A 30 to 45 minute workout at the gym is a proven way to reduce stress. However, many of us never manage to convince ourselves to go the gym because of “Gym Stress:” the self-consciousness and stress we feel about exercising in public! If you’re finding yourself stuck in this classic catch 22, try these tips.
1) Go with a friend.
One easy way to overcome gym stress is to bring a workout partner. The moral support will help you to overcome any self-conscious thoughts you have and, as an added bonus, gym partners are great for keeping one accountable to working out on a regular basis.
2) Put in your headphones!
A simple pair of headphone can help you to block out the world, and the stress of going to the gym. Turn on your favorite tunes and the emotion you were feeling (self consciousness) will be replaced by the mood of your iTunes collection.
3) Go during off hours.
Most gyms and fitness centers are busiest between 5pm and 8pm—the after work crowd. If you have flexibility in your schedule, hop into the gym in the morning, or midday. You might find that you’ll have the run of the place, and plenty of privacy!
4) Get into a good grove.
Your confidence will increase if you have an exercise plan and specific fitness goals. Think about what you plan to do before you get to the gym: what muscles are you going to focus on? What machines are you going to use? Also, perhaps a counselor with experience in physical fitness or nutrition could help you to develop a professional health /fitness plan.
5) Talk about the stress.
You’re not alone in feeling stressed or self-conscious about going to the gym. Talk about these feelings with a friend, or perhaps schedule an appointment with a counseling professional with experience in helping people reduce their stress and improve self image. If counseling doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, many people have found Life Coaching to be helpful.
Thriveworks Counseling and Life Coaching offers services to individuals for a variety of life issues including stress, and also provides Couples Counseling and Marriage Therapy. For more information visit our Atlanta Therapy, or Miami Therapy websites.