For many people, skipping going to the gym isn’t as much about a lack of motivation as it is about the presence of fear. A new survey on the gym review website Fitrated has found that a large number of people who are motivated and want to work out, stay at home, instead, because they fear being ridiculed or judged when they work out.
How deep does the fear run?
The survey, that looked at 1,000 people, found that 2 out of 3 women, and 1 out of 3 men, avoided the gym for reasons of lack of self-confidence. When they go to the gym, they constantly struggle with questions in their minds about whether they are getting their exercise form wrong, or if their sweat stains are inviting judgment. Two in 3 women worry that they look overweight, 1 in 2 women worry about their choice of wardrobe, and 1 in 4 worry about being stereotyped.
Not even top trainers are immune to the fear of being judged at the gym. While some do realize that intimidation is unnecessary because people don’t usually care enough about other people to judge them, others are unable to get rid of the fear that they feel. Instead, they work out a few clever ways to sidestep the fear.
If you often miss going to the gym because you fear judgment, the following approaches can help.
Go in with a definite plan
If you simply go to the gym without a plan, the aimlessness can add to the discomfort that you experience. When you know a lot about exactly what exercises you need to try and how they will help you, however, the purposefulness that you feel going about your exercise routine is likely to make up for the lack of confidence that you feel in other areas. It can help to get an exercise app that tells you exactly what you need to do.
Know your gym equipment well
The survey on Fitrated found that close to 2 out of 3 women felt they were judged for using gym equipment incorrectly. Watching videos on YouTube on how to use the equipment at your gym, however, or asking the instructor for help on the right form, can help you. You’ll be an expert in no time, and the confidence that knowledge of your equipment gives you can make you feel confident overall.
Go to a gym that is right for you
It can help to skip the large and impersonal mega gyms in favor of small, women-only facilities. You should visit the places on your shortlist at the time of the day that you plan to work out each day to see what the people visiting then are like. If it seems to you that you are likely to feel comfortable with the people who work out there, you can go ahead and sign up.
Go with a friend
When you go with a good friend or two, you’re likely to focus on what they think of you, rather than on what strangers at the gym think. Since your friends are likely to think nothing but positive thoughts about you, you’re likely to feel encouraged. Friends can help your self-esteem.
If fear of being judged keeps you from going to the gym, it’s important that you know that you aren’t alone. Fear is normal, but you still need to find a way around it. Using the tips above can help.