overcoming "gymtimidation"

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We’ve all been there: first timers at the gym, starting a new diet, giving this “health thing” a try. Nobody really knows where to start on day one (unless you’ve been bred into it). This leads me to a big topic health newbies face…

Let’s talk about “Gymtimidation”

 

Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about–How much cardio am I supposed to do? How does that machine even work? I have to be here for an hour?!
As someone who was not naturally born into a healthy lifestyle, I have experienced gymtimidation my whole life. It’s like the gym regulars knew I had no clue what I was doing. I would just fumble around trying to make up a routine and hoped it worked…and that’s when I started giving up. I had convinced myself that I didn’t belong in a gym full of perfectly sculpted humans, so I stopped going. Then when I gained the courage to finally go back (and realized I was paying for a gym I wasn’t going to), it felt even worse. That’s the continual cycle those of us who struggle with health face.
But I’m here to tell you that you can break this cycle today and become one of those gym regulars. I’m not saying to become someone you’re not, but these simple tips can help you take control of your heath and your exercise fears! Note: These tips can be applied to any new exercise routine and/or ones outside of a gym.

  • Take the first step & get that membership. Yep, it’s time to commit if you haven’t already. However, browse different gyms in your area first and determine what culture works for you. Since I go to the gym for fairly simple exercises, I chose to go with Planet Fitness (and it’s cheap, too!)
  • Get gear you feel confident in. They say it’s always obvious who the newbies are at the gym based on their clothes, but everyone has to start somewhere. Even though you may not look or feel your best, do what you can to get in the right mindset before walking in the gym. I love to work out in my Nike Flex running shoes
  • Establish a schedule & stick to it. You’re not ready to just “wing it” quite yet, so determine your new gym schedule ahead of time for accountability. I go to the gym for an hour during my lunch break 3-4 times per week. I don’t have to force myself to go because it’s already built into my day. It’s also helped me to become a regular with the gym staff!
  • Start with what you know, then build on it. If you already know how to work the treadmill, start with a brisk walk for 30 minutes. After you get comfortable, add an incline to your walk. Eventually, try to jog and build a running routine. Your body creates muscle memory, but needs a firm foundation to start. Please do not jump into a crazy routine!! New gym member + advanced exercise = higher risk for giving up quickly!
  • Track your progress. Progress takes time, so take each day at the gym as a step in the right direction. When I decided to pick up running, I was jogging at the speed people around me were casually walking. I was more focused on putting one foot in front of the other, not speed or distance. It is unbelievable how far I have come! I also write down a brief summary of my exercises in my Kate Spade notebook every day to track my progress, even on rest days.
Once you have done these daily, you will form a habit that is an essential part of your routine. You will be amazed at how confident you will feel…and how you are not gymtimidated! Remember that you don’t have to be an expert to work out. Take it slow, pray about your journey, and reward your progress.
If you would like to learn more about my gym routine or would like more tips, please feel free to reach out!
Prayer:
Lord, thank you for this body you have blessed me with, but I need your strength today. I pray you can help me move past my anxieties of starting a health routine and become confident in my abilities. I will seek you during all points in my journey and trust you are there to support me through this process. Amen.

Let me know what you think!