Yoga instructor shows off incredible hand stand skills at gym
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Gym anxiety is a very common feeling and it can affect anyone, even if you’re a season gym-goer. After Covid took away gym access and forced people to work out in the comfort of their own homes, the thought of going back to workout in a the gym environment surrounded by other people of all different levels can be daunting.
Recent figures collected by online food retailer Muscle Food, show there has been a 877 percent increase in searches for gym anxiety.
And the stats speak for themselves; highlighting there is a current increase in feeling fearful of going to the gym.
But there are some simple tips people can do to try and ease the self-conscious feeling of intimidating, embarrassing themselves.
Offering up four main points to try and get people to overcome their initial fear, is expert personal trainer Dottie, who hopes she can help slimmers put aside their feelings of worry and anxiety when working out in public.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
She pointed out the importance of not comparing yourself to other people, as training is specifically performed to get each individual closer to their own personal goal.
“A huge reminder before stepping into any fitness space, whether it be a class studio, a free-for-all gym floor or even an online group workout, is that you are there for your own reasons,” Dottie explains.
“You’ve had your own personal history with exercise both short and long-lived, you’ve possibly had, or still have injuries, other time commitments and priorities.
“Each individual is completely different so don’t feel pressured to follow something that doesn’t feel comfortable to you.”
2. Everyone was a beginner once
Another key worry for beginners especially, is not feeling like you “belong” in a gym environment.
But it’s very easy to forget that everyone has been a beginner at some point.
“TikTok is a great source for visual content on how to use gym equipment correctly but a great way to build confidence in the gym is to ask,” Dottie said, urging people not to fear working the variety of equipment on the gym floor.
“You’ll find that even the most seasoned gym-goers will be happy to help if you’re unsure how to use a piece of equipment, or better yet ask any of the gym staff for a hand they’re there to help.”
3. Don’t be afraid to adapt
She also reassures that adapting a workout to suit your needs and ability is not a step back.
“Three main words to remember are regression, adaptation and progression – variables you can add to any exercise to make it achievable for you,” she says.
And by making each repetition a little easier to achieve, you can work your way up, progressing each time.
It’s not usual for people fall victim to gym anxiety and end up packing it in.
4. Don’t give up
But just like falling off a horse, Dottie urged people wanting to get healthier to stick with it and eventually the fear will ease.
She recommends sticking with set workouts to “form habits”, as it will make approaching exercise much less daunting and it’ll become second nature.
“It can take 21-30 days to form a habit and when it comes to going to the gym, consistency is key,” she says.
“Not only will you be able to improve your physical and mental health by regularly attending the gym, but the more you become used to your surroundings and confident in attending, it will form your usual weekly routine and help with feelings of anxiety and stress.”
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