How to Start Exercising (Even If You're Terrified)
Regular physical exercise has innumerable benefits, including a low risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and premature mortality in general (1). But are you stressed about starting a fitness program? Do you find excuses to skip the gym or at-home workout? Worry not! You can beat these fears and tackle related issues if you start off on the right foot.
This article explains how you can start exercising the right way and meet your fitness goals while conquering your fears altogether.
Observe your surroundings
If you decide to work out in a gym, different things including the thought of using foreign machines or working out among fit people may stress you out. The best way to overcome this fear is to first observe your surroundings when you visit the gym on the first day.
Go to the mat area and stretch your body. Stay in that area until you observe the whole room without looking creepy.
Come early and grab the right spot
Gyms offer a variety of activities to help people reach their fitness goals. There are yoga sessions, fitness classes, personal training sessions, and a lot more. You can choose any of them based on your needs.
If you decide to join a fitness class and work out in groups, it is better to come 10 minutes earlier and introduce yourself to the instructor. Next, find the right spot where you can easily see your instructor and work out without getting unwanted attention.
Make yourself comfortable
Do not think exercise is a chore that you have to endure no matter what. This will make you even more terrified and stressed out. Instead, look at the brighter side, and the boatload of mental and physical benefits that exercise has to offer to you.
Wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Bring a friend or relative along, so you don’t feel out of place. Make a playlist of audios that you think will help you keep moving. Try coming to the gym during the least busy hours to avoid too many eyes and associated stress.
Stop dwelling on your negative thoughts
If you are a beginner, you may doubt that you can never run a marathon or do planks the right way. Well, these are just negative thoughts trying to stop you from walking down the right path. Do not pay heed to them. Keep your mind focused. We know it is easier said than done, but remember that there is no way out if you start believing your negative thoughts.
Set realistic goals
When you are working out on your own at home, you should start by making a list of realistic goals. Doing so will help you create a roadmap to success and always move in the right direction. Start with small goals. It will keep you motivated throughout your journey and increase your chances of success.
Start slowly and increase your pace gradually
People make a common mistake of going from 0 to 100 when they just start their fitness program, thinking that it will help them get results fast. But this fast pace has the opposite effect, meaning people feel tired and defeated only after a few days.
Remember that it is consistency, not your speed, which determines success.
Do what you enjoy the most
Make exercise an escape from stress, not a source of stress or tension for you. When you do something you do not like, you end up feeling more stressed after doing it. The opposite happens when you do something you enjoy.
Let’s say you don’t like yoga. So, despite the beneficial effects of yoga, you will end up feeling more strained after doing it. Therefore, you should start with what pleases you. It could be anything from riding a bicycle in a cool breeze to swimming in freshwater that can boosts your mood.
Let your body rest and recover
People start exercising with a lot of passion and zeal. They work out for too long or with high intensity, even when they are beginners. Their muscles or joints become very painful due to extra work, and then people give up on exercise soon.
Try not to get too excited and make irrational decisions. Plan wisely and give your body enough time to recover between two workout sessions.
When you start exercising, you will notice changes in your mental, physical, and emotional health after some time.
Carefully plan your fitness program, start slowly and increase your pace gradually. This will make sticking to the plan easier and stress-free. Make sure you don’t push your body too hard.