Is the way you think you are perceived by others at the gym keeping you from going? You notice I said “the way you think you are perceived . . .” Most of the time, the other people at the gym couldn’t care less about how you look or what you are doing – they are more self-centered and interested in how they look. So let’s discuss a few ways to negate your fear of exercising in public.
Hire a Personal Trainer
Many times the fear of going to a gym is not so much about how you look in front of others, but a fear of embarrassing yourself by not knowing how to use the fitness equipment. One easy way to overcome this fear is to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions. They can show you how to properly use each machine in the gym. Not only will this training quell your fear of machine use, but it will teach you how to minimize your risk of injury by using a machine properly.
If you are new to going to a gym, a personal trainer can also help you create a fitness program that addresses your goals, whether that is to lose weight, or tighten and tone your body. As part of that program, they can also help develop a nutrition plan to get you on the road to healthy eating and eventually to a healthy lifestyle.
Choose a Gym Right for You
There is a difference in the environment and atmosphere in gyms. Go to several gyms in your area until you find one you like. Some gyms cater more to people of all shapes and sizes, like the YMCAs/YWCAs or community centers in some cities. Other gyms cater strictly to one gender or another, such as Curves weight loss centers for women. When you find one you like, join.
Go With a Friend
If your fear is based on going alone, see if one (or more) of your friends is willing to go to the gym with you. Not only will that help you with your fear, but you can support each other in your fitness efforts. And it addresses an accountability issue also; you have to go to support the other person and that person to support you.
Just Do It
And finally, just put on a set of headphones playing your favorite tunes and do your thing. So what if you sweat – all people do. Look at it as a badge of exertion or as beads of success. At least you have the determination to get off the couch and to work on improving your fitness; nobody will fault you for that. Every time you go to the gym or for a run, it will get easier. As you start to get more fit and feel more comfortable with yourself, your fears will diminish too.
In the end, you are exercising for yourself and nobody else, so get out there and show them what you have!