The 10 biggest causes of “gym-phobia” and how to overcome them

May 04, 2016

epping gym

Yesterday I read that three in every ten women have been put off going to the gym because they fear being judged. However shocking that static may be, most of us have probably experienced that awful self-conscious feeling when hitting the gym. 

According to new statistics released by the British Heart Foundation, aside from membership costs  the main reasons women avoid going to the gym is feeling embarrassed and worried about what other gym goers will think of them when they exercise.

sports socks on mat
Top 10 reasons women are put off going to the gym

1. Feeling intimidated by other fitter/competitive people 33%
2. Feeling embarrassed or worried of what people think of me when I exercise – 29%
3. Not knowing how to use the machines – 27%
4. Not feeling fit enough to start going to the gym – 22%
5. People showing off at the gym – 19%
6. Regulars always taking over the gym – 19%
7. People who wear lyrca – 16%
8. The smell of people at the gym – 11%
9. Getting injured using one of the machines – 9%
10. People grunting at the gym 7%

I think we can all agree that I'm no gym bunny, however I wanted to share my tips on how I feel more confident when working out alongside my Gym Manager boyfriend in an Essex gym surrounded by glam mummies and very tanned men.

water bottle with weights

Make sure you're comfortable in the clothes you're wearing. Invest in a well fitting sports bra, give your trainers a clean and choose breathable materials. If you're at-easy in a baggy top, wear it! I find carrying a water bottle or smoothie gives me an extra boost as I can look busy taking a sip whilst planning my next move. If you walk into the gym feeling comfortable, your confidence will shine-on through.

Does the phrase 'all the gear and no idea' spring to mind when you longingly look over to the weights machines? I used to be under the misconception that weights wouldn't help weight loss, when in fact you burn loads of calories, stretch and strengthen muscles and tone all at the same time. Don't be afraid to ask a gym instructor to go through the machines with you, its their job to interact with members and they'd probably welcome the break from their monotonous cleaning rota.

smoothie in gym

Attend a couple of beginners classes. It might seem doughnutting at first, but it's a great way to learn new techniques you can use for years to come. I still practise stretches in my warm-up that I learnt a few years ago from a yoga course I attended and feel like a right pro.

Remember, everyone at the gym is there to get fit. Most of the time people are too focused on their own work out to even pay attention to yours. Not everyone has negative thoughts - and even if they do, do you really care? You're at the gym to get healthier and fitter, and the more you go the better you'll feel!

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