HEALTHY LIVING
08/19/2013 08:20 am ET | Updated Aug 19, 2013

11 Tips For Conquering Your Gym Anxiety

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Last week, we came across a Reddit thread that struck a chord. User beaniebambino was looking to tackle a trip to the gym. Beaniebambino wrote:

Well, here I am... I'm a little nervous to go to the gym today. I'm morbidly obese, and I've never been there before. Part of me says, "Who cares if anyone's at the gym?! Just go do your thing!" The other part says, "But what if..." I'm going to suck it up and go... for me!

Many of the people featured in our inspiring weight loss success stories express similar forms of gym anxiety. Going to the gym certainly isn't the only way to get fit, but in some cases the anxiety is so strong it prevents people from working out entirely -- and from reaching their health and fitness goals.

We firmly believe that the gym doesn't have to be such an intimidating, unwelcoming place. Which is why we asked our Facebook and Twitter pals to offer their very best advice for conquering this crippling fear that you don't belong. Here are some of our favorite responses:

Don't care what other people think. Do it for you. --Amber Renee Knight

We're all there for the same reason. Just go! It may change your life! --Kerri Murphy Wolendowski

Find one machine that feels like an easygoing, comforting warm-up. Start there each time. --Zan LeStat Ferris

I did initially, especially lifting weights (that's where most of the men are). I faked confidence until I really did feel confident. I'm there to be the best me I can and that's it. --Beverly Kelley Jeter

Start on something simple. Take a class. Start with a few simple machines and use light weights. ASK someone. Gym managers will show you how to use the equipment. Go when it's not busy and you will feel more relaxed. As long as you go, most people are willing to help. --Cheryl Davis

Realize that everyone else is self conscious too and more worried about their own looks than yours. --Shauna Carpenter

Think about yourself. Ignore those thoughts that weigh you down. You will find that you succeed. Now, who wants to work out! --Walter Weaver

Check out a few more inspiring ideas in the slideshow below, and tweet yours to us @HealthyLiving and we'll add it to our uplifting collection!

Fight Gym Anxiety

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