Exercise is a staple to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to good sleep habits, nutritious food, self-care routines, adequate hydration and adequate rest, giving yourself time to move your body is a guarantee of longevity.
Going to the gym can be a pretty stressful experience because all of these machines and heavy weights can be a little intimidating. It makes us wonder, how on earth are we going to understand everything? Here's how to overcome your gym-induced anxiety and position yourself to progress on your fitness and wellness goals.
Find a good gymnasium
And by finding a good gymnasium, I mean a gymnasium that makes you feel good, that isn’t crowded, and that looks nice and clean. Creating your own routine in the gym takes time, and if you have to change things every time you enter because all your machines are busy, chances are you will be irritated and anxious, not knowing what to do . Your training will suffer, as will your will, motivation and inspiration. Learn to love the gym in which you will make it easier for you to get out of bed in the morning, put on these Lululemons and crash your workout.
Start with group programs
If working alone increases your anxiety, find a group program you like and attend a few lessons. You will become familiar with the equipment, learn the right technique, find your own rhythm and build your confidence to try the exercises outside the class. Group programs can also be great places to meet new people and make the gym an even better experience.
Hire a private trainer
If you can afford a private trainer, hiring one for a month or two can be beneficial: it will help you relax in the new environment, teach you how to find your bearings in the machines, feel more confident in your own helps you determine which exercises are best for you. Listen to what he is telling you and use each session to learn something new that you can do when you are alone.
Watch YouTube Fitness Videos
Although it may sound strange, subscribing and watching fitness YouTube channels will help you learn what you can do in the gym before you even set foot in one. Nowadays, you find thousands of fitness videos that have great content and educational materials. Watch a few to help you overcome the fear of the stranger and the anxiety of entering the gym on your own for the first time.
Train with a friend
Going to the gym on your own can be pretty awful even for someone who is not a beginner. It can be difficult to get motivated or inspired to work when it is only you in relation to the weights. Finding a partner in crime can help immensely. Whether you're doing the same workout or following completely different programs, it's enough to know that you have someone to complain to when you die in the middle of your fourth set.
Wear clothes that make you feel good
This tip is more important than you might think. Focusing on your breathing technique and patterns can be difficult if you're wondering if your leggings are too transparent or if your sports bra is so uncomfortable that you can't wait to change into something else. Find good quality clothes that move with your body and support you at the same time. By allowing you to focus on the movements themselves, the right clothes will reduce your anxiety and help you progress faster.
Don't force yourself to go to the gym every day, especially if the idea of getting upset makes you nervous. Start slowly and go once or twice a week. After you feel more comfortable, switch to three or four times a week. Finally, you can add an extra day or two, but still take at least a full day of complete rest. Your body AND mind will thank you.
Make it your time
At the end of the day, remember why you are there in the first place. Whether you go to the gym to lose weight, gain weight, stay active, recover from an injury, prepare for competition, increase flexibility and mobility, or for any other reason, you only do this for you and for yourself. Focus on using every minute of that time and be as efficient as possible.
Who cares if someone watches and thinks you are doing this exercise wrong? If you've taken the time to learn the right technique, you've done everything you can to train safely. Go to the gym, focus on your workout and let yourself feel much better.
Thinking that you don't know what you're doing and being worried – with all those weights, dumbbells and TRX and weird gear – happens to anyone who's just getting started. Give yourself time to learn everything you need and start falling in love with the gym.