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10 Tips for Anyone Scared of the Gym
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Summary: If you’re afraid of going to the gym, here are 10 tips to help you get over your fear.

Many people avoid starting a healthier lifestyle because they’re nervous about joining the gym. Often we’re simply nervous about the unknown or leaving our comfort zone and therefore don’t go out of our way to try something new without serious prompting. If you’re hoping to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and want to try out going to a gym, here are ten great tips to help you get started and feel comfortable in this new space.

  1. Pick a gym that’s conveniently located. Right off the bat, when you’re signing up at a gym, be sure to pick one that’s next to your home and that is easy to get to. You’re already going to be overcoming resistance just to get in a workout. Don’t make it harder by picking a gym that’s not incredibly convenient.
  2. Get a tour when you sign up. When you sign up for a gym, or even just visit, management should give you a tour of their facilities. Take advantage of this time to ask questions and look around so you know where everything is and feel comfortable there.
  3. Have a plan. When you first join the gym, don’t just show up with no idea about what to do or you’ll feel even more uncomfortable. Have a plan, whether it’s a written out idea of what machines or strength training moves to do, or what cardio machines you want to try out.
  4. Visit during off hours when you start. Right before and after typical work hours gyms tend to be packed. The busier the gym is, the more anxious you might be when trying to figure out the flow of things. Try going during off hours when you first start so that you can get the lay of the land without so many people around.
  5. Use your free personal training sessions right away. Many gyms offer at least one free personal training session when you sign up. Take advantage of this right away and ask the trainer to help familiarize you with the machines and other things you might want to learn about the gym.
  6. Make a goal to train towards. Motivation is everything when it comes to starting a new workout routine. Pick a goal such as being able to lift a certain weight or run a 5k to keep you motivated to return to the gym each week.
  7. Focus on yourself, not anyone else. Don’t start looking around and comparing yourself to the other people in the gym. You don’t know their story or their history, so you can’t compare your own progress or ability to theirs. Keep track of your own stats and compete only with yourself.
  8. Ask for help when you need it. The staff and personal trainers at the gym should be more than happy to help you out when you need help with a piece of equipment or finding something. Just let a staff member know that you’re new and need help understanding how to work something properly.
  9. Dress the part. Let’s be honest, many of us are motivated by new clothes. If you feel good and you’re excited to wear your new workout clothes, then you’re already motivating yourself to go to the gym and enjoy your time there.
  10. Bring a friend. Trying something new by yourself can be hard. Convince a friend to join the gym with you. That way you have a built in accountability buddy and someone to keep you entertained. Often gyms also give you a free pass for a friend, so use that early on to have someone with you when you’re first trying out the gym.

  
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