Working out at the gym has topped a poll as the number one situation when Brits feel most self conscious. The gym was voted in first place by 58 per cent of respondents, ahead of sunbathing on the beach in skimpy swimwear (24 per cent) and waiting in the doctor’s surgery to discuss awkward symptoms (14 per cent).
According to new research by Bodybuilding Warehouse, many of us experience social anxiety once every 30 minutes. Researchers found that there are two distinct groups of people that suffer the most. There are those that worry too much about what they are wearing, if they have enough make up on and if they have the best sportswear. And, at the other end of the spectrum, there are those whose bodies conspire against them. They might uncontrollably grunt loudly, accidentally break wind while working out, or find they have unsightly sweat patches in the most inappropriate of places.
Commenting on the research, Kieran Fisher, managing director of Bodybuilding Warehouse, said: “It’s a shame that so many people feel self-conscious about going to the gym, often it is those that go most regularly that don’t really care too much about what they look like or where they are sweating. It’s often a sign that you’ve done a great workout and will ultimately get better results.
“The best way to get over gym anxiety is to remind yourself that the gym is a place for physical activity, and to set yourself achievable goals so you’re going with a clear plan of action. Once you have this in mind, worries and anxieties of what you look like or how you’re acting will soon be forgotten.”
If worries about what could go wrong at the gym are putting you off making better use of your membership card or enquiring about that fantastic new class you’ve had your eye on for ages – try these three simple strategies to help with overcoming your gym workout jitters.
The best way to get over gym anxiety is to remind yourself that the gym is a place for physical activity, and to set yourself achievable goals so you’re going with a clear plan of action
Forget about others:
It’s easy to feel as though the whole gym is looking at you when you walk in – remind yourself that most of your fellow gym-goers will be so focused on their own workout, they won’t bat an eyelid at what you’re doing. The important thing is to concentrate on yourself and focus on what you want to work on that day. Setting yourself some clear goals for your gym sessions can also help you to feel more confident.
Start by getting involved in classes:
If you feel especially self-conscious when working out alone, you can take part in various classes as part of your gym membership. Working out as part of a group, with the advice and support of an instructor, will help you to exercise properly and increase your motivation.
Ask for advice:
If you’re in any doubt about how to use the equipment or need some workout inspiration, ask one of the gym’s personal trainers for advice and guidance.