Exercising is one of those things we either choose to do or not do. It’s also one of those things that we all know we should do in order to stay healthy.
But how many times has the absence of our workout been caused by words like, “I’m so tired,” or “I don’t have enough time,” or “I’m afraid I don’t know what I’m doing?” Probably a lot.
It’s understandable why there are so many fears associated with working out. We could get injured, which costs money and time to take care of, or we could be embarrassed in front of people who are pros at working out.
There are just so many thoughts that could prevent us from whipping our own butts into shape. But there isn’t going to be anyone to push you if you can’t push yourself.
Here are some fears you should put aside when considering working out.
1. I’m afraid I’ll look silly in front of people
There are probably a dozen people who feel the same way, but going to the gym is nothing about how you look while working out. Everyone does different workouts, and they will all look a certain way, but no one will look at you and say, “wow, that girl looks silly.”
And if that were to happen, who cares? You are about to look like a god/goddess after all your hard work.
2. I don’t know how to use the machines
If you’re like me and are always getting back into the swing of things, using machines can seem confusing. Luckily, most, if not all machines have instructions with photos on them.
And if not, don’t be afraid to ask an employee to show you how to use them. Some gyms even offer a free one-on-one with a trainer so they could see what your goals are, what workouts are best for you, and how to use certain machines!
3. I will get injured
Unfortunately, injury happens, but it happens to even the most experienced athletes. But there are a lot of ways you can help prevent getting hurt.
Warming up and stretching before starting your workout helps, and cooling down after a tough workout can gradually lower your blood pressure, reducing your risk of dizziness or falling.
The most important thing to remember with safety during workouts is to be prepared and informed before starting. So if you’re not sure how to use a certain machine or how to do a certain pose, just ask or Google it!
4. I won’t exercise at the right time
A lot of people say how their secret to success is working out before the sun rises, or really late at night, but the truth is that there isn’t a perfect time to work out.
Although exercising too close to your bedtime could make it hard for you to fall asleep, there are no rules about when to exercise.
5. I don’t have the skills to join a class
Exercise can be a bit intimidating at first, especially if you’re concerned that you don’t have the skills you feel are necessary to excel in your exercise of choice.
Just remember that everyone you see who look like pros at those classes didn’t become pros by not practicing. Everyone probably started out with little to no skills.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prepare in advance if you’re feeling nervous, like trying out an online workout first or getting a private training session before you commit to a full class. Or choose a class that fits your level. Classes in dance, martial arts, and kickboxing typically have a beginner’s class to try out first.
6. I won’t make friends
Making friends in general as an adult can be hard. But go in with the mentality that teamwork makes the dream work can help you foster relationships at the gym to help with your workout goals. And if there aren’t people to befriend, it’s okay to be independent and find your own way.
7. I won’t have enough time to work out
Getting fit doesn’t have to mean a marathon workout session every time you hit the gym. Researchers at Arizona State University have discovered that doing three short workouts delivered the same blood pressure-lowering effect as one longer one, but also managed to minimize blood pressure spikes throughout the day.
So even though you might feel like you don’t have time, there are always exercises you can find online that could last as little as 10 minutes. Even brisk walking for 15 minutes a day counts as exercise!
8. I’m never going to look like the people at the gym
When you’re going after a long-term fitness goal, it’s common to compare yourself to others. Especially those who are already where you want to be.
While it could be hard to not compare, just remember this when you feel like you’ll never look like the other people you see in the gym, everybody started somewhere, and somebody else’s success has nothing to do with yours.
So just focus on your goal and the path you’re on. Don’t waste energy on something that won’t contribute to your success.
9. I won’t lose weight
While many people do hit the gym to lose weight, sometimes it doesn’t happen as fast or as easily as you’d like.
However, even if you don’t shed major pounds with your workout routine, you’re likely building muscle, decreasing your risk of health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, and you may even go down a few sizes as your muscle-to-fat ratio shifts, even if you haven’t lost significant weight.
So don’t get too caught up with the scale.
10. I can’t afford a gym membership
While many luxury gyms are ridiculously expensive, it doesn’t mean you can’t exercise on the cheap. If you’re eager to get back into exercising, ask your friends if they would be willing to lend you guest passes to their gym.
Even if that’s not a possibility, many schools and community centers offer inexpensive memberships for their fitness facilities, and you may even be able to get discounts if you’re a student or senior citizen.
11. I might get sick from the germs on the equipment
This is something I worry about pretty much everywhere I go. There’s no harm in bringing your own cleaning wipes to wipe down at least the handles and seats.
Your health is important, and being cautious about that is smart. But don’t allow that to stop you from working out. Germs are everywhere regardless of where you are; just limit that possibility as much as you can.
12. I need better clothes
Going to your workout isn’t a fashion show. You don’t need to buy Lululemon-type clothing to have an effective workout. I mostly wear cut up cotton t-shirts that I usually get for free and spandex shorts that are around $25.
Just make sure the clothes are comfortable and allow you to move freely. For women, I would say invest in a few decent sports bras as well.
13. Everyone will be looking at me
Let them look! But really, people always think they’re being looked at when in reality, most of the time people are minding their own business. But even if people were to look at you, just don’t mind it, and focus the task at hand.
14. My trainer will judge me
Finding someone who can help you get fit in the right way can be challenging even for the most confident people. You want to like them, trust them, and know that they have the skills and patience to help you.
Research published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine reveals that 73 percent of study subjects increased their exercise ability by working out with a personal trainer.
Your trainer should be in the business of motivating, not judging, so if you feel like a trainer’s style doesn’t vibe with yours, don’t be afraid to let them know, or, if you feel like the relationship isn’t working at all, find someone new.
15. I’ll be too nervous
Exercising in front of others can be nerve-wracking for even the most confident individuals. But all it takes is one successful class or workout to prove to yourself that you can do it.
If you’re nervous to work out in front of strangers, try bringing some friends to the gym with you; even if you look a bit goofy or feel self-conscious, you’ll have cheerleaders who you know keeping you motivated.
16. I don’t know what to eat for my workout
Eating the right foods for your workout can help keep you full, focused, and feeling great while you’re at the gym. However, with so many unhealthy and supposedly workout-friendly snacks on the market, it’s easy to find yourself confused about what you should be eating.
Sticking to small meals that combine protein and complex carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling good throughout your workout without triggering the crash that energy drinks or sugary protein bars can prompt. I personally love having lean meats like turkey, chicken, or fish with lots of vegetables.
17. I won’t be able to stick to my plan
Sticking to a new exercise routine can seem like a daunting prospect at first. However, it doesn’t take long for physical activity to become as much a part of your daily life as brushing your teeth or showering.
To ensure you do stick to your plan, try penciling it into your day as you would any other activity.
Researchers at the Society of Behavioral Medicine have also discovered that people who work out with a partner enjoy improved results from their exercise versus those who do it alone. Want to raise your chances of sticking to your plan? Find a friend to go with you.
Let us know what exercise fears you’ve had and how you overcame it!