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Overcoming exercise anxiety: Building your confidence at the gym

Overcoming exercise anxiety: Building your confidence at the gym

If you’ve never been to the gym before, the thought of stepping into a room full of chiselled people is a daunting one. But you shouldn’t feel nervous, you’re doing a good thing and everyone has to start somewhere!

According to a survey conducted by Better, two of the top excuses people use for not going to the gym are, lack of time (39.46%) and lack of confidence (16.55%). Let’s face it, no one wants to show up at the gym as ‘that newbie’ or ‘unfit one’ but there are ways you can overcome this anxiety and build your confidence at the gym. Here are some troubleshooting steps to give you the boost you need to go to the gym.

I have no idea what the equipment is or how to use it

Once you sign up to a new gym, you’ll be invited to have an induction with a personal trainer who will show you around the gym and tell you all about the available facilities and most importantly, how to use the equipment!

Some gyms may take a few details including your height and weight and may even watch you on one of the machines so they can see your level of ability and recommend the best workout programme to suit your needs.

What if people stare at me?

Devoted gym-bunnies are there to look at themselves, not you – don’t worry! Everyone exercises for their own personal reasons whether it’s to improve their body image, their mood or overall health and fitness.

But if you’re still worried, make sure you’re wearing something you feel comfortable in. Don’t feel like you have to wear the latest designer gym-wear. If you’re not feeling confident in what you wear to the gym you’ll be more aware of it and think everyone has eyes on you.

I don’t think I’m fit enough

You don’t have to be physically fit to be able to go to the gym and use their equipment. The reason you’re going to the gym in the first place is to improve your fitness and overall self-confidence.

The more you work out, the fitter you’ll become and your body will gradually become used to the exercises. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym on every piece of equipment available, even if you just go on the treadmill for 10 minutes then move onto gentle weights, you are still improving your fitness.

I don’t want to go on my own

It can be pretty scary going somewhere new on your own, we get it! But you can always ask a friend to go with you! This will give you the boost of confidence you need to go to the gym, plus you’ll have a friend there to train with and motivate you.

If you can’t persuade a friend to join you, try making a playlist of your favourite podcasts or stick the radio on, this might provide you with a bit of company even if it’s just in your ear.

I’m worried I’ll go bright red and sweat too much

Everyone does! Don’t feel embarrassed about sweating, it’s completely natural to leave the gym feeling hot and sweaty with a flush of colour through your cheeks. It’s good for the skin and will get the blood flow going. Sweat helps your body cool down and it’s a sign of a fantastic workout! Make sure you are prepared with a towel for your sweat and water to help keep you hydrated.

What if it’s too busy at the gym?

Rocking up at a busy gym can be pretty nerve-wracking and it might put you off going back, especially when all the treadmills and rowing machines are taken up by the ‘regulars’.

The best thing you can do is to try and suss out the quieter times by going on different days of the week to get an idea of when you feel comfortable.

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At SportsInsurance4U, we understand the importance of staying fit and healthy which is why we have teamed up with Nuffield Health to offer you 20% off their gym membership which includes access to their gym facilities, group exercise classes and swimming pools. Get a free quote today!

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