FOWO - fear of working out - it's a real thing... so let's see how we can overcome it.
There can be any number of factors at play that stop you from exercising, even though you know you should. Let's take a look a few common barriers & ways we might be able to break them down.
Problem - Fear of injury
Solution: Start with less intense classes. The level of difficulty of some gym classes can feel too intense when you’re new. If you go too hard in an attempt to keep up with the class, you might hurt yourself. When scanning the group exercise schedule, look for “level 1″ or “beginner” classes & save any class labeled “extreme,” “high-intensity,” or “boot camp” for later in your fitness journey. Also, at the start of class, let the instructor know you’re new so they can offer support.
Make sure you have the appropriate shoes for whatever workout you’re doing. This will provide the correct support for your joints & reduce the chances of injury. It’s also important to make sure your muscles are warmed up, so don't skip the warm-up before going full throttle.
Good form is another component to avoiding injury. Many gyms offer introductory classes for things like boxing, that may require a new skill set.
If it’s been quite a while since you’ve broken a sweat, easy into the workout - don't go like a bull at a gate. Be kind to your body & just get used to moving before you decide to break the world land speed record.
Problem - Fear of looking bad in public
Solution: Find a comfortable gym or studio with like minded people. If only we all had the coordination of Justin Timberlake, but alas, most of us exude awkwardness when it comes to nailing workout moves. N one really cares if you kick left instead of right, they are usually too busy trying to figure out which leg to kick themselves!
Problem - Overwhelmed by the stimuli at the gym
Solution: Tune it out. Gyms, especially at peak workout times, can be a multi-sensory experience — exciting to some & overstimulating to others. The bright lights & loud music are intended to get you pumped up, but that doesn’t work for everyone. If you find crowded gyms are too much for you to handle, find a gym or fitness studio with restricted small group sizes. You can also bring a long a work-out buddy, so you can focus on each other & block out some of what is going on around you.
Problem - Working out is not fun, in fact, it’s miserable
Solution: Find something you enjoy doing. One of the best parts about adulting is doing what you want (within reason). That applies to exercise too. Choosing an exercise that is fun for you will shift the focus from seeing your workout just as a way to burn calories, to seeing it as an enjoyable way to spend your time. Finding something you enjoy doing just for the benefit of moving your body can be a whole new way of thinking.
Anything to bring happiness into your workout helps!
Problem - Fear of failure
Solution: Create a support group. This one’s a biggie. People may be afraid of failure & not even realise it. If you’re not on top of it, this underlying fear can lead to procrastination or not even trying at all.
The best way to overcome this fear is to face it head on. Write out your fitness goals, have a plan & tell someone about your plan so that they can support you & hold you accountable. Again, a workout buddy is a good way of keeping each other on track.
Problem - Extreme anxiety about exercise, in general
Solution: Take mind-body classes. If your anxiety runs high, consider starting a mind-body exercise routine, such as Yoga or Pilates. Not only do these forms of exercise help us relax & get more comfortable in the body, they can help us understand our bodies & what they are currently capable of. Both Yoga & Pilates allow you to make choices about what feels good for you & your body at any given time, which is really important & empowering for people who are afraid of exercise.
It is important to be active in any way you can manage, to keep your body & mind healthy. If you are suffering from anxiety, talk to your health care professional, & if you feel that you can, start to exercise in a way that makes you feel comfortable - You Got This.