So February is the month I’m dedicating to talking about fitness, because it’s an area I haven’t yet explored on my blog yet it’s something that takes up a lot of my time (and, let’s face it, space in my wardrobe). I go to the gym as often as I can and my class of choice is either yoga or spinning. Right now I’m a little obsessed with spinning and try to go 2-3 times a week, and can already see and feel a difference in my body – and in my confidence levels.
Joining a new gym can be incredibly intimidating if you’re a newbie – and if you’ve been a gym member before but haven’t been in a while. It feels like everyone knows exactly what they’re doing apart from you. It doesn’t matter what size you are, how experienced you are, or what kick-started you to sign up for a gym membership: the fact that you’ve done it to begin with is something huge. January joiner? Joining for Lent? I really don’t care: you’ve decided to make a change and that should be something to feel proud of. Go you!
Don’t be tempted to join the nearest gym to you just because it’s the closest. It may not be right for you and if you don’t feel comfortable there then you simply won’t go. I go to a gym 20 minutes away (a David Lloyd gym, which I love) rather than the one 5 minutes down the road which is a bit of a muscle gym and just isn’t quite up my street. I prefer gyms with a mix of people with different abilities and interests, and David Lloyd gives exactly that. Finding the right setting for you is really important when it comes to building your confidence.
And, for me, confidence it the key. It doesn’t really matter what makes you feel confident – whether it’s cheesy music (Steps, anyone?) or expensive activewear, if it works and makes you feel like you got this then it’s worth it.
- Put too much pressure on yourself or hold unrealistic expectations. Change takes time.
- Compare yourself to anyone else in the gym. Everyone is at different levels.
- Listen to other people’s criticism unless it’s relevant to your health.
- Try to set an unrealistic schedule. You may not be able to go six times a week to begin with.
- Be afraid of the pool. Find a swimsuit that makes you feel confident and dive right in (excuse the pun).
- Forget that everyone has body hangups. You’re not alone in feeling shy in the changing rooms.
- Allow one bad workout to put you off. We all have off days.
- Try and find a buddy to go with you. Workouts are much more fun with friends.
- Take advantage of any inductions or free personal training sessions.
- Try different classes to find one that works for you. You may love barre but hate spin, and that’s OK.
- Create a workout playlist, music is a huge motivator.
- Plan ahead. Decide what you want to do before each workout and stick to it.
- Find clothes you feel comfortable and confident in.
- Remember that you can reach your goals. Do this for you.
And finally, remember…
Everyone at the gym is there due to a common goal: to improve their fitness. They will all be at different stages in their journey, and they all had to start somewhere. Most people are too focused on themselves to worry about what you’re doing, so try your best to zone out and ignore everyone else whenever you can.