Overcoming your fitness fears and workout nerves to better yourself

For some, the idea of doing something new with a bunch of strangers can be nerve wracking.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 7:00 pm
Working out in a group environment can be a big fear for many people when they consider joining a gym, but instructors and other members can quickly make them feel comfortable.

If you then combine that with the self-consciousness that many people feel about their bodies and fitness levels, it is understandable that starting a new fitness regime can be very daunting!

The FEAR that builds up when people think about starting a new fitness programme holds most people back from actually getting started. So, let’s look at the three main reasons people fear exercise and how you can overcome them:

FEAR OF FAILURE

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The intense worry and negative thinking you experience before you start something new is often down to a fear of failure. Nobody likes the feeling of failure, letting themselves or others down. If you’ve failed with a diet or fitness goal in the past you’ll probably remind yourself of all of the negative, horrible feelings you felt last time and it puts you off starting it again.

The way to get around this is to flip your mindset. If you don’t succeed at something the first time don’t think of it as a failure. Instead, think of it as a learning experience that you can use to your advantage and improve the next time.

Last time you didn’t succeed with your fitness goals why didn’t you succeed? Did you not stick to the diet? Did you not train enough? Did you not put enough effort in?

Whatever the reason, don’t see it as a failure. Learn from the mistakes, make improvements and make sure you nail it next time!

FEAR OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

Will people in the group like me? Will I fit in? What will they think if I can’t keep up? What will they think of my technique? What will everyone think when I’m all sweaty? What will the instructor think if I don’t know how to use the equipment?

All of those negative thoughts make you feel insecure and then your mind will play out the worst-case scenario.

But, in reality, the worst-case scenario almost never happens.

Most people in the gym, in a class, or at a boot camp are very friendly because they have been in your shoes and know how new starters feel. And, once the workout gets started they’ll be too busy focusing on their own workout to pass judgement on your technique, or how slow/fast you’re going.

When you start a new programme go along 5-10 minutes early, speak to the trainer or have a conversation with other members. Tell them that you’re nervous, tell them that you’re a bit scared. Most people will resonate with you, make you feel welcome and put your mind at ease.

FEAR OF PAIN

Everyone wants to be healthier and fitter, but nobody really wants the aches and soreness that comes along with it.

The unbearable aches normally occur because you throw yourself 100%, all guns blazing, into a new programme. Your muscles aren’t used to the massive change in intensity and as a result they ache like mad the next day.

But, if you start off slowly and ease yourself into the new programme you’ll be able to limit the aches. You can’t really avoid muscle soreness completely but when you do get DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) you can do a few things to speed up your recovery … refuel with good sources of protein as soon as possible after your workouts and stay hydrated. More gentle exercise and stretching will also help in the days following your workout.

Those are the three main reasons people fear exercise.

Most of our new members at East Coast Fitness experience those exact feelings before they start. But, as soon as they arrive they are made to feel welcome by our instructors and other members and their mind is put at ease

Remember … that worst-case scenario you create in your head very rarely plays out! Start by blocking out the negative thoughts and think off all the positive things that can come out of it instead.

Once you’ve made the first step you’ll realise that you were worrying for nothing, you’ll have fun and you’ll leave the gym/class feeling really positive and very proud of yourself.

BEGINNERS CARDIO WORKOUT

If you haven’t exercised for a while or you’re just starting out this workout is great for building up your cardio fitness. It’s going to raise your heart rate and challenge your cardiovascular system.

Before starting the workout go to www.youtube.com/grahamlowpt to watch the demo video.

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT BURPEES

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT STAR JUMPS

30 seconds SHADOW BOXING

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT SIDE STEPS

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT HIGH KNEES

30 seconds rest

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT BURPEES

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT STAR JUMPS

30 seconds SHADOW BOXING

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT SIDE STEPS

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT HIGH KNEES

30 seconds rest

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT BURPEES

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT STAR JUMPS

30 seconds SHADOW BOXING

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT SIDE STEPS

30 seconds LOW-IMPACT HIGH KNEES

Workout complete!

If you have energy left at the end of the workout feel free to complete a few more rounds.

BAKED SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN

SERVES: 4

TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS

450 grams of skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-centimetre pieces

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1 250-gram tin of pineapple

60 millilitres of tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed

1⁄4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 white onion, diced

2 bell peppers, diced

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Meanwhile, place the chicken and corn starch in a sealable bag and shake well to evenly coat the chicken.

Heat the olive oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for around 2 minutes until it has turned golden brown before removing from the heat.

Once the chicken has cooked, drain the pineapple making sure to reserve some of the juice for the sauce. To make the sauce, whisk together the pineapple juice, ketchup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Place the chicken pieces in a large roasting tin. Scatter over the pineapple, onion and bell peppers before pouring over the sauce. Remember to make sure that everything is well coated, as this will let the vegetables and chicken absorb the sweet and sour flavours.

Cover the roasting tin with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce has become thick and sticky.

Scatter over a handful of spring onions before tucking in.