How to Overcome Gym Anxiety


Gym anxiety is a common issue for people jump starting a healthy lifestyle. It can be uncomfortable enough to derail some from ever starting an exercise regimen. One solution to this is to create a workout space at our home, but that's not motivating enough for most people. Many of us need to physically leave the comfort of our home in order to get into our workout groove. So let's talk about strategies for managing anxiety when we go to the gym.

First, remember that the more you do something the easier and more comfortable it becomes. Like riding a bike, right?! Give yourself a few months to get into a groove and just COUNT ON being uncomfortable until the learning curve passes. It's reasonable to expect to feel awkward at first. EVERYONE feels awkward at first. But I think it's easier to handle if you expect it and know that it won't last forever.

Go in with a plan! No one likes to wander around aimlessly! Save a workout to your phone, find one on Pinterest, use a Harlan Coaching VIP workout, make something up! It doesn't really matter! But go in with a plan of action. Feeling like you know what you're going to do is more than half the battle.

Get to know the staff and trainers. Find someone you feel comfortable asking for help when you can't find the machine you want, need to check your technique, or have any general questions. Their job is to help you! Never feel annoying about asking questions! And if they act as if you're being annoying, find someone else to ask or join a different facility.

Go with a friend! Having a partner to help calm your nerves is huge in feeling at ease. You're also more likely to push yourself when a friend is cheering you on! I love finding a friend to meet me at the gym. I am shameless when it comes to recruiting someone to join me!

Use association techniques. Create some positive experiences around going to the gym. Perhaps you reward yourself with a trip to the steam room after your workout. Or you allow yourself a few minutes of scrolling social media in your car before you go home. Or you get to put a check-mark in your journal next to "work out." Start to develop a routine around your workout that you enjoy and look forward to. Those little things make a big difference when it comes to wanting to repeat those behaviors in the future!

I hope these are helpful tips in getting more comfortable at the gym. Please reach out if you have questions! XO