She walked into the room, and a hush fell over the crowd. The lights dimmed, and a spotlight steadied its gaze on her. Gradually, the hush grew to whispers, as the word spread: she was at the gym.
Okay, so arriving at the gym might not be quite that dramatic, but it sure can feel as if all eyes are on you when you show up, whether you are an exercise newbie or just returning after a bad breakup with your favorite ice cream spoon. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are three easy ways to get your power on and feel confident and strong in the gym:
1. Test the waters. Ease yourself in by going at a time when the gym is less likely to be busy, such as mid-morning or early afternoon. Taking your time and browsing the gym in a relaxed environment can calm those first-timer jitters.
2. Bring reinforcements. Most gyms offer a free personal training session with a new membership, so take the opportunity to have a pro show you the ropes. If no such service is available, recruit a friend to come with you! There is strength in numbers, and workout buds provide great accountability as well.
3. Come with a plan. Show up knowing exactly what you want to accomplish (for example, “I am going to do 30 minutes on the elliptical and then try that Pilates class,”) will help you feel more confident and make you less likely to make a u-turn upon arrival.
Everyone has been a newbie at least once, even that girl who teaches the class you’re afraid to try. You’ll be a regular before you know it. And when you see someone new at the gym sticking to the sidelines, send them a friendly smile. We’re all in this healthy thing together!
By guest blogger: “Healthy Heather” Fuselier, CWC, CPT
Certified Wellness Coach/Certified Personal Trainer