Hey friends. I’m in the middle of a super busy week (and in the throes of a sinus infection) so my friend Kristin from The Donut Runner came to the rescue. Kristin is one of my Beautiful Mess partners and a sweet friend. She’s focused on her health this year and is currently working towards running 20 races by 25, and will give you ideas on fueling your body, including Whole30 and Paleo recipes. Follow along with her Workout Wednesday posts for added motivation! She is amazing.
Happy Wednesday everybody! I’m Kristin from The Donut Runner. Today I’m taking over Lindsay’s corner of blogland to talk about something that I’ve struggled with for a very long time: The dreaded gym anxiety.
I’m sure all of us have been there in one way or another. For me the struggle always went something like this: I want to lose weight so I join a gym (or blow the dust off the of key card for the membership I already have), I put on my workout clothes, fill up my water bottle, and hop in the car. All the while the dreaded knot in my stomach grows ever bigger. Full disclosure: there have been times that I’ve driven all the way to the gym only to sit in the parking lot and turn around to go home.
It’s hard walking into a gym if you’ve been on a fitness “hiatus” (even if that hiatus has been your entire life.) You feel like everyone is judging you, from the fit mom on the elliptical to the kid who scans your membership card and sees it’s been 8 months since you showed up. You feel like all eyes are on you. But gym anxiety should not stand in the way of taking care of yourself, and here are a few tricks to get past it:
1: Wear Comfortable Clothing: Make sure the gym attire you choose is comfortable physically, but also you that feel comfortable wearing it. Maybe you’re not ready to walk out the door in spandex (even if you actually look good in it) because you feel self conscious in it. If you feel better in yoga pants and a big t-shirt, go with that. You don’t have to look like “Check Out My Gainz Barbie” on your first trip back to the gym in a while. Wear what you feel looks good on you and feels good on you so you won’t be worrying that people are staring at your thong through your pants the whole time.
2: Promise Yourself 30 minutes: If the anxiety stops you in your tracks as you go to open the door, tell yourself that you’ll just go for 30 minutes and then go home. More than likely, once the 30 minutes have passed the anxiety will have as well and you’ll want to continue. But if it’s still there, you’ve kept your promise and you fulfilled 30 minutes at the gym. Which is way more than you would’ve accomplished had you turned around and gone home.
3: Buddy up: Walking into the gym is a lot less daunting when you have a friend with you. I am not someone who enjoys working out with other people because I prefer to get in the zone, but knowing that I have someone waiting for me helps me get past any nervous feelings I have. Find someone with the same workout “style” as you and commit to a time with that person until you get over that initial anxiety (or forever, if that’s your thing too.)
4: Avoid peak hours if possible: Early mornings and right after work the gym will without fail always be busy. Just accept it. If people looking at you is the cause of your anxiety, see if your schedule allows a mid afternoon workout session until you’re more comfortable. On the other hand, if you’re uncomfortable being in a huge gym with only two or three other people, hit those peak hours and blend in with the masses 😉
I hope these tips help you to get through any gym anxiety you may feel. And just remember, more than likely the people working out around you are too concerned about themselves to really pay attention to what you’re wearing or if you’re sweating. Enjoy your workout!
Thank you, Kristin!