Anxiety Disorder: A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with ones daily activities.
When its comes to the gym often people are intimidated, self conscious or have feelings of strong anxiety. This leads people to stick to familiar parts of the gym, or avoid the facility all together.
18.1% of Adults ages 18-54 (40 million) in the United States have been diagnosed with AD.
When I first starting hitting the gym at the age of 20, I would only use machines close to the front of the gym. I was too intimidated to venture out and make my way to the free-weight section where all the broz & professionals seemed to be. After time had past I felt uncomfortable being comfortable. I wanted more progression with my body & workouts. I decided one day to let go of my fear & insecurities, and from that day forward my gym experience forever changed.
People have different issues, fears & anxiety for the gym, but the feelings are the same. Once I recognized this, I later used that as one of my “niches” for the trainer I am today. I’m able to mentally relate & connect to my clients bc I’ve been there & sometimes I get that way again. I’m human and my issues come right back to haunt me, but I’m better equipped now to deal with it.
There are ways to help you conquer your fear & anxiety. Here are some of my personal tips:
1. Hire a trainer
2. Attend Classes
3. Have a workout partner
4. Wear comfortable gym wear
5. Cognitive Therapy
If you don’t have the means for a trainer, most gym employees would graciously show you around and how to use the equipment. Some gyms even offer a complementary session, this is where you can ask all the questions you have. Attending classes is always a great anxiety breaker, being around like minded people is a great atmosphere to be in. Sometimes going with a friend can help you not focus on not self-sabotaging. Wearing body hiding & other clothing you feel comfortable in can help (when my anxiety is high, hoodies are my go to). Finally Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps with anxiety & depression… I’ll do a more in-depth article on CBT soon..
Yes the gym can be an overwhelming place, but what do you accomplish in your comfort zone?
Bonus Tip: Ask gym staff when slower traffic is at the gym. Less gym goers might help you feel comfortable to get your amazing workout in. Buuut remember to work on breaking that zone.