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Tips to Help with Gym Anxiety

Have you ever found yourself being motivated to get back into shape, but don’t like the idea of working out in public places? Gyms can be intimidating and not everyone is comfortable in this environment. But, your personal wellbeing shouldn’t suffer so what can we do about it? Here are some tips to overcome “gym anxiety” and become a better version of yourself.

  1. Organization – your workouts do NOT need to be elaborate in order to be effective. Start with what you know and what you are comfortable with before progressing. Having a plan leads to more efficiency when inside the gym and more confidence with your routine.
  2. Assistance – most quality gyms will have staff available to explain and instruct on equipment. Personal training is always a great option to help get the most efficient workout. Technology today provides a number of resources through the use of the internet, apps, and workout videos. Even a few simple tips can go a long ways.
  3. Timing – If your main concern is to avoid the large crowd, don’t be afraid to ask the staff when the slowest times are. Depending on how flexible your schedule is, even having a few less people around can go a long ways to allow you to be more comfortable at the gym. You can call the Hegg Wellness Center at 712-476-8080 to talk to a Wellness Center Staff member.
  4. Tune out the chaos – Bring in a set of headphones and download your favorite music. Any headphones will do, but it never hurts to research different brands of active wear headphones that are designed to block out noise and stay comfortably placed in your ears while allowing free movement. This can tune out the distractions of the gym and improve your focus.
  5. Exercise Classes – Exercise classes are perfect for people that are intimidated by gyms because they need the instruction but actually like working out in a group of people. Never be afraid to give an exercise class a try as most people enjoy the team building atmosphere.
  6. Fake it ‘til you make it – It can be easy to be intimidated by the other people who are in the gym in pristine physical condition, have all the new latest gear, and walk around with confidence. If you really want to, you could spend a fortune on the latest workout clothing but that is not necessary. Maybe all you need is a couple athletic outfits to give you an edge of confidence.
  7. Motivation/Goals/Focus– Keep your eye on the prize. Struggling with a health condition? Want to have more energy to keep up with your kids or grandkids? Maybe you just want to get in better shape or look better at the beach. There are a number of great reasons to overcome your fears of the gym and this should become your main focus. Your physical fitness is your own personal journey to better yourself so get rid of any negative influences from others.

We hope these tips help you as you start or continue on your fitness journey. We love seeing familiar faces at the Wellness Center as well as meeting new members so we hope to see you there soon!

Steven Blom, PT, DPT


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