Intimidated by super-fit bionic athletes at the gym?
Intimidated by brawny men who dominate the weight room?
Intimidated by fancy weight machines and treadmills with all the bells and whistles?
It's time to overcome your fears and reach your fitness goals. You do that by tackling the mental hurdles. Fact is, people of all shapes, sizes, ages, motivational reasons and effort levels can benefit from a gym or exercise program (like spinning, kickboxing or boot camp).
We understand. Many of us are fearful of the gym for various reasons. Someone who is older may feel that they are too old. Someone who is overweight may feel that people will look at them in a negative manner. Someone who is new may be intimidated because of the unknown. Someone may feel like he or she is not good enough or can't keep up.
The good news is, many of us have been in the above positions and there are lots of different body types and levels at the gym, no matter what your initial perception. The benefits of going to a gym -- to feel better and get healthier -- are worth overcoming your fears and dealing with them head-on. Intimidation can be overcome with mental strength; try these tips to help you ease in:
- Assess your readiness by having an honest conversation with yourself, and make sure you are exercising for yourself and for the right reasons. Then, mentally commit to making sacrifices for the benefits of exercise.
- Be specific with your fitness goal, whether it is losing 10 pounds in six months, finishing a 10K race, or going to the gym three times a week.
- Be realistic about your goal. Make it doable and reasonable.
- Set a timeframe for your fitness goal.
- Start slowly! For example, if you are scared to run on a treadmill or try a class at a gym, walk outdoors and build up your endurance and confidence.
- Build your comfort zone by enlisting a friend to work out with you.
- Find a program that works for you. Request for trial membership at a gym or ask friends or colleagues what program they like.
The easiest way to overcome gym intimidation is to join a group class. The group setting environment and encouragement from your classmates will help you get into shape and can offer some long-lasting companionship. Staying fit is easier when you find a workout that you enjoy and at the same time reap the benefits from.