Overcoming Your Gym Fears

Need to sweat it out, but the local gym makes you anxious? Read these tips from Alejandro Chaban!
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Need to sweat it out, but the local gym makes you anxious? Read these tips from Alejandro Chaban!
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Image Credit: Cassie / Veda House

While we've always preferred a more natural approach to fitness - brisk walks, morning yoga, biking to work - we can't deny the convenience a gym can provide in sneaking in a good 20 minutes of exercise daily. But if you're anything like us, you might sometimes struggle with gym-related anxiety: What do all of those machines do? Where do I start? How does it all work?

We thought it might be helpful to hear from motivational speaker Alejandro Chabán. No stranger to overcoming gym fears, Alejandro dedicates his time sharing his life experience of battling obesity during his teenage years and how he was able to transform himself since. Below, find Alejandro's advice for getting your sneakers in the door - sans anxiety!:

  • The Problem:Lack of Knowledge. You're there and you have no idea how to use the machines or all of those weird balls. The only thing you see is all those expert people jumping from one machine to the next and you just stare at them with a confused look on your face without knowing where to start.
    The Solution: Invest in one session with a personal trainer that can show you how to use the machines work and design a specific routine for you. A cheaper option? Visit You Tube and look for different video tutorials that show you how to work every muscle (and even learn fun cardio routines to practice at home!).

  • The Problem:Competition. Getting to the gym the first few days and looking at the girl next to you to compare yourself is a very bad idea. The only thing you're going to do with this is feel bad if you can't keep up with her.
    The Solution: Don't compare yourself to anyone. Your only competition is yourself. You don't know the other girl's story, what drives her and how long she's been pursuing physical fitness for her own life. You've heard it before; say it with me: Comparison is the thief of joy.

  • The Problem:Publishing Your Training. When we're first starting, we want everyone to know what we're doing and we share it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and every other way we can think of. This causes us to spend more time on our phones than actually working out!
    The Solution: Leave your phone in the locker or use it only to listen to music. Stop telling the world you're going to work out and just work out! At the end of the day, practice good fitness habits for yourself - not online strangers.

Tell us, do you have any of your own tips for overcoming anxiety and getting to the gym? We've found that - sometimes - the hardest part is finding the time. Try scheduling your workout, if possible. If it's on the calendar, it's likely to get accomplished!

p.s. Can't make it to the gym? Here are our favorite surprising ways to sneak in exercise.