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SPARKEDPERSON SparkPoints: (23,259)
Fitness Minutes: (3,647)
Posts: 148
8/22/13 4:49 P

I'm going to echo the others: find out what is causing the anxiety. Mine was money guilt. If I avoided the gym I could avoid the feelings of guilt over the wasted money, go figure! I found community based pay-as-you-go classes (that actually work out to be more expensive than one of the gym memberships I had) but the feeling of freedom to come or go liberated me from the guilt of "wasted money" and I find I go so much more often than I would otherwise!

8/22/13 1:38 P

Hey there,

I am so with you on the gym thing. I go to mine. A LOT. But f I stop going--even for a little while, I get anxious about going back. But I make myself. Because I know people aren't looking at me. Heck, they probably have their own weird issues.

And try the classes. If you're paying $40 a month, you should take advantage of everything the gym has to offer. I ended up loving my classes--I just make sure to stand in the back. emoticon

MADELEINESNOW SparkPoints: (619)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 68
8/21/13 11:14 P

I've always had this issue with gym related anxiety for years. The only way I conquer it is by either going alot or not going at all.

I really don't mind working out in front of others but my small is super tiny and close quarters. The two gym managers that are there Monday-Friday are sitting at the desk or walking around cleaning. Everyone is ass-elbows there.

I like using the gym because of the elliptical machine.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,979)
Fitness Minutes: (187,030)
Posts: 15,782
8/21/13 4:46 P

what's changed between now and before you got sick?

ACHIEVE2012 SparkPoints: (5,176)
Fitness Minutes: (7,786)
Posts: 137
8/21/13 3:57 P

What about the gym is making you so anxious? I too had a lot of anxiety about going to the gym. I was mostly afraid that I wont know what to do when I am there and everyone will feel that I am clueless and that would be embarrassing. If it is anything like that for you, let me tell you that I am way past that problem now. Now, it almost feels like I have moved in!

Try to identify what it is that is making you anxious. If it is like me and you don’t know what to do when you are there, go prepared. Sparkpeople has a exercise generator and you can print out the exercises that it suggests depending on your goals. Or you can research on the web to get a plan. Read through it and get a print out and carry it with you so you go there prepared. You will know exactly what you need to do.

Try to have a plan B as well in case the machine you want is already taken or broken, what will you do? Do you know any alternatives you can try? Be prepared to switch your mindset to try a different machine.

If being around people in the gym who seem to be in a better shape and seem like they all know what they are doing is making you anxious, well, they might be regulars but may have started just like you! Anxious, not knowing what to do, but regularly going there, they might have improved over time and now they look like they belong there!

You too, in time will become a part of that scene if you keep going and doing your thing. And infact, if there is anybody there staring or mocking, ignore and carry on and if it persists and makes you very uncomfortable bring it to the attention of the staff.

Going to the gym has many advantages such as having access to a variety of machines/equipment under one roof, the collective energy of the people which motivates us to do our best, making new friends, taking a class or 2, etc..

But you dont have to go gym at all. Exercise can be done indoors at home - videos, strength training or outdoors - walking/running/hiking/biking... Also, swimming,....There are so many ways.... Find what you like and you feel like you can do and handle and chances are you will stick to it and enjoy its benefits!! : )

PERFECTVELVET SparkPoints: (63,567)
Fitness Minutes: (40,196)
Posts: 6,371
8/21/13 3:47 P

Do you HAVE to go to the gym? I hate the gym. Not because of the people or how I look, but because I hate how stale it is. Why walk on a treadmill when I can do it outside for free?

So maybe you can change your routine. Buy some hand weights or resistance bands, check out some workout DVDs from the library (or use the free videos on this site or on youtube - the internet has a TON of free resources), and get your groove on in the comfort of your own home!

And I will third the notion that no one at the gym is looking at you. For the times I have gone to a gym, I really couldn't tell you a single thing about anyone there. I don't know what they looked like or what they were doing (unless they were using equipment I wanted, at which point I was cognizant of their existence).

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
8/21/13 2:54 P

I want to second that no one at the gym is thinking bad of you while you're there. I know that I'm usually wrapped up in my own workout, though occasionally someone is doing something impressive that will get my attention - and then I'm thinking "WOW she's amazing! I should learn how to do that!" I know that everyone around me has the same goals, so I never think someone doesn't belong.

My advice goes 2 different directions - 1) put on your favorite tunes, some clothes that make you feel good, and rock your workout! All those feel-good hormones are a good payoff, and you already set up a good habit of going 3-4 times a week! or 2) if you can exercise in a way that suits you outside of the gym, you don't HAVE to go to the gym. Walking/running outside is free, body weight exercises are free, resistance bands are cheap, and group classes somewhere else can be fun if you like the social aspect. It's ok to find something you want to do, and leave the gym behind (though I personally like the gym!).

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,969)
Fitness Minutes: (292,363)
Posts: 26,975
8/21/13 2:32 P


There is absolutely nothing to be worried about ! Believe me, most people who go the gym won't be staring at you. Most of us there, just want to get in, get our workout done and get out. People aren't there comparing themselves to other people. And if they do, they definitely need something better to do with themselves !! LOL !

You're paying good hard earned money to go to that gym, don't let that money go to waste. If you don't think you're going to use the gym, cancel your membership and work from home if that helps you to feel more comfortable.

Also, let's say that someone does stare at you. What do you do ? Smile ! Worse case, they're embarrased that you caught them staring. But, best case ? You find a new friend ! Don't miss out on that opportunity. The gym is a great place to meet new people.

Don't be afraid to come out of your comfort zone. You'll be pleasantly surprized how nice most people can be. And if they ignore you, that's okay too. You do your thing and they'll do theirs.

MADELEINESNOW SparkPoints: (619)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 68
8/21/13 2:18 P

I've posted before on my little blog about not loving the gym enviornment but now I'm dealing with anxiety about going to the gym. Me saying I dislike the gym is the understatement of the year for me!

So up until 3 weeks ago I've been going 3-4 times a week and doing a decent workout. 3 weeks ago I thought I had strep throat but it turned out to be a really nasty sinus infection. I went to the gym twice then my sinus infection came back and I had a cold/flu combo on top of that so I wasn't able to work out.

Yesterday I finally started feeling better and I got ready to go the gym. I had my gym clothes on and everything ready but I just couldn't leave the house because I had an overwhelming sense of anxiety about going. Today I had nothing going on in the morning and I planned to do a workout but then once again I got really anxious.

My gym is pretty rinky dink but it's the only one close to my house or I would have to drive 25 minutes each way. I pay around $40 a month. The gym has three bikes, 5 treadmills, two ellipticals, various weight stations, and they've added classes but I haven't been to one yet.

Any advice?

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