How to Stay Confident at the Gym

I’ve heard and said every excuse in the book to get out of going to the gym. Excuses, when legitimate, are fine, but once these excuses are used constantly to avoid going to the gym, there might be some other reason as to why the gym doesn’t seem too appealing. I am here to offer some friendly and hopefully helpful advice abouthow to conquer a few of these fears and confidently get your sweat on.

1. The Gym is Too Far from My House

For some people, getting to the gym is half the effort. It takes me 20 minutes by foot just to walk to the gym from my house, so believe me when I say that I can relate. However, next time you wear exercise clothes to your classes make it a dual purpose and head to the school gym, which is on campus, to save time and effort. If you don’t want to make the journey to the gym, there’s always the option to work out in the sanctity of your home, or even go for a run to the Battery! Scenic and healthy - what more could a girl want?

2. I Don’t Have the Motivation

Everyone needs something that motivates them to go to the gym, whether it’s releasing stress or staying healthy. I can’t offer any better advice to stay motivated at the gym except having a bomb playlist to work out to. All I know is that if Rihanna is telling me to Work, then who am I to tell her no? Also the being too tired excuse does not work because working out causes your body to release adrenaline, which makes you naturally energized. Your body also releases endorphins while working out, and if Elle Woods has taught me anything, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.” If you haven’t seen "Legally Blonde," switch over to Netflix immediately (and also ignore the last part of that quote), but the moral of the story is that endorphins make you happy. So, if you want to be naturally happy and energized, working out may actually work out favorably for you.

Image courtesy of TeenVogue.

3. I’m Scared of Sweating in Public

In kindergarten, they should make people read a book called everyone sweats instead of everyone poops. It’s time to embrace the fact that humans have to sweat. Sweat should be your best friend because it helps reduce body temperature when you start to overheat and gets rid of toxins in your body. However, if you are still working toward being confident while sweating, there are ways around appearing sweaty at the gym. First and foremost, STAY AWAY FROM GRAY. Any shirt or pants that are gray will turn black a couple of minutes into the elliptical. It’s better to stick to darker colors to appear cool as a cucumber. The option to bring a sweat towel to the gym is available if you need to quickly wipe off any unwanted perspiration. Lastly wear your hair up - hair down at the gym is going to make you sweat like a sinner in church. That would create too much heat behind the neck and not enough ventilation, and your body will thank you for that up-do when you’re strutting your stuff on the treadmill.

Image courtesy of QuickMeme.

4. I Don’t Know How to Use the Machines

Most of the time no one knows what half the machines do. I like to find the ones that have helpful display pictures or are pretty much self-explanatory. When in doubt, ask a trainer to explain a machine or two - they are always happy to help. (And if you're at the on-campus gym - that's the job of the people at the front desk!) If your gym doesn’t offer a trainer, that’s no big! Ask one of your friends to go to the gym with you next time, and just follow their regiment to see what works and what doesn’t work for you. When in doubt, there is always the internet. However, make sure to have a little understanding when using the machines or you might be at risk of being added to this video. 

Image courtesy of YouTube.

6. I Might See Someone I Know

Great! They’re sweating too and could possibly be another gym buddy to hit up next time you want to go with a friend!

7. I Don’t Want to Be Sore in the Morning

I was always told you don’t get half of the benefits of a workout if you don’t stretch before and after exercising. In this case, stretching serves a dual purpose when the goal is to not be sore. When you plan what you are going to work out that day, like a leg day or ab day, it might help to look up before heading to the gym how to stretch that part of the body post-workout.

If you choose to not work out at the gym, there are many other options one can choose to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, for those who choose the gym as one of these options, remember to stay confident and empowered next time you venture to the gym!