How to Get Over Your Workout Fears

It can be tough to overcome your insecurities about exercise, but it’s a necessary step on the road to getting healthy – and the rewards will be huge, I promise!

By Denise Austin

A major reason that many out-of-shape men and women avoid exercise is that they feel nervous or embarrassed. It can be really tough — and even overwhelming — to start working out, especially if you’re shy, terribly out of shape, or have never done it before in your life. If you do feel that way, you’re certainly not alone!

Over my 30-year career, I’ve gotten to know plenty of people who want to get in shape but don’t know how to get started. In fact, it’s one of the biggest roadblocks people face on the road to a healthier life. Remember, though the challenge to overcome your insecurities is huge, so will be the rewards once you do! Exercising is necessary for good health, and it’s even more crucial to weight loss.

Start by figuring out exactly what your fears are. Are you afraid that you’ll look stupid at the gym, or that you won’t know how to use the machines? Talk to the trainers or staff at your gym as soon as you get there on Day One. You certainly won’t be the first to ask for help, and it’s their job to show you how to get started! They are trained to answer any and all questions, no matter how seemingly dumb, so ask away. Many gyms even include a complimentary personal training session when you sign up, so ask him or her guide you through a safe beginner’s workout, then write down the routine so you can refer back to it next time. And while it might be hard at first, try to let go of worrying about what other people are thinking when they see you at the gym. Chances are, they’re so concerned about how they look themselves that they’re not even thinking about you!

If you don’t like the idea of exercising alone or at the gym, you have so many other options. Ask a friend, neighbor, or coworker to accompany you on a daily brisk walk, on a weekend hike, or to a fun new dance class. There’s probably someone in your life who is just as shy about getting in shape and will be thrilled to have a new fitness buddy! You’ll get to combine friend time with a healthy activity – what could be better than that? Don’t forget that you can also do a really great workout right in the privacy of your own home. Just pop in a fitness DVD or join an online fitness program, and you can work up a sweat right in your living room.

You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish once you promise yourself to give working out a real try — and not just once, because it does take practice!

Posted in Wellness Resources