Fitlife: 5 Tips to Get Over Your Gym Anxiety

It’s no secret that I struggle with consistency, especially when it comes to working out and eating healthy. However, every year I try to become better and this one is no exception. One thing I struggle with is the gym. I love working out, I really do. Maybe not before I go, but once I’m at the gym (or home) doing a work out, I instantly feel better. Getting to the gym is always an issue for me, though. I usually fall into a pattern. I go to the gym, go consistently for a few weeks, miss a day or two, and psych myself out from going again and take a long break. Clearly, without consistency, there is no progress.

One of my struggles with going to the gym is my gym anxiety. I’ve never been the athletic type. I didn’t do sports in middle school/high school outside of gym class requirements. I never liked running or anything physical. I’ve always been out of shape. Even at my skinniest, I wasn’t working out consistently. So when I go to the gym, I get nervous. I’m scared people will see me struggling, out of breath, and judge me. I’m scared of some super buff dude coming up to me and telling me I’m doing it wrong. I’m scared of someone judging the weights I lift. It sounds silly writing it down, but sometimes I get so anxious about the gym, it makes my stomach hurt. I just get so nervous of “looking dumb” or out of place, I avoid it all together.

It is something that I actively work out and the more I go to the gym, the easier it gets. Some days I still get nervous, but I’ve learned to do some things to keep me in check.


 

Have someone to keep you accountable: Due to conflicting schedules with my best friend and husband, I usually work out alone (which I like,) but having a buddy for accountability really helps. My best friends and I always share our workouts and gym selfies in our group chat. It feels good sending a text to my friends like “hey, I made it today!” It also motivates me when one of us works out, so I get off my behind and just go to the gym.

I also have a fitness Instagram page. Clearly, I’m no fitness pro or model, and like 5 people follow me. But it helps having a place to post my gym selfies (which I only take post workout) and what I did. It seems weird, but it works for me.

gymselfies

Plan a cute outfit: Nothing motivates me more to workout than knowing that I love the outfit I’m wearing. First of all, I love athleisure wear. If I’m not at work, I’m out in the real world in my workout clothes, even if I have no intention of hitting the gym that day. Usually, I work out in gym leggings and a cute sports bra that goes under a favorite graphic tee! I also love wearing hats while I work out because I love hats! It seems simple but planning a cute outfit or something I enjoy wearing makes me look forward to the gym and to my work out.

Map out your workout: Coming prepared to the gym helps you stay focused and doesn’t give you time to be nervous. I like using different apps that have built in workout plans to follow. I also use sites like Pinterest to get ideas on what I want to focus. Having a plan gives me tunnel vision to get through everything I’ve set to do until my workout is complete.

(Apps that I use: JeFit, Running, Stronglifts 5×5)

Research your workouts: This tip ties into the previous one. Usually when planning a workout and using a pre-made plan from an app or website, I see new workouts with equipment or moves I’ve never done before. Doing something new is absolutely TERRIFYING to me, especially in public. What I like to do when that happens is go on YouTube and watch different videos on using the equipment or moves. You can never be too prepared, especially when trying something new. The more you know, the more confident you will feel, and not to add, avoid an injury due to doing something incorrectly.

Bodybuilding hand training dumbbell

Remember that no one cares about you: Whenever I get too into my anxiety, I think to myself, “Do you sit at the gym and look around to judge people and their workouts?No, because I’m too busy working out.So why do you think these people are sitting around staring at your when they have workouts to do?” This is something I have to remind myself almost every gym session. No one cares about you at the gym. The gym is an escape to most people. They go to relieve stress and work on their health, not to sit around and judge others. I think about myself and how when I’m super into a workout, I just focus on that and getting through the next set, not whatever Joe is doing next to me.

Some days, it is easier than others to get focused and go to the gym. Other days, it is an uphill battle to get up and JUST GO! But I’m working on it and I always believe that progress is progress, no matter how long it takes.

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Featured Image: Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

Weight Image: Photo by Lukas from Pexels

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