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Tue 3 May, 2022

How to Start Exercising in a Gym to Improve Mental Health

If you’re finding exercising in a gym a daunting thing to start but want to improve your mental health then here’s how we can help. Especially when your self-esteem isn’t great to begin with, it can be a struggle to start going into a gym where it might feel comparative or as if people may judge you.


Perhaps you’ve recently started going to the gym and you’re not sure why you aren’t seeing a difference in your mental health yet. Try following our Top 10 Tips and see how much it can improve your gym experience and mental health.


1 – Choose what feels good, to do with your body and for your mind.


Don’t like a certain exercise, don’t do it. It’s as simple as that. Some exercises are easy but you feel bad after doing them, find out why and make sure you progress.


2 – Prioritise your health.


Going to the gym is just as essential as therapy. It’s physical therapy and health experts deem it as such, so should you.


3 – Focus on you.


Other people in the gym can be distracting and make it hard to dismiss comparative thoughts. Look at yourself in the mirror when exercising, this will help you assess your form as well as help you maintain self-awareness and a positive gym mindset.


4 – Pre-plan a selection of exercises.


Have what you’d like to do in mind but learn to accommodate if your kit is being used, swap the order you do exercises or have a back up to do so you can still tick off that muscle group.


5 – Talk to others!


Linked in with point 4, someone on your kit? Go say Hi! Ask how long they might be, compliment them on their ability or ask if they’d like to alternate rest and exercise reps with you. This is a great way to start making friends in the gym and feel part of the community we have at Simply Gym.


6 – Take selfies.


It may seem like that’s the opposite thing you want to do if you’re starting exercise to combat low self-esteem. However, when you begin feeling better mentally, you’ll see a difference to the person in your pictures. Remember to capture that to look back on, not only for the mental health journey you’ve embarked on but for the physical progress you will have made too.


7 – Make a routine.


Having a routine gives purpose to your days if you’re feeling aimless. But being motivated to get to the gym and work on yourself begins by knowing your own mind. Struggle the most in the early hours? Go for an evening workout. Lose will power by sunset? Opt for a morning session. Once you’ve created a routine around you, you’ll find you’ll be more disciplined and searching for motivation won’t be a problem anymore.


8 – Take breaks.


Ensure you build in rest days to your routine so that your body can recover, even if those are days when your mind struggles. It’s important to listen to your body and rest when you can. Overdoing something that may be good for you could prevent you from doing it in the future; take enough breaks and you’ll be able to keep it for life.


9 – Try not to fear failure.


Easier said than done we know, but the community we’ve built appreciates that everyone has to start somewhere. Success is not a straight line, mistakes have to be made to achieve your goals.


10 – Ask for help, locate support from the right places and you’ll succeed.


Linked to point 9, having a qualified Personal Trainer can help you find the best place to start and encourage you to not give up, including being there to catch you when you have to bail on lifts.


We hope you can put our advice to good use when starting exercising in a gym to improve mental health. Give us a follow on our social media for more gym tips and inspiration!

Instagram – @simplygymhq and Facebook – @simplygymhq