CONFIDENCE TIPS IN THE GYM

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I hear a lot of women talk about gyms and how they're 'scary' or 'full of testosterone' and yes I do agree. However I got over it a long time ago, which is lucky as some people want to get in the gym but are too self-conscious. Something needs to be done about women and their thoughts about gyms as even my 12 year old sister tells me about 4/20 girls do swimming in P.E. while the other 16 sit out with notes written from their parents with various excuses (or forged by their friends 5 minutes before). Is this the parents fault or societies image of P.E. and exercise?

I could honestly go on and on about the problems and suggestions to start solving them but I shall start with a few body confidence tips in the gym for us older girls (and men if you're struggling too!)::

1. Look forward to the gym- don't dread it! If you feel the latter, you simply won't go. I guess you have to go a few times and maybe see results to enjoy it and this is easier said then done.

2.  Find a gym that suits your lifestyle. This might mean bypassing a fancy mega chain womens-only gym because it opens at times that you can't go. Or a huge 24 hour gym in the city centre actually works out more expensive then the smaller club down the road. Before you sign up, you are allowed to just walk in and ask for a quick look around, see whats on offer and who's around. The gym staff will be happy to do so as you are potentially bringing in money.

3. Skip the old tatty t-shirt. If you are more confident about your shoulders, show them off in a racer-back top. If not, wear a sports t-shirt with yoga pants or leggings. Although gyms are open to anyone and everyone it does help if you've got the gear on.

4. Take a friend. This will help you both keep each other motivated and you can combine ideas of workouts you'd like to do. Plus being in stitches at something hilarious does work your core, right?

5. Walk in prepared. Having a plan before you walk in the gym will boost your confidence. You don't go food shopping without a list, so why skip preparing a workout.

6. Everyone's been there. Remember, every single person in a gym walked in for the first time once, the same as you. No one is paying attention to you trying to work out how to adjust the seat of the lat pull down, at least you're using the machine!

7. Grab and go. If you've been wanting to try a goblet squat but you're scared of the 'bros' and 'lads' in the weights section, go in and grab what you need and go to a quieter part of the gym and practice them there. I promise no gym will object to you doing that.

8. Don't be afraid to ask. The gym staff and PT's are there to help. I regret not asking them about things sooner as they obviously know what they're talking about. I've become friends with them and even they have said it makes their day go quicker and gives them something to do other then cleaning.

Be proud that you are taking control of your health and remember: no matter what shape you're in, there's always something you can do about it, so stop making comparisons.

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