The Most Effective Ways to Cope with Gym Anxiety
Going to the gym is beneficial to your health. It can help improve not only your well-being but also your esteem and state of mind. But the process of going and actually being at the gym can be a very intimidating one. It can trigger a sense of fear and anxiety that leaves you dreading those moments when you are about to hit the gym.
How can you cope with that uneasy and jittery feeling that arises when going to the gym? How do you get over it? Well, today, we will share with you a few handy tips to help you cope with gym anxiety so that you get the most out of your workout.
1. Go with a friend
When gym anxiety overwhelms you, it might help to find a friend or fitness buddy that you can hit the gym with. Having someone with whom you are comfortable with, and can share your goals with, can be the energy boost you need to get off the couch and hit the gym.
A gym buddy can keep you accountable for not missing any gym sessions. They can be the motivation you need when you feel you can’t push through an extra split or squat. They can make going to the gym fun, or at least make it feel a little bit more desirable.
2. Go to the gym during off-peak hours
If your schedule allows it, consider going to the gym in the hours when it’s only you, the instructor and maybe one or two other gym buffs. Most people go to the gym early in the morning before work or in the evening after work. You can schedule your gym session at noon or later in the evening when there aren’t many people.
Hitting the gym during off-peak times will help you cope with the anxiety that stems from the fear of being judged. Maybe you feel you are not as fit as the other people exercising. Or it could be you are afraid that people might judge your workouts?
Going to the gym when it’s empty will help relieve this anxiety and keep you focused on fixing your bent row form or completing your squats correctly without the feeling of someone watching you. It is unlikely that other gym-goers are focusing on your workout rather than their own, but it can be less stressful to attend the gym during quieter hours.
If you don’t know when your gym is quietest, ask a member of staff. Some gyms even have apps that show how many people are there at any one time, so that might be beneficial, too.
3. Plan your workout before you go
Planning your workouts will give you an idea of how easy or difficult your gym session will be. This information can help prepare you mentally, so you hit the ground running once you arrive at the gym.
Preparing is also a great way to hold yourself accountable. It can help you track your progress and give you a goal to aim for each day. If you find yourself backing out of gym sessions frequently, try to choose a time you are free regularly and go then; this will help create a habit of working out.
4. Ask your trainer for advice
Your trainer or instructor might have, at one point in their life, suffered from gym anxiety. Or, if not, they might have encountered another client who has experienced gym anxiety. Stick around after the gym session and talk to them about your anxiety. They might have a few useful tips on how to get over it.
5. Deep breaths can help
If gym anxiety still gets the best of you, consider incorporating deep breathing as part of your pre-workout routine. Deep breathing can help calm your mind and alleviate the tension your body feels when you become anxious.
Before you go to the gym, try sitting or lying in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take slow deep intentional breaths. You can count your breaths or have a timer set beside you.
This can also be put into action during your pre and post workout stretching sessions. By using this, you’ll find your body – and your mind – beginning to relax.
6. Give yourself positive affirmations
One of the best ways to curb anxiety is to give yourself positive affirmations. There are many mantras that you can read to yourself every day, but the best ones are those that come from you. You can give yourself affirmations like:
I can achieve anything I want.
My anxiety does not control me.
I will make it through today’s training.
Just find the affirmations that feel genuine to you, then repeat them daily or as they are needed.
Gym anxiety can affect your performance during a workout. To cope with it, you can go to the gym with a friend, plan your workouts, or consult your instructor. You can also try hitting the gym during off-peak hours, give yourself affirmations or incorporate a deep-breathing routine before your workout.
Just find the tips that work for you, then add them to your workout routine.