Filled with fear every time you go to the gym? Bought a membership but too terrified to go? You might be experiencing a touch of ‘gymtimidation.’
You’re not alone – studies show that one in four women suffer from it. Shying away from exercise for fear of being judged, 37% feel they aren’t good enough to go to the gym, and a third worry others will think they don’t know what they’re doing.
If these sentiments resonate, one TikToker has shared an easy hack that might just help ease your anxiety.
And no, it doesn’t involve trying to make small talk with a stranger or writing out an over-complicated workout plan before you’ve even left your house. (We’ve all been there, right?)
Fitness expert @nataleebfitness is known for sharing fun videos encouraging people to beat their fear of the gym.
She posts clips showing that even she has to take some time working out what exactly each machine does, and how it works. And she’s even worn her pjs and curled up under a blanket on the gym floor, just to prove that no one is looking at you, or judging you.
And now, Natalie is preaching the power of the Stairmaster, aka the tallest piece of equipment in the gym.
She recommends heading to the Stairmaster at the start of your workout. Why? Because you’re at the best vantage point to get a full picture of the gym, and what’s going on around you.
As Natalie explains: ‘The Stairmaster is taller than every other machine, so that when you go on it, you can overlook the whole gym, and you can see where every machine is.
‘You can see how people use it and it will help with your gym anxiety so much because you know where everything is.’
If you feel overwhelmed in new environments and like to know the floorplan, where all the exits are and the general vibe, then this is one for you.
She adds that it’s best to start with a ‘nice, slow, walk’ to take in your surroundings. Nothing major – this is purely about gathering yourself, building confidence so that you can work out with mental clarity.
‘While I’m walking, I would do a little bit of people watching to see where people are, and where people move to, how to use machines.’
‘It’s just the best hack ever.’
Et voilà. New gym hack, unlocked.
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