5 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of the Gym

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Are you ever self-conscious in the gym? Whenever you’re there you are more focused on who’s next to you, in front of you, and behind you rather than your workout. You slow down your running pace or take more breaks when lifting weights because you’re concerned about what people think of you or how your shirt hits your stomach. Well, I can tell you to not worry about these things until I’m blue in the face, but that won’t work. What will work is giving you some tips and tricks to eliminate your self-doubt and worry, focus your concentration on your workout, and gain your confidence back when in the gym.  

Make a Playlist

Creating a playlist of awesome songs that pump you up for your workout will not only boost your workout, but will help distract you from other people and your thoughts. If you find yourself getting self-conscious, get back in the zone by turning up the volume and focusing on the lyrics.

Bring a Friend

Your friend knows you much better than random people who go to the gym: they know how great you are regardless of what you look like when you workout. With a friend there, you’ll have a comforting ally and  and together you’ll be able to encourage each other.

Find a Gym Your Comfortable With

Don’t just sign up for a gym. Take some time to shop around at a few and take their tours before you committ. Pick the one that has the equipment, the layout and the friendly staff you think you’d be most comfortable with. That way, when you go there you’ll be comfortable before you even step on the elliptical.  

Learn to Love Your Body

I know this could be the hardest step, but it will be worth it. There will obviously be days you feel great, but there may be days you don’t want anyone to see you.  On those bad days, just hang tight and push through the negativity. Focus on building up your strength and helping out your healthy lifestyle by going to the gym instead of wondering whether or not you look bloated in your yoga pants. Don’t look in the mirror, just go out and do. I promise you, everyone at the gym is focusing on themselves and not you, so there’s no reason to be afraid or embarrassed. Once you find the strength to push through a couple of times, you’ll break your self-deprecating habit and be able to love yourself and your body on your bad days as well as your good ones.  

Reward Yourself

After having a successful and confident workout session, reward yourself for improving your health and your mind. Maybe splurge on a healthy smoothie as a post-workout snack or buy a new workout shirt if you’re running low. Long term rewards could include an extra cheat day or a nice, new water bottle.

Overall, don’t be so concerned about what other people think of you. If you find someone staring at you, smile at them and encourage them instead of worrying about why their eyes happen to land on you. And don’t forget, other people may be uncertain about going to the gym too, so don’t feel anything else except proud that you actually made it to the gym!

Our Writers

Alice is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. She has been writing anything from poetry to short stories ever since she was eight-years-old. In her free time, Alice enjoys playing in an orchestra, doing kendo (Japanese fencing), and listening to Coldplay and Owl City.

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