Gym Anxiety? 7 Tips That Will Help You Overcome Your Fitness Fears

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Now that summer is approaching, it’s high time you find your way out of the gym and into the fresh air where you can take part in a handful of outdoor exercises. However, that’s if and only if you’re already a gym regular — meaning, you’re not using the upcoming season as another excuse to continue avoiding the gym in fear. Yes, we know you’re out there, and you’re certainly not alone. A lot of Americans want to exercise, but foster a fear of the gym and can only muster ideas of bulky bodybuilders, intimidating machines, and accident inducing treadmills when they envision exercise.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are scared of what lies inside the four walls of the fitness center, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone and summer might actually be the best time to overcome this fear, because fewer people visit the gym during the heat, and therefore you won’t be intimidated by other exercisers.

If your summer 2014 resolution is overcoming your fear of the gym and finally getting the body you’ve always wanted, read up on these seven tips for getting over fitness center anxiety. Before you know it, you’ll be a regular at your neighborhood gym, and by the time fall rolls around, newbies will be the ones asking you for advice.

1. Take a group fitness class

One of the easiest ways to get over your initial gym fear is by enrolling yourself in a group fitness class there. The beauty of these classes is that you don’t have to know what you’re doing because the class instructor will do that for you, and in the classes, you can expect a friendly environment where most people are trying out new exercises and aren’t expecting any experts. What’s more, as long as you tell the fitness class instructor you’re a newbie, he or she will usually be more than willing to help you out and give you extra attention if you need it.

Once you take the plunge and sign up for a class, simply show up early, tell your instructor you’re new, and find a good spot somewhere in the middle of the room where you can see the instructor but won’t be blocking everyone else’s view. You’ll blend right in and will be easily able to take cues from the instructor and other participants. Don’t worry — everyone will be too busy focused on their own exercise to be judging and looking at you. Many gyms offer Les Mills group fitness classes. Here’s a breakdown of what those entail: Top 5 Les Mills Classes for Group Fitness Junkies.