February 17

How To Overcome The Fear of Exercising


Yes, fear of exercise or exercise anxiety is a real 'thing'. Some of us are just too scared to start and exercise programme or feel anxious about how we are going to feel during an exercise session. 

Have no fear...here are some helpful ways for you to overcome your fear of exercising and start enjoying getting fit and healthy. 

“Help, I need somebody”

If you’re new to this and not sure what to do, how to do it, think you’re going to look stupid at the gym my best advice is to ask for help. There are instructors and even people in the gym that would only be too happy to help. We’ve all been there and sometimes still there too. I’m still asking for help on my deadlift form.

“Get by with a little help from my friends”

Training with a friend or in a group can help combat a fear of exercising. There’s comradery and moral boosts when you’re all in it together. Outdoor group training is terrific fun, in all weathers, and the scientific research on training outside shows many benefits. Training with a friend means you can be accountable to each other when motivation starts to wane too.

“The long and winding road”

We all want to think that muscle grows quickly and fat burns fast, but the truth is it takes time. That so called ‘Beach body’ is not going to happen in a few weeks. We should relax and enjoy the moments we have training. Training can take many forms, from lifting big heavy weights to walking in the woods; running up hills, or mucking about in a park with body weight. It all helps, have fun doing it and take your time. You’re going to learn so much about yourself and improve your confidence along the way.

 “You may say I’m a dreamer”

Have a goal. Write it down and put it up to on a wall to remind yourself every day what you’re aiming at. It could be a certain weight you want to lose, it could be a certain distance of run, or an exercise you want to master (Burpee’s are always a good one, just ask Matt). My partner has made an A4 collage of health and fitness related pictures aiming at her goals. It sits above her work desk.

 “If I fell”

Pain and injury are common in training, and a fear is justified, if like me your jobs rely on you being fit and well. It shouldn’t stop you from doing something physical though. Personal trainers and coaches are there to help you minimise the injuries by teaching good exercise form and taking you through recovery routines. Stretching and tending to your muscles is really important when training, even low level hobbies like walking. The “no pain no gain” theory is rubbish. Yes, working out can be tough and your heart rate will soar, and muscles will ache from lifting weight, but it shouldn’t be painful. Any sharp pain is wrong and your body is telling you to calm down or stop.

“Get Back” (sweat):

I see the dripping in sweat, muddy, and a little achy as a medal on my chest for a good workout. If there’s sweat dripping off my nose and in my eyes I feel accomplished, proud. Embrace the fact that your body is trying to cool you down from pushing it physically. Relish in the muddy calf muscles and a maybe a few stinging nettle lashes on a countryside run. It’s your prize for a great training session. Everyone that looks at you will be thinking “they’ve worked hard, good on ‘em”. It’s never the opposite.


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