Do you feel anxious when you step into the gym or get intimidated by the big fellas in the weights section who look like they know exactly what they’re doing?
A recent survey showed that a shocking number of women feel the same way that you do – so don’t worry, you’re not alone.
A Shocking Number of Women Don’t Go to Gym Due to Anxiety!
Most people feel a little easy working out in the gym, and the pressure can be even more intense for women who are often, ahem, ogled by men around them. When you have so many eyes on you, it is natural to feel a little anxious, especially when you’re trying a new exercise or experimenting with a new equipment.
The new survey shows that gymtimidation – yes folks, it’s a real thing – doesn’t only trigger anxiety in women when they step into the weights section, it can actually keep many women from going to the gym completely.
A recent US survey conducted on 1000 participants – male and female – showed that almost 65 per cent of the women don’t go to the gym because they are scared of embarrassing themselves. On the other hand, men were far less shy to step into the weights section; only 35 per cent of them admitted to avoiding gym due to anxiety of being judged.
More than half of the female participants said that their lack of confidence stemmed from their physical imperfection and the fact they didn’t look fit like others.
49 per cent said that clothing had a huge impact on how they felt in the gym. If they wore something unflattering, it would automatically trigger anxiety and fear that others are internally judging them.
Is There a Solution?
Certified personal trainer Ashley Borden says that she knows what it feels like to be judged in the gym. She too, like 65 per cent of other women, felt extremely anxious when she first started going to the gym, and sometimes the fear would get in the way of her fitness goals.
But soon she realized that people in the gym are too preoccupied with their own anxieties to pay attention to what others are doing. If you’re feeling the heat in a crowded gym, experts say that you can boost your confidence with a few easy tricks.
Plan Your Workout
If you’re new to the gym, it is probably not a good idea to come unprepared. Borden says that she often catches people wandering around aimlessly because they don’t really have a plan. She suggests writing down your own workout routine for the day before leaving for the gym or downloading an app that creates a plan for you.
Play Around with the Equipment
Even the most experienced gym-goers will tell you that not all workout equipment is the same, because different gyms carry different models or brands of a machine which serves the same purpose but operates slightly differently.
According to the survey almost 60 per cent of the women feel uncomfortable using gym equipment due the fear that they might be performing the exercise incorrectly.
Practice at Home
Women who aren’t confident about their form or how to perform a specific exercise can also practice at home when no one is watching to gain some confidence. Borden says that form is more important in any exercise than the weights you use to perform it, so it is best to nail it by practicing at home without any weights before going heavy in the gym.
Choose a backseat
Classes are a great way to incorporate new types of exercises into your routine and most gyms offer them for free! But some women are hesitant to join them due to a fear that they might not be as good as the rest of the crowd. However, you can sign up for a group lesson without being in the spotlight. Simply choose a backseat and follow the lead.