Self Consciousness around Exercise

Self consciousness was the epitome of me in a gym five years ago desperate to feel in place. But I didn’t ever seem to be comfortable in my own skin in any gym. And now that I look back, it makes sense because I was guessing my way through training, attending a random range of exercise classes and trying the latest diet craze.


Although, no matter what I tried my weight would always fluctuate and I developed a strained relationship with my body image in particular. Despite my short bursts of good intentions my self consciousness plus lack of smart methods would always stear me off course and I would give up. Then I’d settle for the same defensive justification that a fit, athletic body was unattainable for people like me. Because who has the time right!? Freaks… X-D


Here’s another article on how to stop feeling self conscious.


Initial Feelings of Self Consciousness Around Exercise

Before meeting my husband (Mr Body Reach) I didn’t know much about fitness (though thought I did). And I would go to the gym every week usually with a plan I’d found online. Because, well, it worked for Patricia so why the hell not me? But no matter the plan I would literally want the floor to eat me up due to my over flowing self consciousness. Anyway, research carried out by Nuffield Health states that a third of 18-35 year old’s feel too self conscious to exercise in a gym!


Bizarrely that’s when we are at the peak of our powers in or prime so we should be brimming over with confidence! However, gyms can be quite hostile places sometimes especially if you are a newbie or winging it. So, I started to follow the Body Reach methodology from home just like our clients. And I built my confidence to a point where exercising became a bit of a passion! Needless to say, education was the foundation of my confidence, not a nice looking body! Although of course, when you enjoy the way you look, feel strong and know how to train effectively confidence continues to evolve from there.


5 ways to Beat Self Consciousness when Exercising:


Have a structured training plan to follow.

Walking in to the gym with purpose breeds focus. In turn this prevents that noise in your head that starts to say “everyone is looking at you, what are we doing!?” when you finish an exercise unsure on your next move. Because once you finish an exercise and know where to go you save mental energy and improve progress via smart training.


You aren’t the only Beginner

Remind yourself if you start to get a bit jittery that you are one of millions of beginners going through the exact same emotions. In addition, those who you deem super athletes was also once absolute beginners! You have to start somewhere. Also, those advanced athletes have nothing but high respect for beginners who are trying to enhance their lives.


Self Consciousness Psychology Management

So, to minimize that internal voice AKA your chimp brain simply reduce your senses somewhat. And this is as simple as putting your cap on and plugging your ear phones in. Because the cap allows you to feel a little more out of view and your music cancels out your inner negative voice…a little! Sometimes I still do this when I feel higher anxiety and it really does help.

In addition, by reading self help books like As a Man Thinketh by James Allen you can drastically improve your internal dialogue by speaking to yourself more positively. ‘I can do this’. Also, firmly keep in mind that for pure survival purposes humans are much more negative by nature. Aw look at that big cuddly looking bear I’m going to stroke it…wait, those are big teeth and claws! Run! Our brains are excellent at spotting danger but in today’s day we can get overly stressed via lots of small stressors that accumulate.

Lower Self Consciousness by Training at Home

As coaches we have trained at home over the years so much with just a barbell and a step! Also, this was way before any pandemics. In addition, you can do so much with basic equipment (even bodyweight). And for many this is the very best way to start. Because a large percentage of people don’t consider training from home. Which is a shame as they never end up at a gym either due to peaked self consciousness. Also, training from home if done correctly is not only very challenging but brings great results. Whilst also allowing you to improve technique on an array of exercises that you’d be too insecure to try in a gym.

Sustainability and Frequency

This refers to two things. Firstly, a fitness journey that is adapted to your life, not your life adapted to a fitness journey. Because this approach breeds consistency, brings results and in turn develops confidence! In addition, frequent exercise releases endorphins within training sessions that counter being too self aware. And this promotes a more regular positive mindset. So, move, sweat and embrace the release of serotonin that exercise provides.


The hardest place to start is at the beginning but that first step is priceless and so so worth it. Have a look round the Body Reach home page for further information on how versatile our coaching is for clients. Or check out this blog on how exercise amongst other ideas can drastically lower anxiety.

About Luke

Subscribe To Our Newsletter