Fitness Fears

Starting a fitness journey comes with its own set of fears and concerns. It’s easy to get scared when beginning a new task, and the fears that can manifest may become daunting very quickly. There are many common concerns that people have when beginning their fitness journey, fears that even the most accomplished gym-goers can relate to. These fears can easily latch onto you and deter you from pursuing your goals. However, if embarking on the path to becoming a stronger, healthier you is something you are committed to, facing those fears will become nothing more than small bumps in the road. 

Possibly the most common fear when beginning a fitness journey is the fear of judgement, whether external or internal. There’s a lot that goes into a workout that might seem complicated and unfamiliar, and it’s easy to worry that people might judge you for not immediately knowing how to handle yourself like an expert. But, like everything else in life, we all start out as beginners. This is something that anyone in a gym can understand, even the people that are there who look like they were born in a gym. 

Internally, we can be our own worst critic. We can be upset when we have a shaky beginning, or upset when we mess a new move up or miss a workout. Beginning a fitness journey is more than just working towards a healthy body, though. It is also shaping a healthier mind, and this includes your self-image. It is important to have grace for yourself. It’s important to admit that yes, the beginning may be hard and disheartening, but the determination and the drive is more important. You belong here, whether you’ve been working out for a day or for years, and you have a right to become the person you desire to be, just like anyone else pursuing their goals in that gym.

Another fear that many face when beginning their fitness journey is the risk of being injured. Working out requires your body to do new and sometimes difficult things, and if you aren’t careful, the threat of injury is there. While it can be frightening to think of damaging our bodies in any way, exercise is vital because it makes us healthier, not weaker. Exercise, in the long run, will prevent your body from encountering more injuries and health issues in the future. Luckily, one of the number one ways to prevent injuries in the gym is to make sure you are performing your exercises with correct form at the forefront of your mind. Making sure that you are moving in the right way will make sure your body isn’t forced into any awkward, or potentially perilous, positions. One way to ensure you are performing your workout to the best form is to get a second, experienced opinion. Letting someone else who is knowledgeable in form watch you perform the move will give you a second set of eyes that can point out anything that might be incorrect, which will prevent injuries. It’s worth doing a handful of sessions with a personal trainer just to get you set up and comfortable with all the equipment in your gym and learn a few exercises to get started.

A fear that is closely related to injuries is the fear of a workout being painful, or difficult. Seeing improvements in yourself when embarking on a fitness journey often includes changing the level of difficulty every now and again to ensure that your body is rising to meet the challenge. Whether its increasing the weight you’re lifting or adding an extra minute to your cardio, it can be scary to wonder how your body will handle it. You might be afraid that you won’t be good enough to meet that new goal. But this, in a way, is one of the fun parts of working out. You get to put yourself to the test, to find out the amazing things your body and mind can accomplish. When you simply consider how great it will feel when you meet that goal, the fear of it being painful or difficult diminishes. Think of your soreness post-workout as a trophy that says you accomplished something important today, rather than a burden. Workouts should always be slightly challenging. Progressing is what we’re working towards and as you get stronger you want to keep pushing yourself to new levels.

One fear that many have which prevents them from working out is the fear that they don’t have enough time. It can be easy to convince oneself that a workout will be too long, and that the day is already filled with so many things and that a workout simply doesn’t fit into the schedule. However, if exercising is an important lifestyle decision that you have decided to pursue, making time will be simple. A good way to ensure you will always have time to work out is to take a moment to sit down with your schedule and find the best time every day to workout. You make appointments for things that are important, make one for your workout. Be it before work, during your long lunch break, or maybe before the commute home, there will be a chunk of time that you can set aside specifically for a workout. Giving yourself a set workout schedule will give you a peace of mind, an insurance that your time will not be compromised while pursuing your fitness journey. 

Though it is easy to convince ourselves that fear has no power over us, putting it into practice can cause some difficulties. Be forgiving of yourself if it takes time to conquer them. You are only human, and while it can be frustrating to not automatically overcome the fears in your head, it is a great reminder of why you began your journey in the first place. Being only human means that we need to take care of ourselves, mind and body, and a fitness journey is an amazing way to do just that. Taking time to understand your fears and why they are there in the first place is a great opportunity to understand ourselves better. Fear is simply proof that you are about to do something important, something great for yourself. Don’t let it deter you from starting an important journey and accomplishing your goals.

Benefits of Exercise

You’re in the middle of a workout and sweat is dripping into your eyes. You can’t remember if you’re doing this move correctly or if you’re just making a fool of yourself, and you start to think to yourself, “why on earth am I doing this?” Because you know that working out is good for you. But why? Sure, everyone knows that exercise is a healthy and vital part of every lifestyle; that’s been drilled into us since grade school. But what about exercise makes it so vital to our daily lives? Working out is so much more than just the desire to “look better,” it’s a foundation of living a healthy lifestyle. Beyond just the facts and figures, knowing all of the benefits of exercising can these help us realize that working out is more than just a chore to check off your daily to-do list.

Your heart is vital, which makes sense as to why you would want to keep it in top shape. Working out will reduce your heart rate and your blood pressure. Exercise is the catalyst for a healthy heart! The slower your heart rate, the less your heart has to work at pumping blood. If your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain that rhythm that keeps you going every day, this creates lower blood pressure, which in turn gives you a lower risk of heart  problems. Along with a strong heartbeat you’ll gain improved respiratory function and increased V02 max. An increased overall and immediate metabolism is another benefit, which means your body with more efficiently burn up what you eat and drink into energy.You’ll also achieve improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, which means that your body will be able to handle sugar more efficiently.

The more obvious benefits of working out, and likely the most popular reasoning for it overall, is a reduced body fat percentage and increased muscle mass. Many people at the gym are there to try to shed pounds or bulk up, which is a good reflection of the changes that are going on inside of your body, as well. I don’t need to tell you that a benefit of working out is looking better- chances are you started this fitness journey to fit into those old jeans again.  Along with this comes increased bone density, which means you can stop thinking that drinking your milk is the only way to get stronger bones. Exercise also doesn’t just help you physically- it can help you mentally, as well! Strength training will releases hormones that increase mood, immune system, and your sex drive.

It’s easy to dismiss all of this information and go about your day, but when you really think about it, the most important payoff of working out is that you will be healthier. When people get hung up on just wanting to workout to look differently, the motivation can fizzle out. But if you focus more on the fact that it will cause a healthy chain reaction to improve you on the inside, as well, it might help you on your fitness journey. This list is just the beginning of why a good workout schedule will help shape you into a stronger person, which is what we all want in the end. So, the next time that you find yourself wondering if you should skip the gym today, remember that your body is counting on you to make it healthy and strong.