Going to the gym can be a vulnerable experience for someone who considers themselves an introvert. The idea of working out in front of other people can be scary and nerve wracking.
BUT, if you have goals, things you want to accomplish physically with your workouts and your fitness journey, and you got that gym membership and you want to put it to good use, then this article is for you!
So, as an introvert, how are you supposed to get over your fears and get yourself into the gym?
You’re an introvert in an extrovert world of fitness.
But don’t worry! Here are some tips to reduce the anxiety and reach all your fitness goals.
For the gym:
Wear Headphones to stay focused.
This is one of my favorite tips for gym-goers who aren’t looking for unwanted small talk — Wear headphones!
Not only is it a perfect way to make sure you don’t have uncomfortable small talk conversations or get approached by someone wanting to spark up a convo, but you also get to listen to your own music instead of the gym chatter.
And, picking your own playlist will help motivate you to work harder. You’ll stay focused and driven, and you won’t have to worry about the potentially unwanted conversations because you have headphones on and you’re busy!
Go to the gym when it’s not as busy.
Once you get familiar with your gym, you’ll be able to identify when it’s overpacked with people, and the times when it’s not so busy.
If the idea of a populated gym makes you uncomfortable, go to the gym when it’s unlikely it’ll be busy. Whether that be early in the morning or late at night, if that’s something that helps you feel more comfortable — do it! You deserve to feel confident and comfortable in the gym no matter the time.
Plan your workout ahead of time and what you want to accomplish.
Get to know your gym and where all the equipment that you’d like to use is located.
Plan out what machines you want to use and what you want to focus on so you avoid looking lost or that you need help.
Someone with kind intentions might ask you if you need help, and you may be wanting to avoid that, even though they are being kind—you’d just rather stay in your own lane, no help needed.
Do your research, know how to work the machines, where they’re at, and develop a plan for when you get to the gym, getting in and getting out. No questions asked.
If the gym isn’t for you:
There are PLENTY of fitness alternatives to going to a public gym and paying for a membership.
You could always go for a run, or take on a job or project outside in the neighborhood, or at your local park or hiking trail. This is also a good way to enjoy some vitamin D and get some fresh air. Just make sure you’re wearing your sunscreen!
Do it yourself or ask a friend if they’d like to join you for some exercise and a nice conversation. Whichever you prefer, working out outside could be your ideal alternative to going to the gym.
But, if the weather isn’t ideal or you don’t have access to a good outdoor area — there are other alternatives. We learned this in quarantine!
You can research an effective app to download on your phone or iPad that has guided workouts to do in the comfort of your own home — equipment present or absent, there are still plenty of apps that will guide you in a workout to get your blood flowing.
If you have an Apple Watch and are subscribed to Apple Fitness — they also have guided workouts with professional trainers that you can follow on your Apple TV.
And you can always look up workouts online to follow, without any device or fitness watch, and do them on your own, however and whenever you’d like to.
There are plenty of ways to make it work in the world of fitness as an introvert. While it can be intimidating, there are ways to make it work for you. Just know that you’re NOT the only introvert in the extroverted world of fitness. There are plenty of other people out there like you, searching for tips like these.
Always remember that no one is thinking about you the way you’re thinking about yourself. We’re all pretty selfish in this sense — but in this circumstance, that’s a good thing.
What I mean by this is that when you walk into a gym, I can guarantee that no one takes a second to criticize what you’re doing or what you’re wearing, or your form. If they do, their opinion doesn’t matter to you or your wellbeing. What matters is that you’re taking steps to start or continue your fitness journey and you’re doing the best you can. And most of the time, everyone is worrying about themselves instead of worrying about what you’re doing.
Remember that the next time you’re hesitant to step into the gym.
You are powerful, you are strong, and you have everything it takes.