Updated April 2021
If you’re feeling anxious at the thought of hitting the gym, you’re not alone. Whether it’s your first time working out, you’re returning from a post-injury hiatus, or you’re just feeling self-conscious, you could be wondering how to deal with your gym anxiety. Pushing through anxieties and going for that workout can be tough, but ultimately, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. Try these 5 tips for easing gym anxiety can help you make things easier the next time you step through those gym doors. If you need a little more help to overcome the anxiety of going to the gym, we also have 4 products to help you manage the stress and calm your mind before you hit your workout routine.
A Quick Look At Products For How To Get Over Gym Anxiety.
Rating & Price
Natural Black Tourmaline Crystal Necklace
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker
Genius Pre Workout Powder
Nature’s Way CalmAid
1. Have A Fitness Plan In Mind
According to gym trainer Travis Telfer, “One of the biggest causes of gym anxiety is a feeling of being lost or confused amongst all the bustle. To combat this, you should have a clear fitness plan in your head before you even enter the gym.” Whether it’s a thorough training program or just an idea of which machines you intend to use, having a game plan beforehand will stop you from feeling overwhelmed or anxious at all the options and things going on at the gym. If you need help, there are plenty of fitness and workout guides online as well as encouraging and supportive personal trainers who can help you.
2. Join A Group Class
Sometimes it helps to not feel alone, and group workout classes are great for initiating a supportive atmosphere and community mindset. This collective vibe can really help ease your gym anxiety by making you feel like part of a group. Look for group classes at your local gym and find a suitable fitness class that fits in with your personal health goals. Try to do as much research on the class beforehand so you’ve got a good idea of exactly what will be required of you. By doing research and knowing what you can, you’ll feel less anxious stepping through the door on your first visit.
3. Say No To The Caffeine
A cuppa before training might sound like a good idea, but it certainly won’t be helping you ease your nerves. Before you reach for that cup of coffee or tea, make sure you know that it could very well be contributing to your feelings of gym anxiety. It’s no secret that caffeine increases anxiety, and we all know that jittery, nervous, heart-pumping-out-of-your-chest feeling. Caffeine can also cause dehydration, and this could also lead to anxiety. If you are thirsty, opt to drink water instead. When it’s time to head to the gym and start your workout, all that extra energy from the caffeine is not going to help keep you calm. Instead, go for a pre-workout option that’s stimulating without the caffeine.
4. Focus On You
And just you! Gym anxiety can often be a result of comparing ourselves and our progress to other people. When you’re in a room full of fit, healthy, muscular athletes, it’s not surprising to know that many of us experience anxiety. On the other hand, anxiety often occurs because we compare our bodies, strengths, and fitness abilities with others. The truth is that there will always be someone further along the fitness path than you, as well as someone well behind you. Looking at other people is irrelevant to your own successes and strengths, so rather stay focused on yourself.
5. Take A Workout Buddy
Having a training buddy is always a good idea, and stepping into the gym with a close friend beside you will go a long way in helping to ease anxiety. Ask around for a good friend or family member to start training with you – it’ll be a great chance for them to get fit while also squeezing in some quality social time. If you don’t have a friend to ask to go with you, don’t be afraid to reach out to trainers at your local gym. They’re experienced professionals who are here to help anyone and everyone feel comfortable in the gym, and that includes you. Make a point of sharing your anxieties with a trainer and don’t be scared to ask for support when you need it.
Products To Help You Deal With Gym Anxiety
No matter how hard you try to keep your mind calm and anxiety-free at the gym, sometimes these feelings will overwhelm you and you might feel as though you need a bit more help. Here are a few products to help you with your fear of going to the gym.
Possible Triggers Of Gym Anxiety
If you feel an overwhelming fear of going to the gym, you could have an anxiety disorder. It could be social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, or a mix of all three. Anxiety can be caused by various moments, people, or events in your life, and these are known as “triggers.” Understanding your triggers is a step towards easing your anxiety. Once you’ve dealt with these triggers, either by addressing them or by avoiding them, you should be able to feel less stressed at the gym. However, you need to know which triggers should be addressed and which ones should be avoided. Start by looking out for these triggers and take note if you feel your anxiety getting worse during these moments:
- Feeling inadequate next to others who are in better shape than you
- Changing with other people in the dressing room
- Avoiding group classes from fear of being watched
- Avoiding equipment you aren’t sure how to use correctly
- Worrying about how sweaty or red in the face you look
- The constant feeling of being watched
If any of these instances have you sweating from anxiety instead of from your workout, you need to work out a way to address these issues. If you try the above tips and products and they don’t help ease your racing mind when you start working out, you may need to seek professional help.
How To Deal With Gym Anxiety FAQs
What Is Gym Phobia?
Gym phobia is the fear of going to the gym and can be caused by many reasons. You could have an anxiety disorder that causes you to fear being in public spaces. You may also be worried about an injury you have just recovered from or you could be feeling general nerves if it is the first time you are going to the gym. To overcome this fear, you need to first identify the possible causes and find ways to move past these triggers. You can also seek out professional help if you can’t overcome it on your own.
Can Exercise Help With Anxiety?
Exercise is one of the solutions for anxiety due to the chemicals that are released in your brain when you work out such as dopamine and serotonin. These feel-good hormones can help ease anxiety and depression. If your anxiety is directly related to exercise such as a gym phobia, you could need to look for outside help to overcome these fears. Since exercise is important, try training outside of the gym until you can overcome your phobia.
What Foods Can Trigger Anxiety?
Your diet and nutrition are directly linked to your feelings of anxiety and you should be aware of what not to eat and what you should eat to ease these feelings. Stay away from processed foods such as processed meats, simple carbohydrates, fried foods, and foods with added sugars, since these can elevate your anxiety. You should include more whole foods that are rich in fiber and nutrients such as vegetables, fruits, wholewheat foods, and lean meats to help minimize your anxiety. You can try out this 7-day meal plan to help you lose weight.
Feeling anxious about going to the gym doesn’t have to be the end of your gym journey and these feelings can be overcome. You just need to stay patient with yourself and use these tips to help you feel less stressed. Have a friend join you with a set plan for your gym session, reduce that caffeine intake, and take it easy. There is no problem with using a few natural supplements to help you balance your anxiety and give you the confidence to move past your fears. If you can’t do this on your own, there is no shame in asking for professional help and it can do wonders for your anxiety in and out of the gym. If you have any experience using any of these products to overcome your gym anxiety or if you have any extra tips, please let us know in the comments section below.