The gym can be an incredibly intimidating space, especially for women, because, unfortunately, gyms tend to be male-dominated spaces. Between the unsolicited advice, the constant underestimating, and the leering, gyms can be an unfriendly space for women.
Although, gym anxiety is real, luckily, there are ways that you can overcome your anxiety and reach your fitness goals. Keep reading to find out how.
Before you can overcome your gym anxiety, you need to first understand the causes behind it. There are several common causes. Firstly, and perhaps the most common cause is feeling self-conscious because of your body.
Feeling body-conscious comes in a number of different forms; it could be because you don’t think you are in good shape and therefore feel like you are sticking out more, or it could be because you think you’re too thin or not muscly enough.
These issues are often perpetuated by what you consume online. Social media gives a lot of people an unrealistic ideal to live up to. You don’t have to be fit to go to the gym. You go to the gym to get fit.
Unfortunately, for a lot of women, these body issues do not go away regardless of what their body looks like. In terms of the gym, try to keep in mind that everyone is there for a similar reason to you; they are more focused on their own fitness goals than what your body looks like.
Gym novices often worry about how they look when working out. This is because they don’t necessarily know how to use the equipment or the weights properly and therefore become preoccupied with the idea that they look silly. Remember that practice makes perfect.
You can only increase your knowledge base and improve your form by doing. Everyone has to start somewhere, and there isn’t only one right way to use a machine; often, they are multi-purpose and able to facilitate a number of workouts.
Setting Goals for Yourself
By setting goals for yourself, you are giving yourself something to work towards, and in the pursuit of your goals, you start to care less about those around you.
Make sure you have put some thought into your goals because as well as helping to motivate your goals that turn out to be more difficult to achieve than first thought can also put you off and add to your gym anxiety. It is all about striking a balance between the realistic and aspirational.
Hire a Trainer
If part of your problem is that you are new to the gym as a whole, then it might be worth hiring a trainer. They can give you a workout plan and go through the machine equipment in-depth, teaching you how to use them and giving you the knowledge that you can then use throughout the rest of your gym visits.
Regardless of whether you hire a trainer for one session or ten, the confidence you can gain from being taught more about how to use the gym properly can really help to dispel any feelings of self-consciousness you might have.
Subsidize Your Efforts with Sustainable Lifestyle Changes
It can be easy to get dissuaded and disillusioned by the gym when you don’t see results as quickly as you would like. However, while it does take a while to see results if you haven’t made any lifestyle changes beyond going to the gym, that could be slowing your progress.
The biggest lifestyle choice that could be impacting your progress is what you eat. Depending on what your goals are, you will likely need to adjust your calorie intake and think about the foods that you are consuming.
That being said, regardless of whether your goal is to build muscle or lose weight, you will still need to think about your protein consumption. Ingredient Optimized has a huge range of protein shakes to supplement your intake, their website also explains the science behind their products, and finally, their blog is full of useful resources like Ingredient Optimized’s guide to how often you should work out.
Get the Right Gear
There is a lot to be said for looking at the part. Obviously, donning the right gear isn’t going to miraculously help you achieve your goals or make your body look a certain way, but it can make you feel like you stand out less.
This isn’t to mention the fact that gym gear is designed with its purpose in mind, which makes it more comfortable to work out in too. Working out in clothes that aren’t designed for that purpose can impede your abilities, make the workout less effective, open you up for injuries and make you stick out as a novice.
The Key Takeaways
The truth is that gym anxiety can hold a lot of people back, not just women, from achieving what they want to in terms of their health and fitness goals. Regardless of where you are starting from or what you want to achieve, you shouldn’t let your gym anxiety stop you.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so get out of your own way because the truth is that no one at the gym is going to be thinking about you as much as you think they are.