Feeling nervous about going to the gym? You are not alone. This article discusses the causes of gym anxiety and strategies for working out with confidence.
What is Gym Anxiety?
Gym anxiety is characterized by apprehension or nervousness when going to the gym.
We are nervous in the gym for a variety of reasons. Most of us have felt nervous when performing in front of others, but working out in the gym amplifies this sensation because our bodies and abilities are on display.
Gym anxiety is on the rise as a result of rising gym membership and “perfect body” pressure. According to some estimates, half of us are intimidated by the prospect of working out in a gym. Our mental health has never been more important in our quest for physical fitness.
Going Back to the Gym Post-Pandemic
Exercise routines have been disrupted by the pandemic, leading to a more sedentary, indoor lifestyle. As we emerge from hibernation, the world is gradually returning to traditional gyms and exercise spaces. However, the long-awaited reopening is tempered by lingering fears of infection and heightened sensitivity to our physical appearance. To put it bluntly, we'd rather sleep.
The stark reality is that the pandemic has altered us more than we would like to admit. Not only are we less physically active, but this lack of activity is linked to higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.
The majority of information on returning to exercise after a period of inactivity focuses on physical preparation. However, returning to exercise after a pandemic is more than just shaking off the rust and stretching out. The real challenge is regaining the confidence to re-enter the world in whatever shape you're in.
Tips to Deal With Gym Anxiety
Whatever the cause, there are methods for dealing with gym anxiety. Here are our suggestions for overcoming gym apprehension.
1. Get rid of your uncertainty.
Because it prevents us from planning for the future, uncertainty is a common source of anxiety. Gym anxiety can be caused by not knowing what to do or wear, or whether we will be welcomed. To reduce the element of uncertainty, research the gym's website, call ahead, or speak with gym members before your first visit.
2. Find a schedule you're comfortable with.
Every gym has its own vibe. Try to find one that works for you. Many gyms have different hours or classes for different groups. This is especially important for women, who are more likely to experience gym anxiety.
3. Don't skip the introduction.
Most gyms provide an orientation. This is an excellent way to become acquainted with the layout of the gym as well as how to use the equipment. Consider hiring a personal trainer to boost your confidence and avoid the risk of embarrassment or injury caused by poor technique.
4. Exercise with friends.
Finding a place where you feel accepted and people with whom you share common interests can help you overcome gym workout anxiety. Exercising in a group or with friends has been shown to improve mental health and quality of life.
5. Get professional help.
Getting in shape isn't enough to overcome gym phobia. Investigate coping mechanisms such as positive self-talk and mindfulness. Slow breathing techniques, which influence the heart rate and the central nervous system, are also effective in reducing anxiety.
If you believe your anxiety is out of control, seek professional help. Health professionals can assist us in overcoming gym phobia.