On Overcoming Gym Anxiety
Going to a gym can be overwhelming and scary. There are lots of machines that look super complicated, it can be loud, and it can seem full of people who are already in shape.
Don’t be intimidated!
These machines might look complicated but they are actually pretty fun!
What Brought Me to the Gym
I had a fairly bad hip injury, and while treating that, my sports physiotherapist found that I had a couple of other hip issues which are chronic conditions. Basically, I have to deal with a bad hip for the rest of my life. There are things I can do to make them tolerable, but they will always be there. My sports physiotherapist recommended that I start weight training to strengthen my hip, backs and core.
"Basically, I have to deal with a bad hip for the rest of my life."
My First Steps
My first step was to find a program that worked for beginners. I found a “Woman on Weights” program, which is intended for people who have never stepped foot in the gym. My class had about 8 people in it and we ranged in ages, sizes, physical abilities and most importantly goals.
Me, back in 2016. I still really enjoy using the TRX machines.
My goal was to simply strengthen my hip and work on getting a tiny bit of upper body strength. Some people's goals were to lose weight, some people wanted to add weights to cardio training.
Erin’s Top Tips For Overcoming Gym Anxiety
So what can you do if you’ve never ever stepped foot in a gym before? Or if you’re working out on your own but don’t know where to start?
Make a plan and write it down. The plan doesn’t need to be elaborate, it can simple. As you get more comfortable, add in things that are a bit outside of your comfort zone.
Find a friend! Even if that person isn’t able to work out with you, ask them to keep you accountable. Tell them what you want to do during the workout, and afterwards let them know how you did. Cheerleaders are important!
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Go outside your comfort zone, just a little bit!
Have fun! Find something you like and keep doing it. If you’re doing something you hate you’ll just end up resenting it.
Ask an expert. Brian and I will talk more in a future blog post about what to look for when you are in the market for a personal trainer and how to differentiate between the pros and those that are just looking to make a quick buck.
The Value of Working with an Expert
If you follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you would have seen Karen working with us to use a foam roller after a hard workout. I’ve been working with her since Sept of 2016, and Brian since the beginning of 2017. She has been a HUGE part of us achieving our fitness related goals and certainly helped us overcome some of the anxiety associated with going to the gym.
Both Brian and I worked with Karen at different points in our journey to a more healthy active lifestyle. Currently, the two of us go to spin class together on Tuesdays, which Karen leads.
Brian and I at spin class with our friend Cheryl.
I tend to be very frugal so it might sound surprising that I work with a personal trainer. I have chronic pain issues that include fibromyalgia, a hip that displaces easily and bursitis . I know that if I have incorrect form, or I move the wrong way, I could pay a heavy price. Having someone to tell me exactly how to move and exactly what my form should be is so worth the investment.
Brian and I often talk about how you can save a lot of money by adopting a more healthy and active lifestyle. We saved over $600 a month! So take some of those savings and invest them in yourself by working with a certified professional.
"Having someone to tell me exactly how to move and exactly what my form should be is so worth the investment."
Check back on Tuesday for our first guest blog post and Karen will tell you about herself and share some of her top tips for first time gym users.