Feeling uninspired, intimidated, or self-conscious at the gym? This checklist will help you stop worrying and start focusing on feeling great and having fun. Remember this list before your next gym trip to help you have the best workout ever.
- Have a plan: Don't just get to the gym without knowing what you want to do. Psych yourself up for the challenge by planning your workout beforehand, then get excited to power through your plan and check it off your to-do list. If you need ideas, our printable workouts are perfect to take along.
- Look good, feel good: Take time to figure out what you're going to wear to the gym before it's time to rush off for class. If you have an outfit you're proud of and is flattering, you'll be more likely to step onto the gym floor feeling confident and putting in more effort. Investing in a few key workout basics will help you design a workout outfit to be proud of. Feel naked without makeup? A swipe of lip gloss or some waterproof mascara never hurt anyone's workout.
- Sweat it out: Had a bad day, full of stress from your to-do list, or feel like you need an attitude boost? An intense workout may be just what you need to feel better. Exercise boosts endorphins and helps lower stress levels, so give it your all, even when you're not into it, to feel better fast.
- Find a go-to hairstyle: You need your hair out of your eyes and sweaty tendrils kept at a minimum, but finding a hairstyle that works and looks cute will help you to stop focusing on what you look like and more on what you're doing. Try a high bun and a headband, a braid across the crown of your head, or more hairstyles that look good while you work out.
- Think positive: When you're new to the gym, self-conscious about your appearance, or just intimidated overall by the workout experience, negative thoughts are bound to happen. But if you let them get to you, they'll start to affect your workout. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and let go of any stresses before you start working out — remembering one of these fun fitness motivational quotes can help!
- Zone out to your own music: The truth is, no one is really watching what you're doing at the gym — but it can feel like the opposite if you're trying out a new workout or venturing into the weight room for the first time. To get your mind off what you think people are thinking about you, turn on a killer workout playlist that will motivate you and get your mind on your workout.
- Bring a fit friend: Personal trainers can be expensive, but a friend who's passionate about fitness and loves sharing new workout ideas? Just what you need to tackle anything unfamiliar at the gym. The right knowledgeable workout buddy will challenge you while also showing you the ropes, so ask around to see if any of your friends want to meet up at the gym instead of a happy hour.
- Focus on form: It's better to get it right than hit a number incorrectly — you'll see more results faster if your form is correct. Whether you're in class or on the floor, station yourself near a mirror so you can periodically make sure your back isn't hunched over and your shoulders are relaxed when you do your moves. Knowing you've mastered the art of the deadlift or push-up is definitely a confidence boost.
- Think about how good you'll feel: Not every day feels like a gym day, but sometimes you just gotta do it. Instead of focusing on how much you don't want to work out, nix the delaying, and just get it over and done with — you'll feel so much better after you're done if you feel like you put in an effective workout.