How to Tackle Gym Anxiety

With the summer finally here in full force, many people are looking for ways to get fit and tone up in time for their well-deserved holiday. But signing up to a gym can be daunting, especially when you add the anxiety of learning a new skill in an unfamiliar environment into the mix.

In fact, online searches relating to “gym confidence” are up 1,600% year-on-year, according to research by Hunkemöller. “Getting over gym anxiety” has also risen by 300% in the last year, whilst 10% of women reported that visiting a workout space causes them to feel stressed out and 7% feel worse afterwards.

We’re all aware of the benefits of exercise, but do you want to make your experience as comfortable as possible and get fit without the stress? Then follow on for How to Tackle Gym Anxiety!

Choose the Right Gym

As a place you’ll be visiting regularly, it’s important that you choose a gym that has the right equipment for the workouts you want to do and is somewhere that you feel comfortable.

This is especially important considering that 28% of women, compared to just 17% of men, said they find gyms a scary place to be in. Over a quarter of the women surveyed said they would prefer to go to a gym that is female-only.

Don’t be afraid to visit a few gyms before deciding on the right one for you, especially as many will offer trial days so you can get a feel of the place before committing.

Look to the Experts to Reduce Your Anxiety

Before stepping foot in the gym, try finding some blogs, videos or posts from (qualified) gym goers to give you an idea of a routine. This will give you something to aim for and a schedule to work on so you’re not wandering aimlessly, wondering which equipment to use.

A lack of knowledge around exercises and form was cited as reason for finding the gym intimidating by 26% of women. 17 % of men also found using gym equipment contributed to their nervousness and feeling intimidated.

Building up knowledge before heading to your workout will help increase your confidence whilst at the gym and, once there, don’t be afraid to ask for help using the machines or to get recommendations from staff. All gyms should include an induction to the equipment as part of their health and safety requirements.

The Right Clothing Helps Reduce Anxiety

Proper gym clothing will help you feel more comfortable so you can carry out exercises without feeling too hot or unable to move.

Twice as many women than men said they feel self-conscious wearing their gym clothes, adding to their lack of confidence in this environment. Not only that, 15% of women confided that they didn’t believe they looked good in gym clothing.

Invest in good quality sports clothing as well as properly fitted lingerie, including a sports bra, to help you feel comfortable and confident whilst working out.

Don’t forget, the more you go the gym, the more comfortable and at ease you’ll feel, so try not to be put off if you’re a little daunted the first couple of times. Create a routine that you can stick to overcome that initial anxiety.

Do you feel held back from going to the gym because of anxiety? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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