Tuesday, March 16, 2010
7 Tips for Reducing Gym Anxiety
However, I find myself feeling VERY insecure at the gym. I usually prefer working out at home for this reason, but I didn't realize just how much I cared about it.
The first few times I went I actually put makeup on and did my hair. I bought new workout clothes.
I select my treadmill by finding one in front of a large pillar holding the ceiling up. This way I don't have to be as concerned about people directly behind me watching me. The mirrors on the side portray a dreadful figure staring back at me, and all I can think of is how everyone there is looking at me and laughing.
I made a note to look around for these horrible judgemental people, and not a single person was looking around like I was. Everyone was focused on their workout. Why couldn't I?
I turn on some tunes to try to distract my thoughts, but my eyes are continually looking around. My arm gets caught on my headphones and pulls my ipod out of the container and it falls on the treadmill and conveyors to the floor. So mortifying! I guess it could have been worse. I could have fallen and conveyed to the floor.
"What levels has she set on her treadmill? She is so pretty, I am so embarrassed to be near her! I have no clue what I am doing. Should I have worn this?"
I don't want to give into the insecurities and cancel my membership because I know that will only feed my fears and make it harder to go in the future. So I plan to stick it out until I feel comfortable working out by myself alongside all the beautiful toned women.
So as usual, I decided to do some research. I found these tips to help with gym anxiety (sure enough I am doing it all wrong!):
1. Take a friend with you. I think it is less nerve-wracking to go to the gym with a friend. You won’t be so focused on yourself and what everyone else thinks of you if you have a friend working out alongside you.
2. If you cannot bring a friend with you to the gym, bring some music to listen to while you workout. Bring an MP3, iPod, or Discman with you to the gym to listen to while you exercise. Listening to music while you exercise will energize you and help you keep focused during your workout.
3. Take a tour beforehand. When you sign up for a new gym, they will usually allow you to take a tour of the exercise room before you actually go in there to workout. Some gyms also give you a guide for your visit to show you how to work the machines and weights in the gym. If the gym you chose offers this service, I’d recommend taking advantage of it. It can be really helpful.
4. Wear something comfortable. Be sure to wear something you feel comfortable in to the gym. This will help you feel better about yourself.
5. Don’t look in the mirrors if you can help it. I was reading a study the other day that said people who go to gyms with mirrors in the workout room are less likely to keep going to the gym, so I don’t even know why they still put mirrors in there, but if you can help it, don’t look in the mirrors while you workout. Having some music might help you distract yourself from watching yourself workout in the mirror. Some gyms also have televisions you can watch while you workout.
A couple I have observed on my own:
6. Read a book while on the treadmill. I see lots of people doing that and want to try it out.
7. Hire a personal trainer. I would love this but they are too expensive for my budget. If you can, they will help you stay focused and motivated.
I also need some newer workout songs for my ipod- any good suggestions?
Do you ever feel insecure at the gym? What do you do to reduce the anxiety?