Getting to the gym is a struggle for many. Though there are different reasons, common ones among men and women are fear and anxiety.
“Gymxiety” is a form of social anxiety most experience. It’s the voices in your head saying don’t go, you don’t know what you’re doing, and you don’t belong there. Truth is, everyone belongs in the gym and deserves to live a healthy lifestyle. If you’re experiencing gymxiety, here are some ways to overcome it.
Go to classes.
The Rec offers a number of different classes. If you are more comfortable with one-on-one sessions, personal training may be the way to go. If you like being in a close-knit group who are working for the same goal, check out small group training. If you want a fun experience and motivation, join one of the many group fitness classes.
Bring a friend.
Bringing a friend to work out not only offers a comforting companion, but a workout partner. Doing two-person exercises with a familiar face can provide a sense of belonging.
Listen to music.
As soon as you walk into a gym, you notice many people with headphones. Listening to music helps tune out what’s around and places you in your own little world. Break out the headphones, pick your favorite Spotify station, and dominate your workout.
Before you come to the gym, research your workout. Plan it. How long will it take? What kind of workout do you want to do? What equipment will you need? Then map your workout. Know the equipment you need and the location. Write out your workout. Once you have it all together, put it on a sheet of paper, in a journal, or on your smartphone and bring it with you.
Avoid peak times.
Going to the gym can be daunting, but going during the busiest hours can be the worst. Try early morning or during lunch to not feel overwhelmed.
Not everyone looks the same, has the same workout, or wears the same clothes. Don’t compare yourself to others. Once you step through the doors, step out of your comfort zone, be awkward, and grow.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Henry G.