How to overcome exercise anxiety so you can work out with confidence

Walking into the gym for the first time can be incredibly daunting if you don't know where to begin. Here are some useful tips to get you working out with confidence.

By Susannah Taylor
Do you have FOWO (fear of working out)?
It's not uncommon for people to feel anxious about hitting the gym, what with all the machines and equipment, it can be incredibly intimidating if you don't have a clue what you're doing and everyone around you looks like seasoned pros.
Here, we help you navigate the ins and outs of working out, so you can build your confidence, ease your anxiety and most importantly, enjoy it!
Walking into a gym for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! (Image: Getty)

Ignore the gym peacocks

The ones who perform a 'move' and then strut around the room hoping to catch people's attention.
They are far more interested in themselves than looking at you. Fact.
So there's no need to feel self-conscious doing your thing, just focus on yourself and and your own progress and as you begin making progress and seeing results, watch your confidence grow.

Ask for advice

Don't make the mistake of using gym equipment if you don't know how to use it - it could result in you getting injured.
Most gyms will require you to have an induction when you join, so make use of this time by asking questions.
Gym instructors and personal trainers are there to help you out and are generally very approachable, so don't be afraid to ask questions, even if it's, "How do I target my back fat?".
They'll give you advice and tips to help you feel confident in what you're doing.
There are so many ways you can exercise, the key is finding something that you enjoy. (Image: Getty)

There are a million ways to move

Don't think that the only way to work out and exercise is just lifting weights or running on the treadmill at the gym.
There are so many ways to move, the key is to find something you feel comfortable doing and most importantly, enjoy!
Ballet, Zumba, aerial yoga, running, walking, netball, boxing, climbing, stretching, Pilates, hockey, swimming...
Change it up each week for some variety, or stick it out with your absolute fave.

Rope in a buddy

Finding a work out buddy can definitely help you not only have a little healthy competition, but they'll also be your personal cheerleader.
Motivation can come and go, but you're probably less likely to skip the gym if you've already pre-planned it with your work out buddy.
Find someone who has the same attitude as you, someone who's positive and most importantly whose company you enjoy!
Remember everyone started somewhere, so try not to compare yourself to others. (Image: Getty)

Remember, everybody started somewhere

It can be hard to remember sometimes, but it's important to remind yourself that everybody started somewhere.
Who knows, that person doing a one-handed press up could have been sat on the couch a year ago.
Try not to compare yourself with others, instead focus on yourself and your own progress, because everyone is different and on their own journey.

Get a good playlist

This will distract you and mentally cheer you on.
Headphones are also a bit of a human shield if you don't want that annoying person to chat to you in the gym.

Stop overthinking exercise

Don't worry about the people around you, whether you'll get thirsty or hungry or whether it will hurt.
Focus instead on what you're doing (a form of mindfulness), not what you're thinking.

Most gym fears are in your head

There is actually nothing that scary about a room with squidgy yoga mats, inflatable rubber balls, things you push or pull and people in overexposing Lycra.
While it can definitely seem daunting at first, changing your perception of how you view work outs will help you enjoy it.
And remember, like you, most people are counting the minutes until they leave so they can jump into bed to watch some Netflix.
Via our sister site Grazia.