Most women in their early 20’s have set foot in a gym. Whether it’s purely for fun or to try to lose some weight. My reason is the latter. This is something I will most likely cover in a later post but I’m currently on a bit of a weight-loss journey, and going to the gym is obviously a major part of this. But, as a certified couch potato who can barely run 100 feet, it was a bit daunting to say the least! So in this post I’m going to talk about what it was like setting foot in a gym as a ‘non-gym’ person and some tips on how to avoid gym-anxiety.
The first time setting foot in a gym is nerve-wracking to say the least. You’re surrounded by fancy gym equipment being used by people 10 times fitter than you, and you have an overwhelming urge to run (walk) back home and exercise in the living room. But this is costing money, so you have to stick it out. The first few times I went to the gym I walked on the treadmill for a bit then tried a few of the weight machines that look simple, then head off home knowing I’d done exercise, but not tried all the things I’d wanted to.
After a while something clicked, If I’m spending all this money on a gym membership then surely I should be using the WHOLE gym! So, I eventually worked myself into a mind set that would let me explore the rest of the gym without worrying about how I looked to anyone else, just putting my headphones in and do 5kg (i know, i’m weak) shoulder presses to my hearts content.
So, how do you overcome gym anxiety? Honestly, I don’t know, I still get it pretty often. But, I do have some tips, because lets face it when do I not have something to say…
Okay, first of all, get into a ‘workout’ mindset! I know this sounds dumb but you are in that gym for a reason, to exercise; so make that your entire focus. Forget about how your hair looks, forget about the cute boy lifting weights on the other side of the gym, focus on yourself and what you’re doing. Trust me, start doing that and everything else will fall away.
Second and most cliche of all, don’t worry about what other gym-goers are thinking of you, because chances are they’re not. I read once that ‘people rarely think about you as much as you think they do’ and honestly these are words to live by! The super fit, slightly intimidating people in the gym are too focused on their own performance to think about yours, and everyone else is probably just as self-conscious as you, so chill and finish your set. You got this.