Gym anxiety has affected people long before Covid19 and, while for a lot of people, the reopening of gyms is something to be celebrated, for many it will trigger a mix of emotions. There may be a multitude of reasons for the anxiety, a lot of us have let our fitness routines slide during the last year and a half. Alongside this is the surreal notion of being within close distance of a bunch of sweaty strangers huffing and puffing. It is important to remember that these feelings are not shared by you alone, a survey has found that 47% of gym members are unlikely to return. Although this is a big blow for the gym industry, it shows the permanent shift that covid has brought, with many incorporating the gym into their home life through purchasing of equipment or finding alternative ways of exercising online or outside. The bottom line is we should cut ourselves some slack and continue to do whatever feels comfortable, however if you are keen to return to the gym, there are some tips that can help to overcome the feelings of anxiety.
1. Plan ahead
Have a think about what you would like to achieve from your first visit back, be sure to choose something that is achievable, for example ‘I want to spend ten minutes running on the treadmill and ten minutes on the cross trainer’. Having a structured plan will help to not feel overwhelmed.
If Covid regulations are causing apprehension, take a look on your gym’s website and have a read of their policies; gyms have had a long time to prepare for a safe reopening which should give some peace of mind. If you want to be super organised, create a feel-good playlist to help motivate and boost confidence. Having some company might help too, see if a friend or partner is free to tag along.
2. Be patient (and realistic)
Its more than ok if you are at a different fitness level to when you last went to the gym, its almost inevitable that time away from certain pieces of equipment will result in a loss of strength and ability. This is not to say you can’t get back to the level you were before, in fact, due to muscle memory you are more likely to regain that strength quicker. Just be patient and remember consistency is key, there’s no point rushing and giving yourself an injury.
3. Focus on yourself
This is easier said than done but really important. Try to remember that people at the gym are only really concerned with their own work outs and furthermore, there will be others that are feeling anxious too. Concentrate on your own journey, that’s all that matters. Unnecessarily comparing yourself to other people which will only serve to make you feel worse.
4. Be kind to yourself
If you have made plans to return to the gym then you’re half way there. The past year and a half have been testing for everyone and a return to normality can be more unsettling than the prospect of another lockdown. It’s important to remember that exercising is a great way to help alleviate anxiety, so if you are able to push through then you can almost guarantee you will feel better after your session.
If you want to carry on working out at home or thinking of setting up a home gym, check out our latest stock online!