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How to Feel at Ease in the Gym

If you’re worried or stressed by the thought of going to the gym for the first time, you’re not alone. Many people feel the same way but the following strategies will help you feel at ease:Get a gym buddy. Take a friend with you to help you feel relaxed and less self-conscious.Go during quiet times. The quietest times are 9 o’clock to noon and 2 o’clock to 5 o’clock. If you go during these times you’ll get more attention from the staff and won’t have to queue to use the machines.Don’t worry if you can’t lift much weight. Everyone has to start somewhere and just lifting any weight is an achievement.Don’t push too hard. It is very tempting to work hard on your first visit but if you overdo it, you’ll feel some nasty aches and pains the next day and probably won’t want to go back. Having said that, you should feel a few aches and some tenderness after your first few workouts but you shouldn’t be so stiff or sore that it’s painful to walk.The worst period will the first 48 hours after your workout because your muscles simply aren’t used to being exercised to this extent. But after a few weeks you won’t experience any real soreness unless you have done an especially hard workout.Don’t expect to use every piece of equipment correctly. Like any new skill, mastering all of the equipment you use in your workout will take some time. If you’re worried about this take notes on your first few visits to remind yourself how to use a machine or ask a member of staff to help you.Get to know people. Making friends at the gym will encourage you and a good way to do is to ask someone to spot for you. This is where you ask someone to help you during a weight-lifting exercise.When talking to people at the gym, it’s best if you stick to gym-related topics, e.g. ask them how to use a particular machine. The worst thing you can do is to introduce yourself when you’re both naked in the locker room!Don’t worry about people staring at you. Chances are people are so focused on their own workout they’ve little or no idea what’s going on around them. If you really want to block out other gym members think about wearing a pair of headphones.Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure you wear clothes that feel comfortable in but not so tight or loose that they hinder your movement. Also, avoid clothes that are likely to embarrass you, particularly if your workout involves spreading your legs across some piece of equipment.Don’t be afraid to seek help. As previously mentioned, if you don’t know how to use a machine or how to do an exercise, just ask a member of staff. More importantly, if you are a carrying or sustain an injury immediately ask for help and advice and don’t run the risk of making it worse.Going to the gym for the first time can be a daunting experience for anyone but it’s well worth overcoming this barrier. By following the tips in this article you should feel at ease and be happy to return.