We all have insecurities and there’s no shame in that, it’s a human trait and most importantly overcoming it may be hard but it’s not impossible. We become too conscious of ourselves coexisting with our surroundings, and sooner or later it starts to bug us and prevents us from realising our potential. Going to the gym is among those things we worry about, and more specifically, how we’ll look, what other people there will think, what to wear, what if we can’t exercise like the others, and so on, the list tends to be long.
Since making yourself go to the gym was a success on its own in the first place, here is some advice on how to overcome that other obstacle and exercise to the max.
Know what there is to know
People go to the gym for different reasons, from losing weight to resolving some health issues. Knowing why you decided to exercise and being honest about it with yourself first and then with others will help you find out what to expect. The Internet is full of types of exercises and instructions for how to use machines at the gym, so you should research it and get information about what would be correct and appropriate to do. Doing wrong exercise or incorrectly will get you farther away from your goal, and thus make the gym more uncomfortable.
Other people don’t matter
Being at the gym means exercising in front of others, but the good thing is that they’re not your audience, rather they are there for the same reason as you – to break that sweat. This is actually the biggest reason why most of us stay away from the gym and is only the manifestation of the general fear and worry of what others might think of us. So, ask the manager or receptionist when the gym is less visited, ask a friend to go with you, put on your headphones and listen to music, or some or all those together.
At first, it will be weird and you’ll think that everyone is watching you, but soon enough when that serotonin hits and you start feeling great, you’ll see that nobody cares because they’re too concentrated on their workouts and routines. And little by little, you’ll be just like them, focused on your exercise and breaking a sweat like you were born to be in the gym.
Get the right clothes
This may seem like overkill since gym clothes can be expensive and not suited for everyone, but actually, this is only an excuse used when you’re afraid or too lazy to exercise. The most important thing is to choose gym clothes that are comfortable for you, and thus no matter if you wear yoga pants Australia or USA-made tank tops, place of origin and brand don’t make them mandatory but only preferable. So if you feel good in baggy sweatpants and an oversized shirt, that’s what you should wear, as long as the fabric is good for sweating and the clothes don’t restrict your movement.
Don’t over exercise
Watching other people can have a negative impact on your workout so don’t try to do what they do because that can lead to injury or overexertion. If you’re unsure how some machine works or the proper way to use it, ask someone or the instructor if present. People at the gym may look too concentrated on what they’re doing, but they’ll gladly help and share what they know. They were all in your place once, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation and listen to others’ experiences.
Show good manners
Feeling comfortable at the gym doesn’t mean just getting over the feeling that you’re the centre of everyone’s attention, but that you also influence the reaction your surrounding has towards you. So be polite and communicative, don’t interrupt other people while in the middle of a workout, don’t stare at them or use their equipment without asking first. Also, put everything back in its place once you finish your exercise and have in mind that you’re there sharing the space with other people, it’s not only intended for you.
If you’d like to be left alone, don’t be rude, just put on your headphones and shut the world out. No one will hold it against you, nor should they. You are there to exercise, not stand around and gossip.
Just like you go to the bakery to buy a pastry or to a café for a drink, you go to the gym to exercise. It doesn’t matter what your reason is or why other people are there, how any of you looks or how you’re dressed, the important thing is that you all have a common goal which makes you unofficial gym buddies.