Health & Fitness

The Workout That Eased My Gym (And Life) Anxiety

The gym can be the scariest place on earth for someone who’s never taken working out seriously. The overwhelming thoughts of “am I doing this right?” and “where do I go next?” is enough to trigger anxiety that will send a person running for the hills, never looking back.

If you’ve ever found yourself feeling like this, you’re not alone. Gym anxiety is real! But, being healthy is super important to balancing out our daily lives, so we have to suck it up and get to it!

When this year started, my goal, like millions of others, was to become an avid gym-goer. It wasn’t just about wanting to look good, but wanting to feel better and live a happier, healthier life. 

I’ve had my short stints here and there of showing some interest in my physical health, but nothing stuck.  Every time I tried to adopt this new way of life, I fell off the wagon.

I, like many others, can be extremely sluggish after work, making excuses for why I’m going to ‘skip the gym tonight.’  However, I think above all it’s the fact that I feel like an absolute fool in the gym and the thought of me attempting to use those machines, acting like I know what I’m doing, gives me hives.

We know it sounds easier said than done (and it is) but the fact of the matter is everyone has to start somewhere. I have been lucky enough to find some form of physical activity that I understand and enjoy.  I like to call it “fitness for the clueless.” 

I take advantage of the classes that they offer at my gym because I have the luxury of someone telling me what to do and how to do it. Not to mention you’re surrounded by 13 other people that most likely have the same mindset or level of experience as you.

One form of exercise that I’ve fallen in love with is yoga. Not only does it help to keep me focused on flexibility and dialed into my muscles, but it also helps keep me super calm and relaxed. Even if I’m struggling and breaking a sweat in downward dog, I still feel like I’m going to be okay.  The positive feeling and lightheartedness of the classes seem to fit my idea of fitness much better than standing around lost in the free weight area. 

Some may argue that Yoga isn’t considered working out, but I’d like to see those people hold in the Warrior 2 position for one minute without losing their balance. This stuff isn’t easy!

As you become more comfortable, you can do as I have and begin trying different variations of yoga like Bikram! For me, this was one of the most challenging workouts I’ve ever done.

You’re in a room that’s 105 degrees with 40% humidity, and you’re expected to fold and hold your poses. Heat alone can cue panic, but there’s something about being surround by those of all different physical fitness levels that ease you.

It’s not a race; it’s not a battle of who’s most robust. Yoga is where you can focus on yourself and not worry about being judged. Before each class, you are told to set an intention, whether it be for yourself or another person; how can that not make you feel good?

Sure, maybe I’m not deadlifting my weight, but overall, my physical, mental and emotional health has drastically improved.

Yoga is helping me build my confidence so that one day I can walk out onto that gym floor and tackle one of the scary machines. When I am ready, it will be a great addition to my already growing healthy lifestyle practice. Try it for yourself; you’ll thank me later.