Anxious Thoughts We All Have When We Go To The Gym (And Why They Don’t Matter)
Real talk? Going to a gym for the first time, whether co-ed or a women-only facility, can be intimidating. You’ve come there to get in shape, but everyone else seems like they’ve got it down already. They’re fit, know where all of the machines are, and is it just you or are they looking at you like maybe you don’t belong?
A recent study found that you’re not the only one who has felt that way. In fact, 75 percent of women have found themselves skipping out on the gym because they felt anxiety about working out among the crowd of people who go to fitness facilities.
The gym can seem like a really intimidating place, but you don’t need to feel embarrassed. It’s easier than you think to conquer your gym fears and stop them from keeping you on the couch. The trick? Remembering that you’re not alone. These thoughts run through everyone’s head when you start a new fitness routine at the gym — but these are reasons why none of us should worry about it.
“I’m Not in Shape”
If you’re not in shape and you want to be, a gym is the perfect place to be. A big part of fitness is cheering each other on to achieve goals. People are less likely to be judging you and more likely to want to help you reach your goals — and even more likely to just mind their business.
“I’m Uncomfortable in Spandex”
The good news? You don’t have to wear it. As long as you’re not wearing jeans, most pieces double as workout clothes. A loose pair of shorts and a long T-shirt can go a long way if you’re more comfortable in them during your workout.
“I’m Sweating — a Lot”
As long as you wipe the machine down, it’s all good. Everyone sweats in the gym. But a small towel or moisture-wicking workout gear can keep you from feeling like you appear to be soaking wet.
“I Bet My Hair Looks a Hot Mess”
Anyone who goes to the gym regularly knows that that’s a badge of honor. If you can work out and keep your hair cute, you’re not really working hard.
You can keep your hair cute by switching to a protective style that looks good in and out of the gym.
“I Feel People Looking at Me”
People watching is just what individuals do at the gym in between sets, classes and hopping on equipment. But even though eyes are wandering, that doesn’t mean people are fixated on you and your workout.
“My Neighbor Is Outdoing Me”
The gym is all about setting and completing personal goals — not trying to outdo the person next to you. If their five-minute mile is one of your goals, get motivated instead of competitive. Set a few small milestones for yourself to slowly reach their level.
“Will People Judge My Gym Selfie?”
If you take 20? Maybe. But a selfie a day is a great way to track your progress over time.
“Do I Look Crazy Trying to Work This Machine?”
Everyone was a newbie once. Take time out to read the diagram on the side of the machine before you jump on. If it’s not clear, don’t be afraid to ask an attendant for help — or the hot guy working out next to you.
“I Just Can’t With All of These People…”
Not everyone loves hanging out in a crowd. If you can’t schedule your workout during a relatively uncrowded time, try popping in your headphones and turning up the volume on your favorite songs. The soundtrack will help you create your own private world and the other gymgoers will feel like extras in your personal music video.
“I Wish I Had a Gym Buddy”
You can’t force your friend to keep your gym pact. But sometimes you can find a long-term gym buddy by joining a group class and striking up a conversation with people once the class is over.
“I Don’t Want Anyone to See Me Struggle”
If you really need help, the gym will set you up with a trainer who will show you how to use the machines and do certain exercises correctly. With their help, you can target the muscle groups and body parts that you want to get right and tight.
“Am I Doing the Right Thing?”
If you have specific goals when you go to the gym, it pays to do a little Google search of “how to get six-pack abs” or “how to burn fat” to find what workout routine might be best for you. When in doubt, a few personal training courses will point you in the right direction and ensure that you’re not wasting your time.
“I’ve Never Even Been to a Gym Before”
Everyone starts somewhere. If possible, just fake it until you make it if you’re afraid of looking new and lost. Run through your buddy passes early and bring a friend so you can ask all of the gym 101 questions together.