“The Mind Will Make Everything Much Worse Than The Actual Experience Itself.”
Exercising is good for both the body and the mind. However, people with gym anxiety avoid going to the gym as it conjures up fearful pictures of daunting machines, huge muscled bodybuilders, and injury causing treadmills (which than presents a wide range of symptoms of anxiety). Below are some valuable tips on how to overcome gym anxiety once and for all.
1. Go to the gym during non peak hours
If gym anxiety sufferers avoid going to the gym for fear of being intimidated by other people, you can begin by visiting the gym during the non peak hours. This way you can avoid crowds and slowly get into the habit of exercising (systematic desensitization).
Gyms are the busiest during early mornings just before work and later in the evenings after work. So change your daily schedule and go to the gym during mid day or after 8 in the evening.
As you Begin placing yourself in the environments that you fear in small doses the pairings in your mind will change, and it will associate the environment to something more neutral.
2. Begin a group class
One of the best ways to overcome gym anxiety is by enrolling in a group fitness class at the gym ( I can hear you saying noooo, but hold that thought). The best part about such classes is the fact that you do not need to know any form of exercise and the instructor of the class will be teaching different kinds of workouts. Such classes typically do not have people who are experts and everyone will be trying to learn something new.
The atmosphere in such classes is also usually friendly. After joining a fitness class, you can come early to the class and find a quiet place where you can easily see and chat with the instructor. You can also introduce yourself to the instructor and get acquainted with him/her so that they can offer you added attention.
Remember, you don’t have to be at the front of the class, just being in the class, at the back, and moving, will show your system that the environment is a safe one.
3. Plan the exercises you want to implement at the gym
Creating a plan about the varied exercises that you would want to try out at the gym is a good option as it can help compartmentalize your workout regimen. It will also help you to avoid aimless wandering around the gym, which can increase anxiety and stress.
In case you want to lift weights map out a routine that you would like to try. If you want to engage in cardio workouts then try out machines like the Stairmaster, treadmill, or elliptical. When everything is planned, you can go straight to the machines and begin the workout instead of walking around and feeling as if everyone is watching you and judging you.
The magic is in the planning, and in the baby steps.
To create new associations in your mind you have to begin placing yourself in situations that bring about some icky feelings and thoughts. Only than do you have the opportunity top change the associations you’ve create. So do your best to plan your routine, start small, and follow through knowing you’re on the right track.
Watch The Video Below For Further Clarity On How To Overcome Gym Anxiety (Don’t Forget To Subscribe On YouTube)