Have you ever DREADED going to the gym because you had a fear deep down that you weren’t going to do something right? I bet we all have at one time or another. Even if you’re really comfortable at your home gym, if you go to a different one – it can start all over. It can feel embarrassing just to walk up to the reception desk and admit to the super fit and smiley person that you don’t know where the bathroom is or what classes they have while all the “gym regulars” whiz by you to zap their key fobs.
Let’s have a look at the 7 biggest fears people have about exercising, and some strategies to get around them.
I don’t know where to start or what to do
I hear this one alllllll the time. Here’s the scenario: you timidly walk into the weight room and glance around quickly so no one can tell you’re new. Pick up a random dumbbell and do some bicep curls. Why are you doing bicep curls? Who knows? People are supposed to do bicep curls, right? Okay, now let’s hit the lower body. The leg press machine looks like a good one. Woah, the guy who just left was pressing 200 lbs! Take the metal key out and try not to make too much noise so that it’s not obvious. Guess at the weight you should do. Do a few reps and move on…
Is it any wonder that people don’t stick with it?
If you’re going to workout on your own in the weight room, which is great by the way, write out your goals, both physical and mental, like “I want my arms to look good in the red halter dress”. Research exercises that will help you achieve these goals. Make a spreadsheet and track your progress. Write down the number of reps and amount of weight each session and try to build on that each time.
Or hire a personal trainer to do the work for you. 😉
I won’t be able to keep up with everyone
I know it’s intimidating to be the newbie in class when everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re doing, but try to remember, they were the newbie once, too. Everyone starts at the same place.
Introduce yourself to the instructor and fill her/him in on any injuries or health issues you have, and what modifications you may need. Block the classes out on your calendar so you go regularly and often, and boom, you’re comfortable and not the newbie anymore and realizing everyone moves at their own pace.
Everyone will judge me
First off, this is probably not true. People are entirely too self-absorbed to judge anyone else, especially at a gym. But I would say practice basic hygiene and do try to wear clothes that are mostly clean and cover your booty. If you smell really bad, people notice. Refresh the deodorant before you head in. If your clothes are super nasty and stained or are so tiny that they’re leaving little to the imagination, people might notice. (But that’s what some people are going for, right?)
But otherwise, you’re good! People in gyms are just regular people, no different than you and I.
I don’t want to wear Lycra
Good news, you don’t have to! Wear what you’re comfortable in: shorts, skorts, loose workout pants, t-shirts. Again, just refer to the above on clothes being mostly clean. Athletic wear is really popular right now, in and out of the gym, so you can find tons of styles and brands to fit your taste.
One time, a girl came to my aerobics class in Wranglers jeans. That was weird. Don’t do that.
I don’t have time to go to the gym
If I had a penny every time I heard this! I’d have lots of pennies!
I mean, I’m not going to argue with you but yes you do. Our daily schedule boils down to priorities. What do we prioritize and what do we let slide to the bottom? Do we prioritize Game of Thrones? Mmmhmm. Truthfully, we can usually find 30 minutes SOMEWHERE in our schedule to get in a short workout, which is certainly better than nothing. There are so many online options with YouTube and countless workout videos that you don’t even have to leave your house.
Shift something on your schedule to prioritize your health a little higher. Can you consolidate some errands to one day instead of two? Have a look, I bet you’ll find some time somewhere.
I never see any change when I exercise
This usually comes down to consistency and patience. It does indeed take longer to see results than most of us would like. It ain’t overnight. In fact, it takes about 4-6 weeks of consistently working out 2-3 times per week to really start seeing a physical change.
But here’s the thing, there’s so much more to look forward to than the physical change! Your mood will be lifted. You’ll sleep better. You’ll feel less stressed which will in turn give you more patience with your kids and husband. You’ll have more energy. All of these things are WAY more important than a physical change, anyway.
I hated PE at school
You’ll never guess —- me, too!! All I can say is, you’re probably not going to be playing dodgeball at the gym. There are lots of options to choose from, like Zumba or strength training or TRX or kickboxing. I bet you’ll find something you like. Or if not, it’s not like you have to workout at a gym. Go hiking or try taekwondo. If you’re moving and sweating, you’re exercising.
So there you have it, the 7 biggest fears of working out and why you really shouldn’t worry about any of them. It also really helps to find a community of supportive people who cheer you on and give you accountability. I hope you’re inspired to try something new!
Did I miss one? Let me know!