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

In the new year, Amrit discusses the typical trend of attending the gym in the new year, disclaiming that although this is not necessary, she wanted to try something new in 2022.

Every January is the same…

…the new year starts with everyone’s resolutions surrounding ‘getting back’ into the gym, as well as notions of dieting and increasing their fitness regimes. Personally, I don’t think this trend is necessary – and often, doesn’t last a long time.

Especially if (like me) going to the gym is sometimes frankly terrifying, feeling like you have to start the year by setting unrealistic expectations of gym routines is almost too intense. The stereotype that you need to get back into shape for the new year can be very harmful and can force people into unhealthy workout or dieting habits.

In actual fact, there’s no need to have a complete transformation in the new year, or at any point of the year. There is of course nothing wrong with wanting to start up healthy habits – I myself have taken this up as I decided to actually start to use my gym membership (which was starting to – metaphorically – collect dust).

As someone who gets very nervous about going to gyms, I thought I would share some of my tips to fight gym-timidation. I am by no means an expert, but these are things I have done over the past month to ease myself into fitness (as someone who did no exercise in first semester… and I’m not even exaggerating).

The first thing I did was go to classes with a friend. I was a big fan of Pilates in my first year so I have started to go to that weekly. Going with a friend also eased my nerves. I have yet to go to the gym when it is busy on my own, but I am building my confidence to start off with by going to exercise with someone who I am comfortable with. One day I know I won’t feel so intimidated and will be able to go by myself, but I’m not putting pressure on that, or myself.

Additionally, remembering that you are doing this solely for yourself and not to play up to any harmful stereotypes is key. Even if you don’t want to go to a gym, exercise can be done in other ways – walking up the hill on campus is enough of a workout for me some days. You shouldn’t let fitness take over your life – getting into bad habits such as not letting yourself have certain foods or feeling guilty about what you eat isn’t healthy, and it is important to recognise this.

I’m not going to offer any advice on how to exercise or what to do in the gym because I am admittedly clueless. But that is okay and doesn’t mean I should allow myself to feel so intimidated that I don’t go. To whoever is on a January health kick, good luck but don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

I am currently a third year English and History student at the University of Nottingham. I am the Head of Reviews for Impact Magazine as well as the Live Editor for The Mic. In my spare time, I also chat about Formula One on a podcast for URN! My Twitter is @_amritvirdi and my Instagrams are @thevinylwriter and @amritvirdi._ - I also share my published works on these accounts.
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