4 Keys to Overcoming Self-Consciousness to Exercise

CoachMel Exercise 8 Comments

Do you feel self-conscious at the very thought of exercising in public?

Perhaps, it’s getting in your way of working out on a regular basis… especially at a mainstream gym.

Maybe you feel embarrassed about how out of shape you’ve gotten, or about how little you know when it comes to working out.

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Feeling overly self-consciousness can be a major hindrance to your fitness progress. But, how can you begin to overcome this issue?

Here are 4 keys to overcome self-consciousness to exercise:

1. Workout with a friend

Exercising with someone is a great way to get you feeling more comfortable as you workout. It can also be lots of fun when you workout with someone else, which helps with stick-ability long-term, too.

When you’re deciding who to workout with, choose someone with a similar level of fitness and similar fitness goals as you do.

2. Get help from a trainer

Sometimes having a few sessions with a professional is all you need to increase your confidence to exercise regularly.

Whether it’s to show you how to perform certain exercises, or to get you believing in your body’s abilities, hiring a personal trainer may be the perfect solution to overcoming workout self-consciousness.

If you can’t afford to work one-on-one with a trainer several times per week, having just one or two sessions can make a big difference.

Another alternative is to use one of the download-able workouts from iTrain.com.

Perhaps not as helpful as a one-to-one session with a trainer, but listening to a workout podcast can help you stay motivated and feel more confident, because you will know what to do, and when.

3. Consider working out at home

For some people going to a public gym is a definite no-no. And, that’s okay. A gym workout isn’t the only effective way to lose weight and get in shape.

If you are going to workout at home, invest in a good quality set of dumbbells. This is all you need to target the major muscle groups in your body.

You can workout in your back garden, in your kitchen, or in your living room while you watch your favorite TV show. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you feel comfortable and at ease.

4. Wear comfortable gear

Wearing clothing and footwear that fits you properly will make a big difference to your overall level of comfort, and how much you enjoy your exercise session.

I know… the last pair of training shoes I purchased were the most uncomfortable, blister-causing, horrible shoes I have ever owned.

They don’t inspire me to go workout, in fact, after wearing them for 2 minutes flat, I wanted to sit back down again, and ease my throbbing feet!

So, today I ordered a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, but I have high-hopes for how these running shoes are going to inspire me to greatness in terms of fitness, so watch this space! 😉

On a more serious note, what you wear really can have an effect on how effectively you workout. So, always choose clothing you feel good in, but also go for something that is comfortable, too.

Perhaps you won’t look like a supermodel in your workout gear (yet!), but don’t let those niggling little thoughts put you off getting in the best shape of your life.

Dream big! Move a little! Eat well! Be happy!

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Comments 8

  1. Anita

    Melanie – this is a great topic and one not many people write about, but I know a lot of people worry about.

    I agree with all the great tips you’ve given. And wanted to say – for anyone thinking that #4 is very superficial – just try it. Wearing good gear and looking good, will have a psychological effect on your willingness to workout and actually to workout with much more vigor.

    If I may add – the one thought that should help you get over any self consciousness is the fact that you’re actually getting off your butt to exercise. That takes a lot of self discipline, and it should serve you to make you feel proud of yourself.

    Remember that others don’t see what you think they see. Don’t judge yourself on their behalf.

    1. Melanie

      Hi Anita,
      Thanks for sharing your tips too, great points there. I love your comment…

      “Remember that others don’t see what you think they see. Don’t judge yourself on their behalf.”

      So true, if only people could believe that one they’d be a lot less self-conscious.

  2. martha@simple-nourished-living.com

    I like your suggestion for working out at home best. I believe the key to success with exercise to to find something you enjoy doing that doesn’t make you self conscious. There are so many great options for working out at home these days between exercise television, DVDs, Wii, etcetera, there is no need to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Curves can be a great entry into the world of fitness clubs. It’s all women, a fun easy routine you can do in 30 minutes and very social. It is the only “gym” setting I ever really enjoyed.
    .-= martha@simple-nourished-living.com´s last blog ..Sally Fallon Explains The Traditional Healthy Diet =-.

    1. Melanie

      Hey Martha,
      Great points there. I know that Curves can be very helpful for women, it’s a really good way to get used to working out in public without feeling self-conscious as it’s only women allowed.

  3. Kristan

    Good day! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My website addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I
    believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

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