Conquering Gym Anxiety

By Abby Tolbert /

Gymtimidation: It’s needing a buffer treadmill between you and that guy. You know, the one who’s sprinting at a speed of approximately one billion miles per hour and somehow hasn’t broken a sweat (?!) Toxic gym culture can leave many of us feeling uncomfortable, unmotivated, and defeated. But you deserve to conquer your workout without giving a single sh*t what anyone else is thinking. Here’s how:

Choose your gym carefully

 You probably know the grocery store with the best produce, the boutique with the best-butt jeans, and the dive-bar with the perfectly shaken cosmopolitans. Be just as selective when choosing a gym. They’re not all created equal!

Find your Why

 Your “why” is the reason you decided to get your body moving in the first place. Do you exercise to clear your mind? How about so you can carry allllll of the groceries from your car to your house in one trip? Whatever your “why” may be, find it and use it to clobber your gym anxiety.

Try Out Group Exercise

 Exercise classes are a godsend for a number of reasons. First of all, the sense of community derived from collectively cursing out your spin instructor is second to none. And second, most instructors walk you through the workout, so there’s no guesswork involved on your end.

YouTube It

 The gym can look like nothing more than a jumbled mess of metal contraptions to the untrained eye. There are a plethora of YouTube videos available that walk you through how to use common machines. Watch them and you’ll be prepared the next time you encounter one of those Iron Giants IRL.

Make a Good Playlist

 And then blast the music through your headphones! Think of your workout as a one-man dance party and boogie down accordingly. Remember: exercise is supposed to be relaxing and fun, not a punishment for the cookie you ate yesterday.