Fear of fitness?

By: Sue Abell Aug 02, 2012

I'm overweight. I want to start exercising, but I'm embarrassed. I think people will see me and judge me. What should I do?

Don't let embarrassment keep you from your workout

Your feelings are natural for anyone who wants to try something new in the fitness world. Although that doesn’t help make the feelings go away, the first step in pushing past the feelings is to conquer that first workout. I recently tried yoga for the first time and because I am inflexible and completely new to yoga I thought the yogis would be watching me and centering me out. In looking at those around me, I quickly assessed the situation and learned that the only one with negative judging feelings was ME and that by making myself comfortable in the class I could get down to business.

Here were a few tips that helped me, and that I hope will help you make it to your first workout:

1. Get information ahead of time

In order for me to walk through that door the first time I needed to know all the logistics. Where do I park, what do I need to bring with me, how should I dress and how early should I arrive?  I recommend taking a tour of the facility to ask your questions, or better yet, speaking directly with the instructor to get his or her advice for new members. The instructor might recommend doing only half the class the first time or coming to watch the class in action before signing up.

2. Ask for a trial class or trial period

Many classes and gyms will offer either a free trial class or a short trial period for a reduced rate. You need to love the workout you select. This is very personal to you. Don’t drop a whole load of cash on the first class you read about in the paper or sign up for something just because the lady down the street said she liked it. 

3. Go with a friend

Bringing a supportive friend to your first workout can go a long way to reducing nervous jitters. Just make sure it’s someone who will take the workout seriously and not back out on you at the last moment.  

4. Dress comfortably

You don’t need to run out and buy the latest in workout fashion to begin your workout journey. Find something comfortable and supportive in your closet and make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Once you get further into your journey you will have scoped out the different clothing options and can have fun putting together a new outfit.

5. Psyche yourself up

After you have done your research, rest assured that you’re ready for your first class. Push all the nervous worries to the back of your mind and focus quietly on the excitement that comes with starting something new. If that means blasting energizing music in the car on your way to the first workout or sitting quietly with your tea at the breakfast table, celebrate this day!

Sue Abell, creator of Tread Powerfully®, is a fitness instructor and personal trainer with an honours degree in English and fitness certification from Can-Fit-Pro. In 2008, she created a new indoor/outdoor fitness concept entitled Tread Powerfully®. Sue’s mantra: “INtense and OUT in an hour,” tells participants that during one of her classes, they will use a variety of deliberate and controlled movements that will engage every muscle group, increase heart rates, and still be adaptable for all fitness levels and ages. To learn more, visit www.treadpowerfully.com.