FOWO—fear of working out—might sound silly to those who don’t face it, but it’s real. There are various aspects to this, with one being fear of the gym. However, other situations, such as a after a serious condition, like a heart attack, can cause fear of overdoing or serious injury. For situations like that, making sure you have the okay from a doctor and a qualified personal trainer to help you is not only reassuring, it’s the smart and the right way to get back to fitness.
If you have no health problems and still fear injury, there are others with the same problem.
Maybe your parents were overprotective or somewhere along the way you heard of someone getting injured at the gym. It doesn’t matter where your fear of working out began, you have to face it to overcome it. Start slowly and simply go for a walk. Get the appropriate shoes, reducing any possibility of injury. Walking can be vigorous or casual, but the key is that you are totally in control. Push yourself a bit and before you know it, you’ll be ready for the next step. Use a personal trainer for step two or sign up for a boot camp run by a trainer. You’ll never be pushed beyond your capabilities and have a much safer workout than if you tried on your own.
You may be a perfectionist and fear failure.
This is a tough one to conquer but it can be done. If you’re procrastinating that trip to the gym, figure out why. Often you’re worried you won’t be able to keep up with the program or you’ll fail miserably. The best way to handle this is to work with a trainer that’s supportive and understands you may need to take it slower so you get everything perfect. He or she will help you set fitness goals that you feel are within your capabilities, but not pushing you to the edge. Be aware, your progress may be slower, but there will be progress and it will help you overcome the fear.
You don’t want to look stupid or gawky.
That’s one of the reasons many people put off starting a workout program. Either they think they look too fat, skinny or out of shape and people will comment or think negative thoughts or they don’t want to look like a stork with a hot foot when they workout. Having a personal trainer, at least until you feel comfortable with the moves, is a good way to overcome this fear. The trainer makes sure you have all the right moves before you do the workout.
- Fear of being in a crowded gym with activity and noise galore can put a damper on your plans. If that pushes you to the point of anxiety, talk to your trainer or staff to find when there are fewer people and go then.
- You want to workout, but worry you’ll be bored in just a short time. Find a workout you like or get a trainer to work with you and create new workouts every few weeks. Alternate between and activity, like martial arts and working out in the gym.
- General anxiety for no specific reason can keep you away from the gym. The best answer here is “Just Do It.” Once you start working out, you’ll find it helps relieve anxiety and pretty soon it will be gone.
- Gym intimidation can often occur right before you start or your first few visits. That’s normal. Everyone feels uncomfortable when starting something new. Get those first few visits over with and you’ll immediately feel better.