It’s an old joke: A comedian or sitcom character quips that they want to join a gym, but they need to get in shape first. Like most humor, the joke is funny because it’s a little bit true. Most of us feel intimidated by gyms, imagining that we’ll be the least-fit person in a room full of fitness models. We picture ourselves struggling and sweating through a simple workout, while lithe “gym bunnies” prance around effortlessly.
In reality, that isn’t exactly true. Walk into any gym, and you’re likely to encounter people at varying levels of personal fitness. But if you still feel intimidated, follow these steps (as appropriate for you).
Pick a gym suited for your needs. Yes, there are some gyms that tend to draw professional athletes and fitness contestants. However, most gyms cater to customers like you. Take a tour before signing up for a membership, and you can get a feel for the place.
Don’t go during peak hours. If crowds make you uneasy, figure out your gym’s “slow times” and try to attend then.
On the other hand… Do go during peak hours. Everyone is different. A crowd might actually make you feel more comfortable, because you blend in more. Do what is right for you.
Bring a friend. Working out and having fun with a friend can make you forget that anyone else is even in the room.
Sign up for a personal training session. Your gym’s personal trainer can teach you how to use complicated machines, and set you up with a specific program. Now you look like you know what you’re doing!
Remember this rule: Everyone has to start somewhere. Just by being in the gym, you’re a step ahead of a lot of people. In a few months time, you will be in better shape and feel more comfortable… And newbies might even feel intimidated by you!
Of course, you should check with a physician before beginning a new exercise routine or weight loss plan. Schedule an appointment with us, and we will help to make sure your plans are safe and reasonable for your level of health.