While working out at the gym the other day, I was approached by a man in his mid-fifties who was using the facilities for the first time. He seemed embarrassed to be asking questions about where he could find the nearest water bottle fill-up tap and a specific exercise room.
It reminded me of how embarrassed I used to feel when I was starting out exercising in public—I mean, I was really embarrassed. I felt lost and completely out of place. Not only was I totally ignorant about how to properly exercise, but I also had no idea how to use the equipment. Oh, and I was also unbelievably weak.
Exercise Tips: Fighting Your Fears of Embarrassment at the Gym
Starting something new is never easy, especially when you appear to be the only person in the room without a clue. You might think people are looking at you and it can be a lot to take in. For these reasons, most people who step inside of a weight room fail to return more than a handful of times.
But if you stick with it—or find ways to exercise that you truly enjoy—those fears will quickly turn into victories. Everyone that you see jogging on the street, cycling in a group, exercising in a gym, or participating in an aerobics class started where you are now.
If you want to get into better shape and improve your health, getting over your fears is imperative. Believing in yourself and feeling confident that you are just as deserving as anybody else to experience the benefits of physical activity can help you overcome the initial difficulties of starting an exercise program.
Gym Tips: Gain Confidence By Thinking About the Future
It’s never easy to start something new, regardless of what you’re doing. Here are a few tips that can help set you on track and bring you the results you desire:
You’ve Done It Before
You might not have embarked on an exercise routine before, but you’ve learned and grown countless times over the course of your life. Think about your first day on the job, the day you became a parent, or the first time you hosted a big family get-together. Yes, at first it was intimidating and you may have slipped up, but persistence pays off and soon enough you were confident and comfortable and you made it through. Approach a new exercise routine or daily trip to the gym with the same mindset, and you’ll soon find a successful rhythm.
Everybody’s Been There
When I first started exercising, even the lightest weights at the gym were too heavy for me, and I tired quickly when attempting a light jog on the treadmill. But I kept reminding myself that everybody starts at the same level and improvements come in time. By reminding myself that I was going through the necessary steps to get to a better position and enjoy a better quality of life, it was easy to stick with it and stay motivated.
Know Why You’re Doing It
Finding a personal reason to stick with an exercise program is a great motivator. Whether you want to improve your blood pressure, lower your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease, improve your cholesterol profile, lose weight, or feel better about yourself—having a reason to do something can keep you on track.
Think About the Future
Sticking to an exercise program can be difficult for even the fittest person, but it can be much easier if there is a goal in sight. When you’re struggling to make the right food decisions, or trying to decide whether or not you should exercise today, remember that your efforts will pay off in the long term. Having patience and respecting the process is one of the biggest challenges to overcome.