I was working on this for my final project. I have edited and got rid of the original design. These are some of the tips I have for someone struggling with ‘gym phobia’. I hope they help. These are tips I came up with after I struggled with gym fear and trying to overcome my insecurities. I have also added a picture of myself to attempt to make this more personal.
Despite joining and attempting to follow the norm it can be so difficult to fit in, in a place that can often make you feel so uncomfortable. Although any effort put in it is applauded it can still be hard to relax and ignore the surroundings.
According to the 2015 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report; 13.7 per cent of the UK population are now registered as members of a private health and fitness club or a publicly-owned fitness facility contrasting with 13.2 per cent in the previous year.
1. Go to the gym!
The first visit need not include a work out. It is usually more about just becoming comfortable with the gym environment. Maybe just walk around. You don’t even have to dress for the occasion. Wear anything.
2. Look around!
By looking at other members working out it may help you to realise that no one pays attention to each other. Everyone is doing their own thing and they are all there for a similar reason whether it be to look good, lose weight or just become healthier.
3. Start of Slow!
Start on the treadmill. Gradually increase speed. Try to slowly ease yourself into using different areas of the gym.
4. Take a partner!
Not only are you likely to feel more comfortable but you may also feel more motivated. At peak times big crowds can be intimidating so a partner can often help.
5. Go to classes!
Everyone has to start somewhere. If the gym environment doesn’t work for you try classes. Classes can also be more effective in helping you reach your goals faster as they push you more. Classes are a good way to make friends so you could be inspired to use the gym floor.
6. Give yourself enough time!
Don’t believe that you have to be perfect at something straight away. All good things happen over time. The more you rush the longer it will take. If it takes longer then you expect remember that different people work at different rates. Every individual is different so make sure to never compare yourself to others. Some would benefit more from being thrown straight into weight area whereas some would benefit from just starting on the treadmill until they get used to being in the gym.
7. Ask for help!
It is the job of those working in the gym to help you- to answer any queries, to help you on your journey and to help you become comfortable in the environment. The most important thing is to remember that the people in the gym are there to help.
Women seem to be intimidated by other women. If another woman looks a certain way or dresses a certain way it can present feelings of insecurity and doubt. On one hand they can look at another woman and feel motivated and say ‘I want to look like that’ whereas on the other hand it can cause feelings of jealousy. It is important to remember that everyone started off at the same place.
There are a lot of factors to consider such as general confidence and other personality traits. For someone who does not have a great body image it would take longer but for others not as long.
Overcoming a phobia will take some time, but don’t get discouraged. Be consistent and remember you’re there for you and no one but you!