If the thought of going to a gym or fitness class and working out intimidates you, you aren’t alone. Plenty of people hesitate and hang back at the idea of getting fit at a gym. It’s essential to address these fears and to see that they aren’t as logical as they appear.
Gabriel Patterson, Toronto-based fitness trainer focuses his efforts on helping his clients rebound from sports-related injuries, build a solid foundation in fitness, and reach new heights. Here, he describes the 7 biggest fears people have about fitness:
The fear of having no idea where to start
Starting down a new path is always scary, and fitness is no different. It’s important to remember, however, that everyone begins somewhere. If you’ve joined a gym, all you need to do is to ask the instructor to point you in the right direction. You should remember to ask about adopting the correct form when you use the machines. Improper form can result in injury.
Once you get started with a few basic exercises, you can ask the instructor to help you with your goal. Whether it is to put on muscle or to lose weight, the instructor should be able to tell you what kind of exercises to aim for, and the type of intensity to try. As long as you’re regular with your training, you’re sure to begin to see at least some benefits before long.
The fear that you won’t be able to keep up
Whether you’re joining a gym or fitness class, the fear that you won’t be able to keep up is a reasonable one to hold. At the gym, however, excellent instructors don’t push beginners too hard; at fitness classes, the routines they teach are designed for beginners. All you need to do is pay attention, and do your best.
The fear that everyone will judge you
The fear that the sight of an absolute beginner fumbling and making mistakes will bring on the scorn of others is a common one. It’s important to remember, however, that people are usually sensitive to the difficulties involved in starting at something for the first time. If anything, most tend to feel appreciation for anyone who dares to start something new. If you’re self-conscious, you can put your headphones on, listen to music and shut out the world.
The fear of looking out of shape in gym clothes
Many people become intensely self-conscious of the way they believe they will look in gym clothing made of spandex or Lycra. It’s important to realize you don’t need to wear clothing that you’re not comfortable with. If you’re not happy wearing formfitting clothing, you can always choose looser items to wear. You’re at the gym or fitness class to accomplish a goal. Rather than focus on appearances; focus on your fitness goals.
The fear that you won’t find time to go to the gym
It’s reasonable to wonder if you will have enough time each day to make it to the gym. Lots of people miss the gym because of scheduling conflicts. You should remember, however, that gyms and fitness classes tend to be aware of the time constraints their clients struggle with. They usually have 30-minute session plans for those who are on a tight schedule. For most people, being able to fit 30 minutes into their day is all it takes.
The fear that you won’t change anything, no matter what you try
If you’re trying to lose weight, the fear that you won’t see any change no matter what you try makes sense. It can be hard to drop pounds, especially since exercise can replace fat with muscle, and increase weight sometimes. You should realize that fitness is a long game, however. You shouldn’t be looking to benefit from it in days, or even weeks.
“It may take months to see real results. If you’re willing to be patient, the results will come,” stated Gabriel Patterson.
The fear that you’ll hate exercise because you hated gym class in school
Many people go through school disliking the exercises they were made to do during gym class. They may not have been good at those exercises or were made fun of. Those memories can persist. You should realize, however, that when you sign up to a fitness class or gym, you do it on your terms. You get to pick a gym or fitness class that interests you, work with an instructor that you’re comfortable with, and choose moves that you like.
Whatever your fears may be, you should know that if you power through and keep showing up for your fitness class or gym hour, you will reap the benefits sooner or later. All you need to do is not to give up.