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“I’d like to go to the gym but I am too afraid” Gymphobia is a phobia, inexplicable and illogical - so how do we face and beat this fear? Facing our fears for most of us is challenging and mostly psychological. So where do we start?

The first thing to realize is that you are important and no one will take care of your health but yourself.

FEAR #1 – People Staring

One reason people fear the Club is they think people are staring at them, judging them or looking down at them. In reality, most people are thinking how great it is that you are working out, are just acknowledging you, or noticing your really cool workout shoes. To tackle this fear it’s important to be in the right mindset when you step foot into the Club. Know that you are doing something good for yourself, and each time you come to work out you should acknowledge this. Take a deep breath when you walk into the doors and say a little mantra to yourself like “I am taking good care of myself by coming to the Club today.” Smile and know that everyone has their own individual goals, fitness levels and starting points, and everyone wants to improve.

FEAR #2 - “I don’t know where to start.” Being overwhelmed by equipment and weights can be too much to bear but can be cured.

Utilizing any free consultations or assessments the Club has to offer is the best way to feel at ease and also get involved with the staff members. Don’t be afraid as they are there to help you, and they know that every person is at a different fitness level. A great resource is also the Club’s personal trainers, who can put you on a training program based on YOUR goals, time constraints and fitness level. They are very well educated, trained and dedicated to your fitness success.

A few other ways to get into your health club is with music or a favorite book. Take your mind off things by listening to your favorite music, or place a towel or magazine over the time on the cardio machine and before you know it a half hour has gone by and so has 100-200 calories.

Other great ways to get started:

Partner-Up: Take a good pal that knows as much as you, so you can share the challenge. If you don’t have a partner, ask a trainer or Club employee to show you around.

Join a group training program: Utilize the Club’s group training sessions, like Group Kinesis or ‘Best Shape of your Life” 12 week program, which will allow you to make friends, focus on a common goal, and realize we are all trying to be our best, no matter where we are starting from.

Don’t beat yourself up – anything new takes time, so take baby steps: Start with just walking into the club a few times without doing anything but walking around and getting used to the layout. Once you’re familiar then add cardio, then add cardio/weights or attend a group exercise class.

FEAR #3 – I don’t know how to use the equipment

Again, this is where an orientation is perfect or an employee such as a personal trainer can really help out. If your Club doesn’t offer one convenient for you, or you just want to give it a go on your own first, start on a machine that has the ‘quick start’ button. Almost all cardio machines have these. This way you won’t have to enter in a bunch of information but just get rolling. Also, use exercise equipment that mimic everyday activities: 1) treadmill - walk at a pace you feel comfortable with, and when you’re ready add inclines and increase your speed, 2)stationary bikes – just hop on and start pedaling, go at your speed and your own resistance, 3) stair climber – make sure the pace is very slow until you get used to walking on a moving machine, but the motion is just like walking up stairs, 4) sit on the mat and do some simple stretches, pushups, crunches, 5) indoor running track –lace up, turn up your tunes and start moving!

Once your blood is pumping and you have some confidence under your belt, you will feel more and more comfortable every time you work out.

The important thing is to just get in there and start, the more you do it, the easier it will become, and once you start seeing results from your efforts, it will be all worth it!!

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