The trouble with exercising isn’t getting started—you’ve probably done that more than once—but sticking with it. Taking local fitness classes or joining a health club may give you the motivational push and variety you need. But perhaps you just can’t get up enough nerve to step into an unfamiliar world of intimidating exercise equipment and fancy aerobic footwork.
It’s normal to feel apprehensive or embarrassed when you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, and it takes some courage to walk through those health club doors for the first time. (Hint: Bring a friend with you for support.) But you can overcome apprehension if you arm yourself with certain strategies to tackle your fears and build the confidence you need to get moving. Read on to see how you can conquer your health club phobia.
Relax—it only seems as if everyone else knows what they’re doing. Gyms and classes are full of beginners, and unlike the ads you see on TV, most health clubs aren’t swarming with buff bodies.
Good trainers don’t want you to look or feel stupid. If you land a trainer who makes you feel weak, clumsy or foolish, try talking to him or her. If that doesn’t work, find a new trainer.
Fitness magazines are full of before-and-after photos of people who were once “too heavy or too unhealthy” to exercise—proving the excuse wrong. You just need to take certain precautions.