5 ways to get over your fitness fears
Whether you’re working out for the first time or trying to get back in shape, taking those first steps can be overwhelming. Fitness instructor Rory Lindo shares five easy ways to get over your fitness fears
Face your fitness fears
It’s one thing to say that you want to get in shape, but if you’re new to working out, taking that first step towards getting fit can be daunting. And there’s a lot to be intimidated by-whether it’s the fear of pain, trying something new, or working out in front of strangers at the gym, our fears can get in the way of achieving our fitness goals. Best Health spoke with personal trainer Rory Lindo to get some tips on how to overcome your fitness fears.
Dress for success
They key to being motivated to work out is feeling comfortable. Picking workout wear that makes you feel confident is a great start. “If you’re intimidated, having an outfit that you feel you look good in is one step towards easing your fear,” says Lindo. Test drive your workout duds at home and make sure the clothing allows you to move around comfortably.
Make it a group effort
Not sure which fitness regimen is right for you? Lindo recommends joining a group class to figure out what you want. “If there is one class that you’re interested in, watch it before you sign up,” says Lindo. She notes that group classes are a great way to introduce yourself to different types of workouts, so you can focus on the ones that work best for you. “A class environment is a great way to get a large range of ideas and you can decide if you prefer doing body weights, aerobics, etc.,” adds Lindo. And try not to get caught up in the idea that everyone is watching you. “If the class is challenging enough, the last thing people will do is watch other people. The only person who should be watching you is your instructor,” says Lindo.
If you’re self-conscious about people watching you while you work out, then running outside is probably the last thing you want to do. Lindo has this advice for putting your mind at ease: “If people are watching you, it’s because they’re inspired. They’re thinking ‘That looks like fun, I wish I were doing that instead of eating this ice cream!’ People are looking at you with respect.” Focus on positive thinking and don’t let negative self-talk drag you down.
Ask for help
No doubt joining a large gym chain might feel intimidating if you’re just getting into working out. But gyms do have a lot to offer, even if you’re a fitness newbie. “Finding someone who can take you around and introduce you to all the machines is incredibly helpful,” says Lindo. She stresses that it’s up to the individual to make sure that they go to a trainer and introduce themselves. “A good personal trainer will understand that you just want to get the basics down. If you explain to them that you’d like to learn the basics in three sessions, it’ll ease you into developing a workout routine.”
Jump right in
Most importantly, Lindo recommends just jumping into your new fitness routine. “Eventually, the fear will dissipate,” she says. Whether you decide to be part of an exercise class or join a gym, remember that working out will actually make you feel great and help ease your stress. Had a hard day at work? There’s nothing that can help you relieve the tension quite like putting on your runners and hitting the pavement. And if you’re still not so sure about being a joiner, try working out solo in the privacy of your own home with an exercise DVD or an outdoor workout you can do in the backyard.
Get in shape anytime, anywhere
Tired of the gym scene and expensive memberships? Too busy to fit in scheduled classes? Pick up a copy of Best Health’s Home Workout and enjoy motivating workouts in the comfort and serenity of your home, while you shape, sculpt and stretch your way into a sleeker, fitter body, and rev up your strength and energy levels in no time. Twenty inspiring 15-minute workouts include Everyday Pilates, Abs Workout, Better Back, Strengthen and Tone, Gentle Yoga and more. Each workout comes with easy-to-follow, step-by-step photos and clear, simple-to-read instructions, plus you’ll also receive a 90-minute live-action DVD featuring six routines, that you can stash in your purse or brief case. It’s like having your own personal trainer, ready when you are!