Keeping yourself healthy at every age — from adolesence to retirement — can improve your quality of life and help you have the motivation and energy to enjoy what life has to offer. Part of keeping yourself healthy is making sure you take time to exercise. This can be done in your home, at the park, or at your local gym. Going to a gym is particularly beneficial, as most fitness centers offer a variety of ways to exercise.
That being said, going to the gym can be intimidating for a lot of people. If you suffer from gym-phobia (or fear of going to the gym), you’re not alone. Read through the tips below to learn how to overcome this fear.
1. Educate yourself
It can be discouraging to walk into a space where everybody seems to know what they are doing, while you’re lost on what machine does what. Educate yourself by exploring your nearest gym online to see what they offer. Pick the gym that you think best suits you and your needs. Then pick out the machines you plan on using. Watch videos on how to use them.
When heading to the gym, also be sure to wear clothes that you’re comfortable in. Many times you may see other gym goers wearing shorts or crop tops, but that doesn’t have to be your gym attire. The gym attire that you feel most comfortable in may be a t-shirt and yoga pants.
Once you have done your research and you’re ready to hit the gym, go in with a plan. Having a plan is a life saver when you are feeling confused and don’t know what to do.
2. Make a plan
Going to the gym already knowing what exercises you’re going to focus on can help eliminate stress and overwhelm. Figure out which workouts you will be doing that don’t involve a machine. Does it involve resistance bands or a dumbbell? Will you need a yoga mat for some floor activities?
Once you figure out what exercises you’re going to do, determine how long you’ll do each exercise. For example, you can plan on doing chair yoga for 20 minutes and get on the cycling machine for 15 minutes. Also, plan how long you’ll stay at the gym. Mondays may be a light 30 minute workout while Wednesdays are an hour long.
3. Go with a friend
If you are feeling self-conscious and intimidated about going alone, bring a friend that works out on a regular basis. You’lll be able to ask them questions about machines and exercises that you still don’t understand. They can also be there as an example for you. Watch their form and movements as a guide.
4. Hire a personal trainer
A personal trainer is another way to provide some comfortability for you at the gym. Your personal trainer will create exercise plans for you and will be there to help you understand each piece of equipment and motivate you when you feel like quitting.
When going to the gym, it’s imperative that you stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and refill it as often as you need. For more information on how to overcome gym-phobia and stay fit even, during retirement, check out the infographic below.
Darasha Singleton is a content writer for RetireGuide from Augusta, Ga. She has a background in TV broadcasting and entertainment journalism, which has led her to cover a range of unique topics. In her spare time, Darasha enjoys watching rom-coms (especially Netflix Originals), musicals, learning French, and creating content for her own socials.