friend can hold you reliable, motivate you, provide you with social interactions in a space you feel alone, and much more. Eventually, you may not need a workout buddy after some time, gaining the confidence to work out on your own.

Speak with a Trainer

This doesn’t mean you have to hire a trainer to help you create an active workout plan. Hiring a trainer does give you a routine and a partner to work out with. However, if you are involved in a group class or simply see an expert at your gym, don’t hesitate to ask some questions. They can help you improve your form and find workouts that make you feel more confident.

Set Small Goals

There is no reason for you to put lofty goals on yourself as soon as you start your fitness journey. Often, this puts a lot of stress on you, which can add to your anxiety. Instead, make simply going to the gym and exercising your goal. After some time, start increasing your goals, but only by a little. You want to start slow. If you go in expecting to do all of these workouts but fail to correctly complete them, you can turn yourself off to the whole process entirely.

Set the goal of completing your workout. Focus on your routine instead of immediate results. It often takes time to see significant changes in your body. Until then, celebrate the days you get your exercise done.

Find the Right Time

If you go to the gym during its peak hours, you are more than likely going to feel overwhelmed. You may have to wait for certain machines or even share them. Even though you’ve made it your goal to avoid comparisons, it can be hard when there is someone on both sides of you. Instead, ask the workers at the front desk when they are the slowest. If that fits in your schedule, make that the time you go to the gym.

However, some people tend to do better when they are surrounded by more people. The Köhler Effect refers to people never wanting to be the weakest link. In this case, being surrounded by so many people can make you less nervous and work harder.

As the new year begins, thousands of people across the country are going to be making their health a priority and sign up for new gym memberships. While many want to improve their overall health, many experience gym anxieties that hinder their improvements or stops it entirely. If you experience gym anxiety, give Fitness Nation a call and let us help.