How to Get Over Gym Anxiety

“Freshman 15.” If I’m being completely honest this was one of my biggest fears when I first started college. I knew I would have to work out if I wanted to avoid it but the thought of entering a gym packed with attractive, fit people completely terrified me. In fact, I don’t think I worked up enough confidence to go solo until the middle of winter quarter. So if you’re like me and suffer from gym anxiety, here are a few tips that I’ve found to be quite helpful:

Grab a friend. Working out is always more fun when you have a friend to motivate you. Going with a buddy definitely makes me feel more comfortable at the gym. Plus, anytime you can squeeze in a gossip session and some cardio is a win-win!

Create a fire playlist. I always have a better workout when I listen to music. Music seems to have that magic ability to make you focus on your workout and distract you from people around you.

Plan out your workouts ahead of time. The first time I walked into the gym I had no idea what half of the machines even did. If you’re like me, I would suggest looking up some routines online before you head over to the gym. I tend to feel more confident when I have a set plan.

Choose a binge-worthy Netflix show. If you’re engrossed in a show you don’t have time to be worrying about people around you. You’re too busy shipping Chuck and Blair to worry about what you look like.

Strategically schedule your workouts. The gym tends to be packed around specific times. If you don’t want to workout when a ton of people are there, try going to the gym during the middle of the day or late at night.

Know that most of your worries are in your head. You know that feeling you get when you think everyone is looking at you? They’re not. Most people are either too focused on themselves or feeling self-conscious to even notice what you’re doing. Just breathe and do your thing.

Fake it till you make it. It’s a famous saying for a reason. If you walk into the gym with confidence and act like you know what you’re doing, everyone around you is going to think just that. Everyone is there to better their health – not to judge people.

So just go to the gym. You’ll feel healthier and more confident knowing you can avoid that horrible Freshman 15!