7 Ways to Overcome your Fear of Working Out

fear of working out

It’s easy to fear the unknown, that is human instinct. When trying to learn something new or starting new feats that you have never done before, fear is sure to set in. However, if you just focus on that fear, then you might end up stagnating in your comfort zone and achieving less. The fear of working out can attack you in the same way. You may feel like exercising or going to the gym is not something you can be good at and so you end up feeling conscious of yourself or anxious. Just looking at those weights can be intimidating and you might fear getting hurt or simply doing it wrong. It’s like being forced to dance and looking awkward in front of so many people. The fear of failure can really stop you in your tracks.

Most often that not however, all that is just in your head. Because you will never know how it will really turn out if you haven’t even tried, right? Besides, working out and the fear of it is worth overcoming with all the physical, emotional, and mental health benefits that it can give you. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it! But first, here are some tips to help you cross over and overcome the fear of working out.

1. Focus on yourself

The gym is the most bustling place you can get into and it can be very intimidating especially when it’s your first time to enter it’s jungle-like environment. You will see highly confident individuals lifting weights or running on the treadmill like they have been doing it all their life. If you are not into loud music, rotating disco lights, and hardcore athleticism, the multi-sensory atmosphere at the gym can overstimulate you instead of pump you up. You might end up asking yourself, “What did I get into?” At this point, it would be easy to just bail out. However, the goal is for you to overcome your fear and the best way to do it is to tune out all the distractions and just focus on yourself. Turn on your kind of music or listen to an audio book or podcast on your headphones so you can put everything else in the background. You can also focus your attention on the TV while on the elliptical or treadmill. Lastly, if you feel a bit intimated by how good others around you seem to be doing, divert your attention away from them. Focus on your own development, follow your own pace, and enjoy every moment of your workout.

2. Jazz up your work out

It’s true, working out can be difficult and exhausting. And so, if your fear is having to deal with all that then just end up quitting in the middle, then you’ve got to find a solid motivation. Marit Weikel, owner and licensed professional counselor at Weikel Health and Wellness, recommends doing something that you actually enjoy in terms of exercise. As an adult, you are best motivated to consistently do something when you like and want what you are doing. In this way, your workout routine won’t be a boring or straining one that will make you give up easily. Work with your instructor on exercises that you prefer or combine spinning, boxing, and swimming to your usual routine depending on what will make it more fun for you. You will notice that every effort you make will go beyond just burning calories and more about feeling good about yourself. Realizing that simply moving your body is already beneficial as a health mindset, and in this case, you can give dancing a shot with Beachbody’s CIZE or Country Heat. If you enjoy the outdoors or nature, you can do your workouts there for a refreshing change. Practically anything and everything to jazz it up and make you happy is great to help see you through your long-term workout program.

3. Establish a sound mind-body connection

For some people, the idea of exercise in general can cause severe anxiety. If this is true in your case, then a more serious approach is likewise called for. Typically, severe anxiety, like all other extreme types, will need the intervention of a mental health professional who can help you deal with it effectively. Meanwhile, you can do exercise routines that help sync the body with the mind so that when the psychological issues have been resolved, the body will be able to execute its desired goals. Mind-body classes such as Pilates, tai chi, and yoga do not only give you relaxation but help you get comfortable with your body as well. Janelle Railey, an Ashtanga teacher, espouses that yoga allows you to understand yourself better from the inside-out. It develops a sense of self-awareness where you become mindful about what is beneficial for your body at a given moment. For those who are afraid of exercise, this can prove to be empowering.

Beachbody has a yoga series that has been specially designed for beginners. It is a 3-week yoga retreat with 3 experts who will guide you through the basic fundamentals of yoga right at your own home. In this way, it will be easy for you to just relax, breath, stretch, and explore different yoga moves without feeling conscious about other people around you.

4. Do it one-step at a time

When you think about exercise and everything that you need to do that is outside of your usual routine, it can make you feel afraid of getting injured in the process. But if you just think about all the bad that can happen to you, then you will never be able to develop to your fullest potential. As such, it is better to go and brave the waters, but to do it gradually and wisely. And so, to avoid injury, work with the basics and the less intensive ones to start. If you haven’t been doing any sort of exercise lately, slowly introduce your body to the gym with the simplest of exercises such as walking, instead of getting into running right away. Railey, also a psychotherapist with a practice base in Asheville, N.C., suggests that walking is great for starters because it makes you feel in control. You can walk at your own pace – walk slower or faster as you see fit. And when you are in control, the less you will feel afraid that something might go wrong that will end up in an injury.

As for classes you can attend, start with the less intense ones. As you enroll in a gym class, work with your instructor as to the level of difficulty that you can take. In fact, your instructor already knows where to put you as a beginner but it is also good to communicate your apprehensions so that you can be guided accordingly. Do not try too hard to keep up with the rest of the class because your fitness needs and development are different from theirs. If you do what they do, then that will only increase the likelihood of you getting injured. So go for a class where you belong for now such as Beginners or Level 1, including the 3-week Yoga Retreat by Beachbody. As for classes labeled Extreme or Bootcamp, you can save them for later.

Another way to conquer your fear of injury is to make sure that you are doing proper form as you execute your routines. Good form will never result to injury because proper execution is the safest for your body. For instance, Beachbody has a mixed martial arts CORE DE FORCE video program that will teach you good form to ensure that you are doing it right with zero to minimal injuries. Make sure to warm up with some jumping jacks or a light jog to prepare your muscles for more rigorous movements ahead.

5. Start with a home workout

One of the reasons why people work out in the first place is that they desire to look good and feel good, aside from wanting to stay healthy. So what if, you are at that point where you are not that confident with your self yet and you are afraid that you might look awkward in the eyes of other people in the gym? Besides, not everybody is born with that natural coordination in executing those various workout moves. It’s definitely not a crime to build that confidence first, right at the comforts of your own home. In this way, you will know what to do and how to do it properly when its already time to go to a public gym. So spend those first-timer awkward moments at home where no one can criticize you or throw you that what-in-the-world-are-you-doing look. Beachbody On Demand has put together a streaming service that can jump start your home workouts. You will be able to access hundreds of enticing workouts that match your particular fitness level. The best thing about it is that, you do not only do it in private, but at your own pace, duration, and time as well. You can workout when it is most convenient for you, without feeling rushed or pressured in any way. Enjoy it with a trainer of your choice and at an intensity level that’s right for you.

6. Consider creating a support group

In any endeavor, the fear of failure seem to be always looming at a distance. Once you go to the gym, people will have expectations and what they will say if you fail with your fitness goals? Would you opt not to go because you are not really sure if you’re going to make it? The fear of failure can have this devastating effect on you, but if you can ensure your success then there is no reason for you to feel this kind of fear in the first place. You have to be strong in your conviction, believe in yourself that you can do it, and do everything that you can to succeed. What would really help in this case is some outside motivation that a support group can give you.

Your support group can consist of your family, friends, and other loved ones whom you know are always full of positive and encouraging things to say to you. Let them know about your goals so that they can boost your morale when needed. Some gym buddies can provide you with such accountability boosters directly so you can get one or two for yourself as well. You can motivate and push each other to persist in your gym objectives.

7. Cultivate trust

If you just think about it, and sometimes, even overthink, you will never be able to cross over and finally work out at the gym or join that class you have desired in a long time. Most of the time, just letting of go all your fears and everything else that is stopping you is the only way to go. Just going ahead with it and actually doing it will make you realize that it’s not that bad after all. In fact, it can even be great! You just got to trust yourself and the people around you that it will all fall into place no matter how bold and new this feat may be to you at this time.

Trust in your coaches, trainers, or instructors. They are there to provide you with the support that you need, just when you need it the most. If they tell you to push harder, then do so because they know what you are capable of and like you, they want to see the greatest progress that you can achieve. Should you experience failure from time to time, trust that failures are there as learning stepping stones that will eventually lead you to your goals.

Filed under: FitnessHealthy Tips

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