Unfortunately, having a poor body image or a negative experience at a gym can make people less inclined to become a gym member. Before you eliminate the gym experience from your fitness goals, find ways to make yourself feel more comfortable at the gym.
Survey Each Gym
Before you register for a membership, explore each gym in your area. You need to visit each gym to look at the layout, at the equipment, at the additional services, and at how the staff treats you. The staff should be friendly and be happy to show you around and tell you about the different services they offer. Feel free to mention that you are uncomfortable with the gym environment so you can gauge how the staff member reacts. They should attempt to make you feel less uncomfortable and encourage you to join their gym. The friendlier the staff member seems, the more likely it is they will answer questions and be helpful when you are actually a member.
There are many gym environments that cater to a specific gender. Some people feel more comfortable if they only attend a gym with the same gender. Even gyms that are not geared toward a specific gender may generally have more men or women as clients. If you cannot find a gender-specific gym, try to find one that seems to have a decent balance of both men and women.
Consider 24/7 Gyms
Gyms that are open around the clock, or at least have longer business hours, are becoming increasingly common. Since gym members may need to exercise at any time of day, these types of gyms are more conducive to helping the average person to maintain their fitness regimen. Finding a gym with extended hours can help you find a time of day when you are more comfortable working out. Since gym members often work out in the morning or on lunch breaks, you may find the gym is less crowded at night or during the typical work day.
Find Other Exercise Options
Going to exercise classes can be a little less intimidating than working out on the exercise equipment. If you are uncomfortable, you may want to find a spot in the back of the class because you will feel less noticeable in that location. Since everyone is looking at the instructor, exercise classes can make you feel more like you are blending in. As you become more comfortable with classes, you may want to branch out and try out the equipment. Another option is a gym with an indoor or outdoor track, basketball hoops, or other types of activities. Since other members are less likely to be standing around looking at other gym members, you may feel more comfortable engaging in these types of activities.
Not every gym is the same, and even if you are insecure or have had a bad experience, this should not stop you from reaching your fitness goals. With many options for gyms, you can find a comfortable and accepting environment. Look around at gyms such as Club 7 Fitness to find one that is right for you.