How to combat gym anxiety

4 Jan 2023 06:00AM by Matt Harras - Head of programming

group exercise at virgin active

Lots of things get in between us and our fitness goals. Whether it's our jobs, our families, holidays, friends or just the busyness of life. The feeling of 'starting again' and keeping up with a fitness routine can feel a little daunting. There's a name for it too!

'Gymtimidation’ is the pressure some people feel when they start working out again after taking some time off, but we’re here with some tips to help you overcome this feeling. Check them out below…


Create a workout plan

This could be as simple as writing down what days in the week you’ll be going to the gym, but creating a workout plan can help you ease your way back into your fitness routine.

For more tips on how to create a plan, check out this blog.


Sign up to a group exercise class

Being part of a group workout might help you feel more comfortable about being back at the gym as there probably will be other people who’ve come back after a break too. It’s a great way to get into the swing of working out and you’ll figure out what types of exercises you enjoy or find a new favourite. 

Why not give a Foundations class a go? These classes are perfect for first-timers. You’ll get to grips with technique to make your workouts the most effective that they can be.


Work out with a friend

Exercising with a friend can significantly reduce gym anxiety. It’s the perfect way to distract yourself and focus on exercise as more of a social occasion, rather than something that might feel intimidating. What’s more, a workout buddy can encourage you to stick to your fitness goals.


Listen to music

Listening to music while you exercise is a great way to calm your nerves and take you to your happy place. You’ll be less focused on what others think of you and may feel more confident in your workout. Invest in quality headphones and create a playlist of your favourite tunes to help you stay motivated.


Focus on the little wins

Celebrate small wins and concentrate on the progress you are making. Remember that going to the gym is an excellent step towards promoting your physical and mental health. You’re already doing a good thing! Taking baby steps and focusing on the little wins such as going to the gym twice a week or staying for slightly longer each time can help you overcome gymtimidation.


Speak to a Personal Trainer

Now might be a great time for you to set some new goals so why not chat to a Personal Trainer about them and any other aims you may have? They can help you find your feet in club and give you advice and additional tips on enhancing your workout routine. Have you had your free 45 minute Activate session yet? If not, book yours today!


Remember: everyone starts somewhere

It's important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere. Nobody is born an expert at the gym - we all begin at the beginning. You won’t be able to lift your heaviest, run your fastest or even master the best technique on your first session. Take the pressure off. Spend time learning how to do certain moves and understand how your body feels. This is your journey and it’s meant to be fun!


Hit the gym in your own time and at your own pace this month. We can’t wait to see you in club!

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