Does the idea of working out at the gym make you feel like this?
Then read THIS:
This is an excellent article from Jezebel.com that speaks to people who may feel uncomfortable working out in a traditional gym setting. I highly recommend it.
A gym can be a frightening and overwhelming place for some people at first, women in particular. Gyms are often male-dominated spheres. A bunch of men milling around, grunting and lifting, talking loudly to each other. It can bring up a lot of anxiety for both men and women about bodies- how they should look and what they should be able to perform, and how gender should be presented.
My advice for nervous gym-goers? Fake it 'til you make it. You may not know what on earth you are doing in that gym, but if you project an air of confidence, accept your inevitable ineptitudes in certain areas, and have a sense of humor, eventually the gym will become more comfortable. You have just as much a right as anyone to be there and be comfortable.
A great tip is to have a written workout. This will help from aimless wandering and eventual fleeing from the scary torture-device looking machines. Make a list of the machines you want to check out, and which body parts you want to exercise. Make a list of machines that totally befuddle you, and then ask a trainer or employee for help!
That brings me to the point of personal training to help feeling comfortable and safe in a gym environment. If you are a gym newbie, a personal trainer is your best friend. You don't have to sign your life away or pay a lot of money, just sign up for one or two sessions to get yourself acclimated to the gym environment. Ask the trainer any and all questions you may have and find out info that staff is privy to: what's the most popular equipment? what are the busiest times? etc. etc.
Many trainers want you to get "hooked" on them- you rely on them completely to get your workout. That's the opposite of my philosophy. I want to educate clients how to become comfortable, knowledgeable, and safe gymgoers who know how to exercise effectively for their specific needs. One of my greatest joys of training is seeing a client or former client performing an exercise I've taught them!
In conclusion: at the gym,
-be confident (or...just ACT confident!)
-have a sense of humor
Happy exercising....in no time you'll be feeling like THIS: