Don’t get intimidated in the gym. Keep at it!
When I started my fitness journey I was quite intimidated by the gym atmosphere.
For the first few months I only used machines that I knew how to use, and cardio equipment.
I would cut out workouts from Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine and follow them to the letter.
I would also stay in my little section because I felt like everyone was constantly watching me — judging how well I used machines, how fast I ran and how long I stayed on the treadmill.
Finally, after getting used to being in the gym and finding ways to block out those around me, I became comfortable with my workouts: a few weighted routines and cardio. Below are a few ways to help get rid of intimidation, for anyone who feels the same as I did then:
• Try a buddy system. Everything’s easier when you have a friend to do it with. You can help motivate each other and hold yourselves accountable.
• Try different gyms and outdoor workouts before signing up for a long-term agreement. You’ll get a good feel for the environment and if the people there are the type of people you want to workout with.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. If you don’t know how to use a machine, you should not feel embarrassed to ask for a little help. If someone is working there, it’s their job to assist you, and they should be happy to get you started.
• Put together workouts before you go to the gym. Even now, I use Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for ideas. They help explain the proper form and offer a guide to follow. I like to save them in the note section of my phone.
• Lastly, remember that you are not alone. Gym or class anxiety is more common than you think. Everyone is there for the same reason: to improve their lives and overall wellbeing. You will not be the best right away — you might never be — but that’s why everyone is there: to get better, to stay healthy and to keep our bodies moving. Don’t underestimate what you are doing for yourself and know that it will eventually get easier and you will get stronger!
Release the intimidation, and B-Active For Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife
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