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Gym Confidence

If you’re just starting your lifestyle change, you know one of the most important components to losing weight is exercise. The most popular place to exercise is in a gym. The ‘G’ word can evoke fear, stress, and/or panic causing the individual to give up before even starting. It doesn’t have to be that way if you know what to do. I’ve compiled a list to help you choose the best gym for you, as well as, how to actually go inside.

Choosing a gym:

  • Try to select a gym that is close to where live or work. This tip is almost self-explanatory. Convenience doesn’t always play a big part in selecting a gym, but it should. Picking one farther away, for whatever reason, can lead you to start making excuses. If your gym is within a 1-2 mile radius of your house, you can easily walk there on warmer days or if your car is in the repair shop.
  • Choose a gym that fits your schedule. Going to the gym is hard as is, but it becomes even more difficult if you work unusual hours. There no need to add more obstacles on top of that. Depending on what you need, try choosing a gym that opens early or closes late. If you can find a 24-hour gym, that’s even better.
  • Pick a gym that offers a free trial. You want to know what you’re getting yourself into. While you’re at it, ask if they offer a tour from a trainer. Getting one, or both of these things, will allow you to test out equipment and gauge what kind of environment you’re dealing with. Ask yourself if this is the kind of place you would enjoy coming back to several times a week. Does the energy suit you?
  • Look for a well-rounded gym. This type of gym will offer classes, have weights, various cardio machines, and maybe even a swimming pool. Picking a gym that has options is important because boredom does occur. Also, body will get used to doing only one thing. This can lead to plateaus and discouragement. Choose variety because your body needs it. And for the parents, this may mean a gym with childcare services! [Thanks Victoria!]
  • Price! Going to the gym should not break the bank. It should be well within your price point. If you can’t afford it, you’ll use that as an excuse to not go. There are a lot of gyms with relatively cheap membership fees. Some even offer discounts for students and/or low-income households. It does not hurt to ask, and you may even learn of some ways to save money if you don’t qualify for need-based discounts!

So now you’ve selected your gym, but you don’t have the confidence to walk in…

I remember walking into a gym for the first time since I was 12. The fear that enveloped me cannot be described. In my head, I convinced myself that everyone would be watching me and judging my overweight body as it made its way to the treadmills. I could hear their criticisms loud and clear in my head. “Another new year resolutionist”, “She’s not going to last long”, or “What’s this ******** doing here?” I paid forty dollars for that membership and I was willing to let it go to waste because I was sure everyone would stare at me until I left in shame. I finally made my way to the entrance, entered, and successfully completed my first workout! Here’s how I did it:

  • Use the buddy system. I entered the gym with my sister and cousin. My cousin was a regular so she showed me the ropes and because she wasn’t a newbie, my confidence soared. Go with a friend, relative, or co-worker if it means being less self-conscious. People tend to gain confidence while in groups, so make one up, and go with them until you can go alone.
  • Accept that no one cares about you. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I used to think everyone would be watching and obsessing over me, but no one did. In fact, I didn’t watch or obsess over anyone as a regular. How can this be true? Luckily, when a person is in a gym, they’re there for themselves, not you. Isn’t that great?
  • Do what you know. Find confidence in the things you’ve done before. For example, if you used to lift weights in high school, lift weights in the gym. If you love swimming, start by going to the pool. Picking things you’re familiar with will reduce anxiety and lead to a successful day at the gym. As time passes, branch out to different exercises.
  • Believe in yourself. You have to believe that you belong there. You have just as much right as anyone else to be there. Don’t give in to any perceived or actual judging. Keep your head up and do what you went there to do. No one else in the gym has to believe in you, but you do. Be your own cheerleader.

I sincerely believe that going to the gym can be easy. I believe this because that very thing happened to me. I used to dread going for the reasons I mentioned above, but with the tips I listed, I was able to overcome my fear. Eventually, I was able to go to the gym by myself and actually enjoy it. Getting to that point is possible for anyone, you just have to want it more than anything else.

Until next time,

Carolina

Photo Source: here

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About carolinafitness

Determined to succeed so that I can live the healthy and happy life that I know I'm capable of. Everything else there is to know about me will be aired in the blog with time.

12 responses »

  1. These are great tips, Carolina. I used to dread going to the gym when I had a membership, but I found that if I took some music and headphones I could forget about everyone else that was there. Also, when looking for a gym another good tip for parents of young children is to find a gym with childcare. For a long time I used the excuse that I didn’t have anyone to watch my children when I was at the gym, but then I found out my local ymca had free childcare for 2 hours at a time. This allowed me to stop with my excuses and go to the gym.

    Reply
    • Thanks! I agree, zoning out helps a lot to keep your mind off the situation.

      I added your suggestion to the well-rounded tip! You’re so right, some parents will use their children as an excuse to not join a gym. It doesn’t have to be that way. The YMCA does have childcare services and for the most part, they’re very child-friendly. Also, it’s a great way to get older kids moving around (they won’t realize it’s exercise) and using up some of their energy! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Be sure you are comfortable in the gym as well. All means of distractions or zoning out aside, you have to feel comfortable in the facility. That is why I left several of them. I was really uncomfortable with the amount of weight throwing and grunting and showing off. That is why I am where I am now. We all have the same goal, although we may get there differently, and we all support one another. It makes such a difference. 🙂

    Reply
    • Absolutely! I think that goes with getting a feel for the environment. If you don’t like it, move on to another or, figure out a different method for exercising. I’m glad that you were able to remove yourself from a negative situation and find what works best for you. I’m all about things feeling good and natural to each person because emotional and mental health effects so much. 🙂

      Reply
  3. I’ve been a member in some clubs that seemed to be a cover for a fashion show. Last thing that I need to worry about is what I’m wearing to work out. The club that I’m in now isn’t like that. Most of the people are really down to earth and working towards a goal. I can live with that.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Your Gym Partner Sucks | YoungAndWiseLiving

  5. I actually prefer the fitness classes, like you said you think that every one is looking at you when you enter the gym, that feeling is threefolds walking into an aerobics room. Feel free to check out my blog, I just started so please don’t expect much. It’s initially about my journey into the gym world and, hopefully now and beyond in the new year.

    Reply
    • While I was a member at a gym, I never signed up for any of the classes offered, so I don’t know what walking into one must be like.
      I’ll check into your blog. Thank you for commenting, I hope you are very successful!

      Reply
  6. Pingback: 3 Reasons Why Your Not Seeing Results | YoungAndWiseLiving

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