If you’ve ever attempted to start (or even get serious about) a fitness journey but are one of the many, many people who suffer from “gymtimidation”, then you know it can be difficult. 

For those who are new to the term, “gymtimidation” simply means being intimidated by working out, which can present itself in many forms. For some people, this may mean being intimidated about the thought of exercising next to someone who’s super fit, or even working out at all. 

It may take some time, but with practice (and maybe a few pep talks), you can successfully overcome gymtimidation. Here are three tips to help you get started. 

Focus on you  

If the hardest part of your workout is walking into the facility itself, it can be hard to shake the feeling that all eyes are on you. Just remind yourself, they aren’t! Everyone is there focusing on themselves and their workouts, and you might be surprised to know that some of them may even feel the same way you do. Focus on yourself and remember, this isn’t a competition by any means. 

Bring a friend! 

Even if you work out regularly, trying a new class or studio can be scary. The best remedy? The buddy system! Bringing a friend or coworker (coworkers do make the best workout partners, after all), can minimize any first-time jitters you may be feeling and help you conquer the fear of the unknown. Picking the right workout partner will also keep you accountable and ensure you keep going back to class or the gym after that initial visit. 

Shop around 

Like restaurants and coffee shops, or even grocery stores, we all have our favorite gyms or fitness studios. If you’re feeling intimidated or overwhelmed at a particular facility, feel free to try a different one. Finding a studio where you feel comfortable is extremely important for maintaining a regular workout schedule, and it can take some time to find the right fit. Grant yourself permission to take that time, it’ll be worth it in the end. 

Working out while feeling intimidated can feel like an uphill battle, and even though it can be extremely discouraging, it is by no means permanent or impossible. The key is to remember that you have just as much of a right to be there as the person next to you. You deserve to be the healthiest version of you, too.

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