Get Over It
Is fear keeping you from the gym?
By Marilynn Preston
Why would more of us rather sit in traffic on I-40 than hit the gym after work?
We know we should work out. We know it would help us feel better, look better and have more energy, but something holds us back.
The most common excuse is: “I don’t have time.”
The truth is if you’re motivated, you’ll make the time.
So what’s the real reason most of us avoid going to the gym and breaking a sweat?
Maybe it’s fear.
According to sports psychologists and other researchers who look into the question of why so many people — nearly 50 percent — drop out of fitness programs within the first six months, many are scared.
Afraid they can’t do the exercises correctly. Afraid they look stupid doing them. Afraid others are standing around, judging them, seeing them as too fat, too awkward.
This self-consciousness is one reason why female-only gyms are so popular.
Apparently, many women feel less intimidated working out where there are no mirrors and no hard bodies, Ben Brown writes in Health magazine.
But, the experts say, feeling intimidated, fearful and anxious about exercising is a choice you make.
If you’re serious about improving your health and body, it’s time to choose another attitude.
No one said it would be easy.
Here’s a look at the three most common exercise fears and how to deal with them:
1. Doing the exercises incorrectly
This fear seems reasonable. After all, it’s true that you can hurt yourself if you don’t learn the basics.
So, read a book, rent a video, hire a trainer or take a class.
For example, learning to lift weights properly isn’t brain surgery. You can master the technique after a few sessions.
Start slowly, proceed gradually and find pleasure along the way.
2. Looking stupid
Chances are this fear stems from thinking you’re klutzy and uncoordinated.
Every move — no matter how awkward — is a move toward better health and improved energy.
You may not be the slimmest, fastest or most graceful person, but so what?
Do the best you can.
Stop critiquing yourself.
3. Others are judging you
Fitness is not a competitive sport.
The marathon runner on the treadmill next to yours doesn’t care what you’re doing.
Still, if your mind wanders in that anxious direction, concentrate on your breathing and focus on your body instead of looking around the room.
Turn your attention inward to find joy in the moment.