Gym anxiety can get the better of us no matter the level of experience we have. Whilst the actual workout may seem like the hardest part of the experience, walking through the gym and getting over the stress of the experience can be even more challenging. Overcoming the emotions that limit our potential when in the gym is what all of us ideally would like, but knowing how to achieve this can seem impossible when being crippled with anxiety. With so much pressure on the way we look and how we perform, it may feel like all eyes in the room are on you. Understanding that this is not the case and we are not the centre of everyone’s judgement in the gym is key to overcoming gym anxiety, which ultimately will allow us to focus on our workouts and build our resilience from there.
Where Does The Anxiety Stem From?
The question of where gym anxiety stems from comes down to each individual’s experience. Perhaps you are brand new to the gym, which will be an intimidating experience as a whole trying to navigate all of the extensive equipment. Anxiety can also stem from areas that have nothing to do with the gym, but leaving the house with the impression that people will be looking at you is also extremely uncomfortable. To first overcome the anxiety you are facing towards the gym, you need to ask yourself where it is coming from exactly, and from here you can work towards debunking any of the false perceptions you have placed onto yourself.
Habits To Implement
Once you have grasped the area which induces the most anxiety for you, you should implement the following relevant habits to work towards combating these emotions:
Bring A Friend
This might seem simple enough, but if you are yet to complete a workout with a trusted friend this might make a positive impact. Working out with a friend no matter their level of experience invites a personable and comfortable experience when things seem intimidating. Your friend will provide you with a distraction from any anxiety that may arise, and they can also hold you accountable if you try to miss out on any of the sessions that will benefit your health. Ask a friend who is also looking to join the gym if they are free to come to the gym with you a couple of times a week.
Avoid Peak Hours
Whilst this might not be sustainable for people who are working on a tight schedule, visiting the gym during quiet hours is a great way to create the foundation for sticking to a good gym routine. The gym during its busiest hours can create levels of anxiety for even the most experienced members, so don’t feel discouraged if you feel anxiety when the gym is at its busiest. Visit the gym midday, and also in the late evening if you want to benefit from the quietest times. This will give you space to figure things out, and to have the equipment available to experience.
Work With Trainers
A big part of gym anxiety is the fear associated with hurting yourself or not performing exercises correctly on equipment. Also, not understanding the best workout format for you can bring a lot of anxiety when showing up to the gym and not being sure what you should be doing. Working with a personal trainer within the gym would be valuable if you are experiencing gym anxiety. Enlist the help of an experienced trainer and ask them to guide you through your workouts for the best support possible. You will not be expected to know what you should be doing, and they will be patient if you are struggling with your anxiety. Their goal is to build your confidence to eventually not need them when completing your workouts.
Have A Great Playlist
Another valuable way to combat gym anxiety is to have a great playlist ready for your workouts. Having your headphones and an upbeat playlist filled with music you love can take your mind off any of the anxiety that may arise. Create a playlist that will keep you pumped up and motivated for your sessions. Changing songs and spending time in the gym finding a good playlist takes time away from focusing on your session, so have it ready before you get there.
Invest In Your Athleisure
The final and most neglected tip for battling gym anxiety is to invest in great athleisure. Your outfit might seem superficial, but wearing a great gym set that supports your workout and provides breathability can help you maintain your workout and avoid feeling uncomfortable. Spend some time finding womens gym sets that make you feel great. This can also boost your confidence in the gym.
Overall, gym anxiety is a universal experience, especially when people are new to the experience. Take the appropriate measure to implement habits that will work towards making you feel more comfortable, and see the positive impact on your overall gym experience.