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Sharp Health News

When working out isn’t working out

Sept. 6, 2018

When working out isn't working out

If planks make you say “no, thanks,” then this article is for you.

While some people love running and other types of physical activity, others … not so much. It can be hard to stay in shape when exercising isn’t something you feel particularly good at or even enjoy.

Cliff Bardelli, an exercise specialist at the Sewall Healthy Living Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital, offers these four tips for working out when fitness isn’t your forte.

1. Embrace self-consciousness
If you’re not confident in your athletic abilities, one of the biggest obstacles to establishing a workout routine can be dealing with feelings of anxiety and self-consciousness. Bardelli says the key to overcoming those feelings is embracing them.

“It’s important to understand that being self-conscious in the gym is OK. When you accept this, you’ll start to realize that most gym goers are too focused on themselves to pay any real attention to you,” he says.

2. Write down your goals
It’s important to motivate yourself when you’re first starting out so you can make exercising part of your weekly routine. Find your motivation by outlining your goals and sticking to them.

“Writing down your goals on actual paper and posting them up in places you’ll see every day, like the bathroom mirror or nightstand, will keep you focused when you’re outside the gym,” says Bardelli.

Setting goals will also help change the way you think about fitness by making it less of a chore and more of a competition. Keep track of everything you accomplish during your workout session and try to beat that record the next time.

3. Create a workout playlist
Music is a great way to turn a daunting workout into something fun. Create a playlist with your favorite songs so you can have a jam session and get in shape at the same time. Bardelli says music can help you feel more confident and “can help push you to do that extra rep or finish that last mile.”

4. Meet with a personal trainer
Without previous experience, it can be hard to know what workouts to follow once you get to the gym. Bardelli recommends meeting with a personal trainer to help you learn gym safety.

“Even just one session to build a safe routine can go a long way toward your fitness goals. Working with a trainer can help you eliminate the ‘fluff’ in the gym that may be wasting your time,” he says.

Bardelli’s biggest piece of advice is knowing that you’re not alone. “When you’re new to the gym, going at it alone can be very intimidating. But you don’t have to do it by yourself. Signing up for a weekly class or consulting with a trainer early on will help you feel more confident in what you’re doing.”

Everyone has different athletic abilities, but don’t let that stop you from exercising. Keep these tips in mind the next time your fitness fears prevent you from reaching your goals.

The Sewall Healthy Living Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital offers monthly and annual memberships, group fitness classes and personal training. Learn more about Fitness Center offerings.

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