Shyness working out around people?!?

I get really shy when i start working out and someone comes around me, i completely stop and wait for them to go away.
I don't like to sweat in front of people because i feel as if they are looking at me and making comments inside of their head.
& maybe i shouldn't feel this way, but it's just how my confidence is at the moment.
I just started warming up to the idea of working out around my boyfriend, if my mom comes downstairs while i'm working out, i stop and pause whatever i'm doing until she goes back upstairs.
This also causes me problems when i think about joining a gym or think about going somewhere to workout.
It even effects me when i'm walking outside around my neighborhood because i think people again are looking at me and making silent comments to themselves about me...

Anyone else have this problem, have you solved it?


  • cdcopley
    cdcopley Posts: 1 Member
    I feel the exact same way! I've been married for 13 years and won't even exercise in front of my husband! I want to join a gym so badly but feel embarrassed that people will look at me or think what she doing here?! I wish I knew how to get past it!
  • AlysonBug
    AlysonBug Posts: 67 Member
    I use to have this problem. I just decided to push through the feeling. I made myself keep working out even when I wanted to stop when someone walked in the room or drove by me when I was walking or resting from my walk. I also forced myself to think they were thinking positive things about me instead of making fun of me. After awhile I realized most people who walk in the room don't care what I am doing and constantly stopping was disruptive anyways, and that all the people walking or driving by me while I'm outside working out are actually smiling at me, which is encouraging all by itself. Then to finally get over it I joined a gym. I put my head phones on and just get in my zone and the rest of the world doesn't matter. I don't think about what they are thinking any more, I just gotta find my groove and be happy that I am doing something good for myself.
  • Owlie45
    Owlie45 Posts: 810 Member
    I have that issue too. I walk around my block at a fast pace and its a large block. I'm sweating quite a bit by the end of it and usually no one is around but sometimes there are and so I quickly cross the street to avoid them. I also work out in the living room when no one is home but the second someone comes over I'm diving into my room to quickly finish it. Same reason I don't have plans to join a gym anytime soon. And when I do it will be a 24 hour gym so I can work out at less popular hours.

    Sorry I don't have a cure other than just not caring what others think
  • sheisbrown
    sheisbrown Posts: 171 Member
    When I first started working out I would get this way too and I still feel self conscious the moment I walk into the gym. I just tell myself that I am work in progress and I focus on doing the best that I can. I figure - I am going to the gym/working out for my own health and wellness so I try to stay focused on that instead of worrying so much about what other people might be thinking. Hang in there- your confidence will grow.
  • yammy4
    yammy4 Posts: 8
    Same here! You're definitely not alone. I like to think that it will pass once I lose more weight and feel better about myself. I actually do my walking/jogging at night juts to avoid interaction. Everyone in my neighborhood is way too friendly and there are always people out walking during the day. I'd rather not have to get into huffy puffy, sweaty conversations with them. So I typically walk around midnight a couple times a week, and do the rest of my stuff inside my house, alone, with videos and my stationary bike.
  • MoreBean13
    MoreBean13 Posts: 8,701 Member
    OP- Do you have a gym you can go to? I know it may seem counter-intuitive to go to a place to work out with others being as how you're self conscious, but I think if you just force yourself to go to a gym you'll find that everyone there is sweating, listening to music, watching the TVs, and generally doing their own thing and not paying attention to anyone else. They won't be judging you because everyone's there for the same reason. The only people that get the hairy eyeball are the goofballs that show up and do everything BUT workout (talk on the phone, chit chat, prance around looking like it's a pickup bar). You will fit right in. I promise.

    I workout everyday, and I still feel weird working out at home in front of people who aren't working out, the atmosphere at the gym is delightfully impersonal. Give it a shot.
  • lilpoindexter
    lilpoindexter Posts: 1,122 Member
    This was part of the reason that i chose to go to the gym at 3:30AM during the week when there weren't as many people. The other reason was no waiting for any equipment i want.
    I had been doing this since October when I joined the gym. Sundays I normally went at 5AM, but today I said to hell with that BS, and I just went at about 7:30AM after i woke up and had a nice cup of coffee. I am a lot stronger, and much less fat, and much less self conscious than before, but by no means do I have a body like Charles Atlas, but I don't care.
  • jvhall83
    jvhall83 Posts: 35
    I know how you feel. I joined a gym because it forces me to get off my butt and go exercise. that and they have equipment that i dont have at home. The way that I get around this is always wearing headphones. IF i can stay focused on my exercises and music, then i dont have time to focus on others. I havent started running on the treadmill yet but ill get comfortable enough to where I will. Just a matter of getting it started, getting through it, and then getting over it. Hope this helps.
  • solame0
    solame0 Posts: 1
    I've been going to gyms for years and have been in shape up until a couple of years ago. I gained some extra lbs when I quit the gym, but I started the gym again and started using my fitness pal and lost most of the extra weight.

    I can honestly say I've never judged someone for trying to better themselves. Everyone I know says they share my views on this matter. To see someone obese or just out of shape at the gym or outside exercising is awesome! I think being at home on the couch is something to be embarrassed about, but definitely not when you're actually doing something to improve your health. Be proud of yourself for making a positive change. I really think it's mostly in your head and I don't think most people are judging you, but if they are, that's really a negative attitude (on thier part) and you shouldn't let that stop you from changing your health and shape for the better.

    Most people at the gym are pro health and would encourage others to make a change for the better. I think once you start going often enough to see results, you will be eager to return and you will naturally become more comfortable. You just need to build that confidence. It's probably akward when you're not familiar with the exercises or machines, but you can always stick to the treadmill or something until you feel comfortable enough to venture out. You can even try just one new machine a week until you feel comfortable to add more. Put on your headphones and get into the 'zone'. After you start working up a sweat you won't care who's there. Just remember you're not alone......most people have weight fluctuations throughout thier lives and have been in your shoes to some degree.
  • 3shirts
    3shirts Posts: 294 Member
    Try to remember that everyone has this feeling. When you see super fit people in the gym just try to keep in mind that they got like that from starting where you are. Even when I see really big people in the gym, I just think "good on you for getting in here and taking control of your life".
    It's easy to say all this of course, much harder to really make yourself believe it, but try just going to the gym to talk to the instructors and have a look around. I expect they'll make you feel much more relaxed. I can only speak for myself but the only people I ever feel judgemental about in the gym are the ones who are clearly not trying. The girls in full makeup and cute little outfits texting while cycling on the recline bikes so slowly they are barely moving I'd much rather have a hundred obese, sweaty people really going for it!

    If you worry about sweating, get some decent gym-wear. I have several black t-shirts and shorts that wick the sweat to the surface where it evaporates. They never show any sweat marks and are much better for your skin too. I got them in a JJB outlet store and they were about a tenner a piece, so not expensive.

    Honestly, go and just have a look round a gym. You'll probably find people in worse shape or far sweatier!
  • LazyHairyBear
    LazyHairyBear Posts: 35 Member
    I am a big bloke and I had a similar phobia to the OP. When I joined the gym I expected to be greeted with sneers and whispering behind my back because I was a fat guy trying to run on a treadmill.

    What I found was quite the opposite. I found the gym is a place I can go and pretty much leave my self conciousness at the door. People tend to just get on with their workouts and pay very little attention to me, that combined with the fact I am focused on what I am doing and the music blasting through my ipod means I stop wondering if people are looking and laughing at me anyway.

    I have recently took my training out onto the roads for the C25K and I haven't found the real world quite so welcoming, sneers and laughs from people sat at the bus stop appears to be the norm but because I have built my confidence in the gym it doesn't seem to bother me so much.

    Try and find a gym with a free trial and just give it a try, it could be the best thing for your training and your confidence.
  • HogSandwich
    HogSandwich Posts: 146 Member
    Headphones + decent gym soundtrack. you will learn to block out everything.

    But yes, I definitely had issues with exercising in front of people. Though oddly enough I'm squeamish about doing so in front of my boyfriend/family, but have no problems doing so with a bunch of strangers in a gym. I've been going to my gym for almost two years and I can count the amount of eye contact I've had with anyone on one hand.
  • xgemma87x
    xgemma87x Posts: 18 Member
    This is something I need to over come, I haven't exercised out side because I am scared of people laughing at me.

    I wont go to gyms for the same reason.
  • Im not alone! I seem to get embaresed when working out even infront of my mom! Its just like I feel so nervous and think what if people look at me funny or something or if people think stuff. But i need to learn to be confident. and keep going.
  • Back when I started running, I would only do a treadmill so I wouldn't be seen as a sweaty mess out on the roads. And even then, I'd need there to be no one else on any of the other treadmills in the gym at work, so colleagues couldn't point & laugh at me. Fast forward a few years, and after having done many miles both out on the road, and on treadmills in front of people, I can tell you with 100% certainty that people are not there to judge *you* they're judging *themselves*.

    It takes time to get used to something outside our comfort zone. I'd strongly recommend some music & earbuds as was mentioned earlier. Best of luck!
  • tcatcarson
    tcatcarson Posts: 227 Member
    When I see people of different sizes and shapes at the gym, no matter how large or new they look, all I think is, "Well, they're HERE!"

    If I ever felt the need to scorn anyone it would be the person looking out of shape and working hard on the booze, *kitten* or chips to make it worse.

    Nobody who is exercising has ANYTHING to worry about.
  • Its all mind over matter, i was exactly the same!
    I still feel a bit nervous when i first walk into the gym or step out on my own for a walk/ jog!
    The best way i got over it was to take a friend with me and laugh it off, people can't judge you when your already laughing at your attempts to clamber on to an exercise bike or any other alien looking gym equipment.
    Make it fun and you will soon forget about how self conscious you were, instead of the gym i've taken up Zumba now and its great, i much prefer classes and the group atmosphere, who's going to be thinking bad things about you when theyre in exactly the same position as you, looking to lose a bit of weight.
    And if you've tackled exercising in front of your boyfriend, well who cares what any1 else thinks? as for your mum, why not ask her to join in with you?

    Its never as bad as your gonna think it is, honestly and once you've got past that embarassment stage you'll start to enjoy yourself, so go for it :)
  • HamsterNut
    HamsterNut Posts: 78 Member
    This is one of the reasons I dont go to the gym, I cant stand being around people. I also cant wear earphones (hearing damage already in my ears, im 21 with the hearing of somebody about 4x my age) so I cant block it out.

    At home I have an exercise bike, dancing/fitness games for PS3 (wore my HRM and I can burn 600 cals an hour doing these so they arent as wussy as they sound! its like a personal gym class!), 30ds (not started this yet), a pair of dumbells and a staircase. I am trying to do c25k but struggling with being outdoors!

    Im happy to admit that I am a bit of a hermit, I hate crowds, hate noise, hate big open spaces :-)
  • kn336a
    kn336a Posts: 2 Member
    I have the same issue as well. In order to remedy that problem, I'll often go with friends and do sets with them. I don't go to the gym as often as I used to simply because I've been doing the p90 workout. I love being able to work out in the comfort of my own home.
  • manderson27
    manderson27 Posts: 3,509 Member
    Reverse the situation. If you see someone working out/jogging/swimming etc. Exactly how much time to you spend thinking about them? I would bet it is around 10 seconds, if that, then you move on with your own business.

    Well that is how much time other people will spend thinking about you. The most important thing is you are doing this to get healthy, once you have done it a few times you will forget about the embarassment and just get the work done.

    I felt the same at first but then realised that although I might be the centre of my own little universe I certainly wasn't that important to anyone else. :noway:

    Go for it and get fit :smile: