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Gym anxiety and how to get over it

Written by Life & Style, Lifestyle

I am a certified gymaphobe – the thought of entering a gym class to be greeted by a swarm of long-legged, lycra-clad ladies makes me start hyperventilating. But, the proven solution for any phobia is aversion therapy, to face your fears head on. So, if you’re like me and in need of cure… get your kit on because we’re heading to the gym! Here are my top tips on how to get over gym anxiety.

Go with a friend
This first tip may seem obvious but is a great place to start – take a friend with you. A friend in need is a friend indeed, and if you’re in need of a killer glute work out, grab your pal and get squatting. They say time flies when you’re having fun, so plan your next catch-up at the gym and you’ll be done in no-time. Not to mention, taking a friend with you is a guaranteed confidence boost and will give you the moral support and confidence you need to get the most out of your session.

Stand at the front
Stand at the front of the class. I know it’s tempting to hide at the back of the class – out of sight out of mind, right? But there are perks to being at the front: you’ll get the best view of the instructor so will get more out of the class and you can’t see anyone behind you so can forget about the crowd. Also, even through you’re at the front, guarantee no one will actually be looking at you. Everyone’s focusing on the task at hand, and although you might feel centre stage, everyone has their own work out to worry about.

Keep in the know
Gain some knowledge in order to calm your nerves and get the best out of your session. Many people’s biggest fear is being caught out as the ‘newbie’ in the gym. But fear not, there is a simple solution: ask. The staff at the gym have tons of experience which they’re more than happy to share, in fact they’re paid to help you out! If you’re not sure how to use a certain piece equipment, get over your worry by being shown the correct way. Failing that, ask a friend or even watch a video beforehand. Either way, get yourself in the know about the gym and it will be a fear-free experience.  

Have a positive mid-set
Finally, remember that being a confident gym-goer is a state of mind. Keep in mind that you’re just as entitled to use the gym as anyone else, so don’t let yourself be intimidated by your fellow exercise enthusiasts. Everyone was nervous starting out at the gym and understands how daunting it can be. Also, hard as it is to believe… no one is looking at you – they’ve got their own work out to be cracking on with. It’s not about how fast you can run, or how much you can lift, it’s about having a positive state of mind and enjoying the physical challenge. So lift, row, cycle, run and squat like nobody’s watching because, well, nobody is.

Last modified: 12th March 2020

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