HITTING THE GYM WITH CONFIDENCE: Overcoming Anxiety to Exercise
How do you feel before exercise?
It might be excitement, joy or happiness that you have time to make your health a priority. But it might also be fear, anxiety or worry.
Unfortunately for many women this is an all too typical experience. We see many teenage girls starting to opt out of team sports early due to insecurities around their body, skill, coordination or social status. And these same anxieties can continue into adulthood, where we worry about what other people think about the way we look, how we move and our ability to learn new things.
As a secondary physical education teacher (in my past life) seeing young women turn away from exercise made me worry about their health outcomes later in life.
Now as a leader of a thriving women’s focused strength and conditioning community, I feel so proud to provide a community that has helped many women re-find their love of movement and the ultimate goal to feel more confident in their own skin.
But the work to get there is not easy. If you have hang-ups and insecurities working through them is an inside job that can be achieved with great support from your own community.
If you are looking for more confidence to exercise, here is our top list of where to start.
We know this has been done to death, but everyday write down one thing you love about yourself. When we ask our 23W community to come up with a list of 3 things, we know this is not an easy task but you must start somewhere.
Silence Your Negative Self Dialogue
Going hand in hand with gratitude is never letting your inner mean girl put you down. If you hear yourself saying something mean, stop yourself right away and remind yourself that negative comments is no way to speak to someone you love.
Have A Plan
This is especially important if you train in a commercial gym, always go in with a written plan. Unfortunately many women head to the gym only to spend most of the session on the treadmill. The real benefit comes from hitting the weight section. If you need support in programming a great (but achievable workout) enlist the support of an online coach. They will help you with a written program and usually offer weekly support. Our StrongHer Online program could be a great option for you to consider.
Invest In Yourself
If you are not sure what to do or how to train effectively, invest time and money to learn. This could be by working with a personal trainer, enrolling in a lifting workshop (like those in our Learn to Lift Series) or joining a group training facility. You may pay more to train in a group facility but if it means that you actually go, surely it is worth the extra money spent?
Do It With A Friend
Having a great training buddy initially is a great way to start something new. You may find that your attention goes away from your worries and into the joy of bring able to socialise with a mate. You may be more likely to attend because you will not want want to let them down and therefore you can keep each other accountable.
Find Your Tribe
Whether you train in a commercial gym, or a small bespoke facility, it is important that the facility and community has the ‘right feel’. You will know instantaneously if you like the vibes so trust this.
For me, I need to train some where clean, open, airy and well kept.
Also take a look at the established community. Do these people inspire you? Do they make an effort to make you feel welcomed? Are there similar folk who you could see yourself grabbing a coffee (or wine) with after class?
You have probably heard the saying ‘fake it until you make it’. Using the six tips to overcome gym anxiety will help you nurture your confidence. Set small goals for yourself and start small. You do not need to approach your fitness journey like a bull at a gate. Set yourself reasonable and achievable targets and keep your fitness goals in front of mind.
If you would like to experience 23W group training, join our 7 Day Trial Pass for $47. This is a no-obligation way to experience everything that we are about.
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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