Self-conscious about exercise? 8 tips to get comfortable

Story From Henry Ford Health System: Self-conscious about exercise? 8 tips to get comfortable

Is embarrassment keeping you from getting into the gym? Here's how to overcome exercise avoidance.


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If you’ve ever tried to start an exercise program, you know overcoming obstacles is part of the drill. From identifying the best activity to carving out time for fitness, sticking to a new exercise regimen is tough. Perhaps the greatest challenge to getting yourself inside a gym? Embarrassment. Whether it’s your appearance or your fitness level that’s holding you back, self-consciousness is a key reason many people avoid exercise.

The hardest part is just getting started. Once you get yourself out the door and at the gym, it’s easier to stay on track.

Here are eight strategies to help you feel more comfortable in your own skin so you can boost your fitness level – both inside and outside of the gym:

  1. Buddy up. Whether you’re doing tricep dips during a deskside workout with a coworker, taking a new exercise class, or running up and down flights of stairs at the park with your kids, you’re less likely to feel self-conscious if someone is joining you.
  2. Work out at home. If your anxiety is paralyzing – and you’re too embarrassed to work out in public – the resources for home workouts are seemingly limitless with a simple Google search. Whether you prefer yoga or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), you’ll find thousands of workouts right at your fingertips.
  3. Try a beginning exercise class. Classes can be intimidating – particularly if you try a high-intensity exercise like spinning or Zumba. But fitness courses that focus on new exercisers could be a good way to get shifting and meet like-minded individuals. Plus, many studios and gymnasiums supply one free class to new college students so you'll be able to get your ft wet with out diving all the best way in.
  4. Get a coach. While periods with a personal trainer might value a bit extra, they’re a good way to familiarize your self with the health club – and fitness center gear – so that you’ll really feel much less intimidated once you’re flying solo. Even more necessary, a trainer can guarantee you might have proper type to enable you to achieve your fitness objectives.
  5. Do a deskside workout. It’s no secret that being tied to your desk isn’t good in your health. The excellent news: Deskside workouts may be surprisingly strenuous. Do pushups in between conferences, squeeze in a number of lunges when you’re on a conference name or swap your chair for a stability ball.
  6. Start a fitness group. Often, the perfect place to begin a brand new fitness group is at work. Many staff are in search of individuals they will walk with during their lunch hour – or who will cease, drop and do 10 pushups with them earlier than a meeting begins. If you get your colleagues on board, chances are you'll find it easier to stick to a new exercise routine. If you’re not in a position to get an in-person group collectively, be a part of an online fitness community for help.
  7. Buy new exercise put on. If it’s in your finances, contemplate buying yourself new exercise clothes that make you are feeling good about yourself. Whether you choose, body-slimming yoga pants or silky health club shorts, purchase one thing that feels good and matches nicely. Just keep away from saggy or outsized workout wear since it’s harder to monitor your progress once you’re swimming in your clothes.
  8. Just do it. If there’s an exercise you take pleasure in, begin doing it. Love basketball? Visit the local park and start a recreation of pick-up. Find pleasure in dancing? Sign up for a swing dancing class or go dancing on a Saturday night time with a pal. It doesn’t matter which exercise you select, the essential thing is simply to begin shifting.

Still embarrassed to get started exercising? Remember that most individuals are too busy learning themselves to be watching you. Plus, informal polls recommend that when individuals see out of form exercisers hit the fitness center, they really assume constructive things like, “Way to go!” and “Good for you!”

Finally, give your self a pat on the again. Developing a new exercise routine is an enormous deal – and when you stick to it, you’ll not only really feel extra energized, you’ll be doing something constructive on your health.

Lauren Rao is an athletic trainer with Henry Ford Health System and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in athletic training from Albion College and the University of Virginia, respectively. She has further certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by way of the NSCA and as a USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach. She is at present assigned to work with athletes at Lawrence Technological University as an damage prevention specialist.

You can learn extra nutrition, fitness and healthy dwelling advice from Henry Ford specialists by subscribing to our health and wellness blog at

Members of the editorial and news employees of the USA Today Network were not concerned within the creation of this content material.

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