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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

By Amanda Touse

Wear something you feel comfortable in

Working out should be about only you. Whether you’re working out to gain confidence, get in shape, or blow off some steam, it’s key that you feel comfortable while doing it. Wear something you feel comfortable in and offers you some flexibility to move around. Try wearing a cute workout outfit if you’re anxious about going to the gym; sometimes feeling confident in what you are wearing can rub off into feeling confident in what you’re doing.

Create a fire workout playlist

Whatever mood you are in when you work out, create a workout playlist that you can get lost in. I usually go for inspiring songs with upbeat tempos and a lot of bass because it gets me the most hype to work up a sweat, though I have been known to have a nice sad girl workout soundtrack from time to time. Consider having a couple different go-to playlists for the gym so you can match your feelings with your fitness.

Plan your workout ahead of time but be flexible

If you’re nervous about working out, I find it helps to plan out your workout BEFORE you get to the gym. That way you aren’t stuck standing there wide eyed when you get there. However, be prepared with a backup plan if whatever machine you want to use is taken. If you’re someone who loves cardio, then try some interval training on the treadmill or the spinning bike. Want to try your hand out at weight training? Start off using the weight machines to help get you into lifting but in a more safe and controlled weight-lifting exercise than to free weights.

Nobody is actually staring at you, just focus in on your workout and block everything out

I know that one of the biggest worries when it comes to working out in a gym is being scared that people are going to stare at you or you’re going to make a fool of yourself; I promise you, it’s never really like that. Everyone at the gym is there to improve themselves for whatever motives they have, the same as you. Nobody is spending their time at the gym just staring at other people the whole time, that’d be really weird. So, just block out the thoughts swirling in your head that people are staring at you or hell, use those thoughts to make sure you’re working hard.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Everyone at one point walked into a gym not knowing what they were doing. Whether you’ve been working out seriously for years, are just getting back into it, or are trying it out for the first time, there’s no harm in asking for some help. Look for a friendly face if you need some help or pointers or ask one of the student workers on duty in the fitness center. If you’re looking for more one-on-one guidance, then consider joining the Jasper Fit Mentor Program that’ll pair you with an experienced gym rat or Kinesiology major.

Bring a workout buddy

Sometimes working out with someone is better than working out alone. Find a workout buddy and brave the gym together while motivating each other to do your best. I find that when I work out with someone, I’m way less focused on if anyone is staring at me but I’m also more willing to try new things, push myself to add more weight, or do a few more reps. Not only does it make things more fun, but you’ve also got someone to help keep you accountable about going to the gym.

Fake it till you make it

My best advice to working out honestly is to just fake it till you make it. There’s only one way you get more comfortable working out and gain experience, that’s to just dive in and do it. The more you work out, the more confident you’ll feel to try new things while at the gym. Not only that, but working out helps you become more confident outside of the gym as well. When I work out, I feel stronger and more capable of taking on life and so can you.

Jana Clark

Manhattan '22

Jana Clark is a senior at Manhattan College majoring in Communication with a minor in Environmental Studies. Her passions include writing, photography, and health/nutrition! One day she hopes to work for a nonprofit organization where she can be part of the effort to end the marginalization of vulnerable communities and fight for social justice. You can often find Jana volunteering, at the gym, or exploring different parts of the Big Apple.
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