It’s easy to see why many people feel self-conscious in new exercise settings. Everyone else seems to know what they are doing… Never fear! Almost everyone feels this way when they are in an unfamiliar setting. But before long you will feel right at home. In the meantime, there are many ways to reduce your feelings of self-consciousness so that your exercise experience will be more enjoyable and rewarding.
- Get the information you need. Don’t be shy about asking questions. No question is too silly.
- Your FITSPACE Personal Training is a great investment. Your trainer can answer all of your questions, and help you feel at home more quickly. Even just three or four sessions can
get you off to a good start.
Invite a friend to join you
- Like magic, the environment becomes more relaxed and familiar.
- Exercising with a friend makes you feel less conscious.
- Knowing your friend is waiting for you motivates you to show up for your workout
Dress for success
Find workout clothes you feel good in. While some teachers suggest certain types of clothing, there is usually room for personal interpretation of these guidelines. If you are not comfortable in skin-tight outfits, wear something else.
Find activities you enjoy.
You are more likely to stick to your exercise program if your activities are fun, or at least not a miserable experience. Don’t be afraid to try new activities, but if you find you dread going to your exercise class or workout, you may be tempted to quit. Decide what’s not working for you, and try something else. Join activities appropriate for your level of fitness and experience. If you are already self-conscious about working out, joining an advanced group could make you feel worse! If in doubt, start with a beginning level class to boost your confidence.
Banish negative self-talk.
Do you ever find yourself in conversation with your inner critic? Does your critic tell you you’re too fat, too thin, too old, or too clumsy? Maybe your body’s not perfect, but dwelling on your imperfections makes exercise an unpleasant experience. Instead, talk back. Remind yourself of your positive attributes, projects you are excited about, or vacations you are planning. Be grateful for your health and all your body can do. Remember: exercise should provide a diversion from anxiety – not one more source of stress!