So what exactly is gym anxiety?
After weeks of procrastination and mental gymnastics, have you ever finally worked up the nerve to step into a Calgary fitness centre, fully intending to get your cardio on or pump some iron, and right as you start to settle in — BOOM — gym anxiety knocks the wind out of you.
Your heart rate jumps. You’re suddenly hyper-aware of everyone around you, suspecting they’re questioning your every move. The fitness equipment feels unfamiliar and intimidating. That sinking, stirring feeling in your gut transforms into a dead weight and your legs are shaky.
Trying to shake off gym anxiety isn’t exactly the heavy lifting you planned on doing. You might start to sweat simply from self-doubt, rather than from the run you wanted to do.
In our experience managing a downtown Calgary fitness centre, we completely understand where you’re coming from. We know what means to experience and work through that creepy crawly feeling of gym anxiety.
That’s why at our MOVE locations in Bridgeland and off 17th Ave in Calgary, we actively (pun intended!) create a community-focused space where you feel welcome to show up as you are and use movement to overcome life obstacles or difficult emotions like gym anxiety. And of course, to have fun!
For more information about our studio offerings and how our fitness philosophy can help your gym anxiety, click the button below.
Don’t let your gym anxiety rob you of a rewarding and refreshing workout. Check out the following 5 tips to manage your gym anxiety and convert that energy into some kick-ass self-love!
Become friends with your gym anxiety
We know that might sound a bit strange and reminiscent of trying to cuddle a grumpy grizzly bear you come across on a hike. Unlike a bear encounter, however, running away from your gym anxiety and the sources of your stress can truly be even more exhausting than facing those uncomfortable feelings.
Ignoring your gym anxiety by trying to numb it out or avoiding Calgary fitness centres can conjure up a series of other unpleasant feelings like resentment, guilt, and self-disappointment.
Repressing and/or suppressing how we feel has been scientifically proven to lead to depression, which can cause us to feel slow, lethargic and unmotivated, making it truly difficult to commit to a fitness program.
It’s no secret that exercise, specifically group exercise, can largely help remedy and prevent depression. It can also teach us how to release tricky emotions through movement rather than let them fester and occupy space within us by staying stagnant. It’s kind of like when ketchup gets stuck inside the bottle. It needs a little move, shake and love to loosen up and be freed!
At MOVE, we encourage you to bring your whole self to class and use your workout to honour how you’re feeling in the moment. If you’re feeling off, that’s totally cool! And if you’re ready to party, we’ve got the music and the light show!
If your gym anxiety wants to come too, it’s welcome along for the ride — we’ll make sure it has a good time and doesn’t take itself too seriously whether that be on the bikes in spin class to the rowing machine in indoor rowing classes, to the weights in HIIT workouts or on the mat in yoga classes at our Calgary locations.
For some helpful strategies to truly sit with your gym anxiety and not-so-fun feelings, check out these tips from Psychology Today. Take care of that body and brain folks! And know that we’re here to support you wholeheartedly in that journey at our downtown Calgary fitness centres.
Find a space you and your gym anxiety vibe with
Never underestimate how much your physical and sensory environment can impact your mood and motivation. For a lot of people, the bright fluorescent lights, aggressive clanking of weights and the hammering of 20 treadmills in a sea of equipment can be really unnerving — or just plain distracting.
The social atmosphere of your setting is a major factor as well. At our Bridgeland and 17th Ave SW Calgary fitness centre locations, we value acceptance, inclusion and working out as a form of enjoyment.
We’re not about using exercise as a tool of pain or punishment to force results that may not fit with your fitness goals. You definitely won’t find folks wearing garbage bags overtop sweatsuits, people trying to sign you up for a restrictive low-cal tea detox diet or forcing others to go too far past their limit.
We strive to offer a safe, supportive and positive space for you to explore your interests and abilities in exciting ways ranging from our spin classes to rowing machine classes, HIIT workouts and yoga classes in Calgary.
From spin, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), row and yoga, all of the fitness classes we offer in downtown Calgary are designed to offer a sensory-engaging and entertaining experience.
And make no mistake, while they know how to bring the boom and are always up for a spicy challenge, our team of awesome trainers don’t bite! They’re here to turn up the good vibes, to get to know you and be a positive force behind your unique fitness journey.
They’re always available to offer modification ideas, a supportive high-five and words of genuine encouragement at our Bridgeland and 17th Ave studio locations. You may also get the occasional innocent tease or two tossed your way. Like we said, we like to have a good time around here!
The treadmill’s nickname is the dreadmill for a reason. Doing the same repetitive activity every single day can put you on a literal path to boredom and burnout. Gym anxiety loves to slither up and advantage of us in that state, telling us to skip out.
Diversify your fitness classes
Keeping your workouts fresh is key to staying mentally and physically engaged, whether you’re a beginner or a professional athlete. At our MOVE Calgary fitness centers, we offer a diverse range of workout options to help you steer clear of a workout slump.
From spin classes, rowing machine classes, HIIT workouts and yoga classes at our Bridgeland and 17th Ave Calgary locations, each class is thoughtfully designed to keep you in the moment and accomplish a full-body workout.
Each class is structured with varying paces, levels of resistance training and strength conditioning exercises that sync with that sweet beat of the music. We get that music is a major source of motivation.
If there’s a spicy track you’re craving to move to, let our instructors know and they can build it into a playlist! Gym anxiety simply can’t compete with your jam pumping over the speakers and a full room of people rocking out to it with you.
Click here for more fun facts about our spin, row machine, HIIT workout and yoga class offerings in downtown Calgary.
If you have any questions or curiosities or just want to drop a friendly hello, you can reach us by clicking the button below (587) 812 4735 or slide on over into our DMs on Instagram or Facebook. We look forward to hearing from ya!
Commit to Consistency
We know, “consistency is key” “be consistent” and all those sayings have been said to the point of becoming a cliche. However, cliches are often rooted in some deep truth. And this one especially applies to your fitness routine and your ability to work through gym anxiety.
According to PyschCentral, it can take between 59-70 days to develop a habit, so roughly two months. While this may seem daunting and like a long time, it really isn’t. Think of the period between November 1st to New Year’s Day. That blows by TOO fast in a swirl of Mariah Carey music, Christmas trees out the ying yang and expensive eggnog lattes!
Take it day by day. Be kind and patient with yourself and use that time to settle into a space where you feel safe to challenge yourself and try new, fun fitness classes in Calgary.
Signing up for a session and creating a schedule that works with your lifestyle can help anchor your sense of accountability — and give you something to look forward to! Group exercise has a special way of developing relationships and meaningful bonds.