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Column: Overcoming "gymtimidation"

by Olivia Howard - Prevention & Outreach Services
Mon, Apr 24th 2017 09:00 pm
Photo courtesy of pinterest

Exercise may seem like a daunting task, but it can be accomplished with effort and by using home exercises like the one above.
Photo courtesy of pinterest Exercise may seem like a daunting task, but it can be accomplished with effort and by using home exercises like the one above.

In this day and age, it's a no-brainer that exercise is good for your health. It helps you lose weight, keeps you active and brightens your mood. We've all heard this information so why doesn't every single person work out? Why doesn't everyone start running and lifting weights and go to the gym every day? Bottom line is, it's not that simple.

The gym, especially on college campuses, can be a scary place. There's even a term to describe the fear: "gymtimidation". It means exactly what it sounds like: being intimidated by the gym. Some people are nervous about trying new equipment and weights and some people are afraid to even walk through the doors of the gym. We understand that it's never easy to start something new. It can be awkward and uncomfortable but ultimately we all have to start somewhere.  

Here are some ways to combat that gymtimidation!

1. Don't worry, they aren't even looking at you. You might feel like a giant spotlight is on you when you take a strut through the equipment and weights sections but fear not! Most of the time people are focusing on themselves and their own goals and probably won't even notice you. Don't worry if someone comes over to correct you on your form, they are only trying to save you from getting hurt!

2. Go with a buddy. Friends make everything less scary. Bring a friend that knows what they are doing and is willing to help. Many exercises at the gym are better with a partner. 

3. Set a fitness goal. Setting goals is a great way to overcome fears. If you put your mind to it, any reasonable goal can be accomplished! 

Are you still feeling hesitant about the gym but determined to stay in shape? No worries, there are plenty of ways to stay active, especially on a college campus.  

Here are some other ways to make sure you maintain an active lifestyle:

1. Walk instead of driving. Yes, the Western New York weather is brutal in the winter but whenever the sun comes out to say "hello," appreciate the (semi-)warm weather and take a walk to class instead of your car. Imagine how much gas you would save if you walked everywhere within a two mile radius? As a bonus, imagine how many steps you would get in! (P.S.: 10,000 steps daily is recommended) 

2. Ride a bike. Biking targets your leg muscles and focuses on your cardio and endurance. Biking allows you to experience the outdoors and explore nature while going at a high speed. Bike rentals are also free for students at the Special Events Recreation Center.  

3. Take exercise classes. This is a perfect option for someone who likes to have fun while they work out. If you like exercising with friends and a high energy environment then check out a group exercise class. There are several different classes offered at the SERC. Like to lift heavy? Try a kettlebell class. Like to dance? Try Zumba. The SERC also offers pilates, yoga, cycling, barre, Bodypump, and Piyo. The possibilities are endless! In these classes, there are instructors who encourage and motivate their participants to keep going. 

4. Join a sports team. College is a perfect time to join an intramural or club team. Being on a team creates a sense of comfort and motivation. When you are running around with an intramural Frisbee team, you will be having so much fun you won't even know you're exercising! The College at Brockport has a variety of Division III, club and intramural sports teams to join, so like the group exercise classes, your options are unlimited.

The next time you want to work out but don't know where to start think about all your options; grab a friend, or go alone and have fun. Exercising is meant to feel good, and be good for you.

Catch us every week in The Stylus as we make health contagious!


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Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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