When the Gym Is a Scary Place

A gym can be intimidating with its high-tech equipment, expensive dues and overly perky trainers. For the overweight crowd, research suggests that it may be even more difficult for them to drag themselves through the health club doors. They are more conscious of how they look compared to the younger, fitter members of the gym. This in turn leads to not wanting to work out, leading to more weight gain, more anxiety and more not going to the gym. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s easy for most people to come up with an excuse to not hit the treadmill, but there are ways to make it more palatable for yourself. Find a gym you’re comfortable with, even if it’s a bit farther away. Don’t go to the trendy gym where everyone wears tiny shorts, bouncing away on a treadmill, or where the local body builders come to flex in front of huge mirrors, unless you like that. Instead shop around until you find the perfect fit — be it an all women’s gym or a yoga studio; the type of gym isn’t as important as going regularly.

Studies have also shown a link between obesity and depression so going to the gym might help a bit with both. You can lose weight and release endorphins (the “happy” chemicals) in the brain.  The most important thing is that you go to the gym. If you’ve found one that you like but are still a bit intimidated, try going for shorter amounts of time and bring a friend.

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