What to do when you’re too embarrassed to join the gym

-Jan 28, Hannah Hargrave, Fitness -

If you're feeling out of shape and want to join a gym but are embarrassed that you're unfit or feeling shy, don't be! Our expert explains how to get started
Walking into a gym can be a daunting experience at the best of times but if you’re out of shape it can be downright terrifying. Being too embarrassed to exercise doesn’t need to halt your healthy goals. We asked an expert fitness trainer how to get over feeling shy and set attainable goals to ensure that you’ll be working out and feeling confident in no time.

Making the decision to get fit is fantastic and yet all too often it leads to a vicious cycle. When you’re just starting out you may not like what you see in the mirror or how out of breath you get and so you decide to do something about it. 

You splurge on a gym membership only to walk through the doors and immediately feel out of your depth. Instead of leaving red faced from working up a sweat, you leave red faced out of embarrassment and you don’t want to go back. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Fit4Mum’s fabulous founder Melissa Lorch has some simple guidance which could kickstart your fitness journey no matter what level you’re starting out at.

How do I start exercising?

When you’re looking around at taught, toned bodies which seem to be able to run all day long it can be difficult to remember they weren’t born that way! 

“Don’t be afraid, we are all beginners at some point,” says Melissa. “Start softly and don’t be too hard on yourself.

“If you don’t ever start you’ll definitely never see the results you want.”

Am I too unfit to workout?

If you launch yourself into an hour-long spin class despite never setting seat on a bike before you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  

“Start with something that you feel is sustainable,” advices Melissa. “Choose something you can repeat often and you can progress at because when you see just a tiny bit of progress you will feel great! It might be working towards walking a mile, managing one press up or ten squats. But once you reach that goal you’ll likely want to make another, and another, and another after that.”

What is online personal training?

For many people the worst bit about working out when you don’t feel your best is thinking everyone is looking at you. It can be difficult to stay on the treadmill when you swear judging eyes are boring in the back of your head. Firstly we bet they’re not, but if facing the gym is simply too much Melissa has an alternative suggestion.

“Why not start with an online training plan like mine?” says the mum-of-two who runs ‘Feel Great in 28’ which includes daily workout videos, a Facebook support community, weekly meal plans and a whole lot more.  “That way you never have to leave the comfort and safety of your own home, no one need see you but you’re still accountable to someone or something that will help support you in your goals.”

Is walking enough exercise?

You don’t have to work up a huge sweat to make a big difference to your health and fitness levels. So if the gym or an online group still seems too much for you there’s still other ways to get more active. 

“Simply move more each day,” explains Melissa. “This alone will start making your days feel more positive and energetic. Go for a walk or do a few arm circles and stretches and you’ll soon find that active person inside you and you’ll gradually want to do more.”

Does exercise give you more energy?

More than anything Melissa says you have to convince yourself that you can do it and remember why you set the goals in the first place. 

“Don’t necessarily think about how you look (because this does take time to change and it’s not the most important thing), think about how being active makes you feel everyday. I bet once you start exercising you’ll have more energy, you’ll be more pro-active and with any luck you’ll feel more confident too.

“Stay positive and adopt a can-do attitude. Telling yourself you can do it is the way you’ll succeed at anything in life!”

If you enjoyed this article you might be inspired to read the beginner’s guide to running 5k or find out why you are never too old to start horse riding.

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