This post is brought to you by PureGym.
For lots of us, the gym can feel like a scary place. In fact, 1 in 4 of us would prefer to have an injection, or even be left in a room alone with a spider (eek!) than visit the gym.* But, with so many benefits for not only our physical health, but our mental health too, it seems like a shame to let our fear get in the way of appreciating the joy of the gym. That’s why we’ve put together some handy tips to help you feel like a boss in the gym.
1. Make a list of all the positives
If you’re reading this, chances are there is a desire to go to the gym, but something is holding you back. Before you even head over to do your first workout, write a list (your phone’s notes section is perfect for this) about all the positive gains you’ll achieve by going to the gym. Maybe you think it’ll be good for your mental health? Or you want to start learning a new discipline like pilates? Whatever they are, writing them down and re-reading them on your way to the gym, when your anxieties are at their peak, will help you to push away those negative feelings and focus on what you’re there for.
2. Go prepared
A huge proportion of us, nearly 40%, are nervous about the gym because we’re afraid of showing people that we don’t know what we’re doing, according to PureGym research. It’s something a lot of us can relate to. There is nothing worse than getting to the gym and not knowing where to start, so before you head down there, make a plan of what you’re going to do and it could make all the difference. It could be as simple as deciding ‘today I’m going to go to a circuits class’ or it could be that you’ve googled some stretches you want to try out. Doing this will ensure you don’t psych yourself out when you’re in the gym, and you’ll feel more confident stepping in.
3. Educate yourself
This goes hand in hand with making a plan. For example, if your plan is to run on the treadmill, but the thought of setting up the treadmill fills you with dread, the plan won’t be much use. But don’t worry, you’re not alone, a whopping 44% of us don’t know how to turn on and set up a treadmill*, so it’s all about getting ahead of the game. PureGym have handy video guides to help you set up treadmills and rowing machines, so before your brain has the chance to scare you out of using a certain machine, you can kiss your fears goodbye. PureGym have also got video gym tours, so if you’re the kinda person to get more freaked out about not knowing where everything is, you can check out your local gym first.
4. Remind yourself that no one is watching you
This is a biggie. Most people who don’t feel confident in the gym have this same issue and it’s to do with feeling self-conscious. In fact, 45% of women and 29% of men said they would be nervous in the gym if other gym-goers were fitter than they were.* However, this is one of the biggest myths because NO ONE is there judging anyone else's fitness. It’s more than likely others are actually feeling just as self-conscious as you, or are too in their own zone to notice anything else. Keep reminding yourself of this and soon you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about!
5. Change your mindset
Chances are you’ve built up this idea of the gym as this big scary place where people will suss out you don’t belong, but hopefully you’re beginning to come round to the idea it might not be quite like that. So it’s time to change the way we see it! All it really is, is an adult playground! Just like when you were a kid, you might not be able to master everything straight away but once you’ve given yourself time to master different equipment and built up a bit of a routine for yourself, soon enough you won’t even think twice before grabbing your gym kit and heading out the door.
So there you have it. We hope we’ve got you pumped and feeling good about stepping into the gym. When you do, don’t forget to use your UNiDAYS discount for up to 30% off at PureGym and don't forget to enter the competition to win a membership for a year.
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