• Deanne Pandey

How to Overcome Gym Anxiety

Most of us, at some point of time have come across the terror of gym anxiety or are still struggling to deal with it. Gym anxiety is clearly not a novice phenomenon. Although it is usually rooted in the “fear” of judgement or failure to fit in. For some it may be the apprehension that they might not be able to live up to their goals, for some it might just be the paranoia of exercising amongst experienced people. You might not be sure of how to interact with other people in the gym, where to find the equipment you need, or how to use the equipment once you find it. All of those can lead to gym anxiety.

All in all the instances that might ignite the feeling of anxiety in a gym are-

  • changing in front of people

  • feeling intimidated by people who are in better shape

  • not knowing how to use equipment

  • feeling like people are staring at you

  • trouble attending group classes

  • anxiety about sweating or other side effects of working out

  • worrying about making small talk

  • anxiety about using a public restroom

Naturally there is no feasible way to completely avoid these instances altogether. But what one can do is, understand the rationale behind such worries and try to eradicate it from their minds.

Here are few ways to deal with gym anxiety-

1. Avoid comparisons

When you're seriously working hard, you won’t have time to compare yourself to others, or to look around and catch them watching you work your butt off. Concentrate on you, and consistently remind yourself of how great you’re doing. If you are in need of a distraction, plug in those earphones and rock to some motivating music, or catch up on the latest episode of your favourite show.

2. Work out with a buddy

When gym anxiety gets the best of you, invite someone you know and trust to work out with you. When you’re with a friend, you feel more relaxed and are able to have fun. When gym anxiety arises, don’t be afraid to face your insecurity – share a laugh about it with a friend, and learn from your experience.

3. Build your confidence

Believe in yourself. You are your only competition; comparing yourself to others isn’t going to get you anywhere. Even if people are looking at you, convince yourself that it’s because they admire your motivation and dedication toward reaching your goals. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has started out in your shoes at some point or another, so don’t give in to those feelings of insecurity. Keep your goals in mind, and stick with your fitness plans.

4. Avoid going to the gym during peak hours

Gym anxiety can shoot up especially when you are working out in a crowded gym. You can peacefully learn about the use of equipments and workout without the fear of judgement or feeling intimidated by others. It helps you gradually warm up to the environment and be more comfortable.

5. Plan your workouts

Knowing what you are going to do cuts down the chances of gym anxiety by a large proportion. Plan your workouts before stepping into the gym to avoid unnecessary apprehensions and confusion.

Gym anxiety can be dealt with taking small steps and putting in a little effort at a time. Do not let gym anxiety stand in the way of your fitness goals.

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