Updated: Nov 22, 2021
I'm going to draw on another example from experience in the gym.
When I ask new members if they've exercised/used gyms before the common answer is something like "I've always been too nervous to try the gym".
I completely get this. Nerves are so natural. However, if we don't do things because we're nervous we lose out on all the benefits those things bring. When a new member joins a gym (in this example) the most important thing to do is build confidence and knowledge. This will then allow us to move the member from basic exercises to more challenging exercises which will reap bigger rewards.
Moving the example across to TeamUp, it's so important that if you're starting out with exercise (so many TeamUp users will be beginners) you don't let your nerves get the better of you. Get stuck in, get confident, get in "the zone" and you'll see the benefits, feel awesome and be hungry for more.
So why exactly do we feel nervous when we try new things exercise-wise?
Let's take the example back to the gym...
Reasons people feel nervous when they use the gym for the first time will include; "everyone's fitter than me", "everyone's looking at me", "I don't know how to work the machines", "I don't know what to do/where to start", "I look stupid/have the wrong kit".
I completely understand all the above reasons. I'll also say that, even though I've spent a lot of time in gyms, I recently joined another myself and it has kit which I haven't seen before. I got nervous and avoided it until I saw others using it, then had a crack at it. So I get the reasons, I really do.
Let's look at the positives then.
You've decided to start exercising because you recognise there's a problem to be solved (lack of fitness, preventative care etc). You've determined the potential rewards of exercising are worth the nerves (you knew you'd be nervous before you started). You've jumped the first hurdle - making the decision to start.
Being nervous shows you're out of your comfort zone. You're challenging yourself, learning something new, improving, making positive steps. They are NOT a hurdle, embrace them. They show you're up for this and that you feel this is important.
What we don't want to do is take an action which is negative, sets us back or puts us off. For example, if you had an accident or over-exercised, causing injury, you'd be set back. You might reaffirm your nerves were correct and decide never to do that again.
Although I'd obviously be saying "get back in the saddle" in this example, it's also sensible to look at how we can prevent this happening in the first place.
You're starting out with exercise. You're probably not in the best athletic condition of your life (because you're starting out...) and therefore you need to be sensible. Don't run before you can walk (literally). Start with a fast walk - something that makes you puff (although it's always recommended you make sure you can maintain a conversation).
When you're ready you start doing 50 paces of jogging then 50 paces of walking. You slowly build. You're being sensible, safe, keeping nerves in check, building confidence, not over-stressing muscles and joints.
You'll be amazed how quickly you can build your exercise up over your first month. Be consistent, make it a little tougher each time.
Nerves are a good thing. Embrace them. Start [whatever exercise] slowly, build your confidence. Your nerves will disappear, you'll realise you're getting fitter and you'll find that you're just constantly stepping on stones to bigger and better things, which in turn will reap greater rewards.
Take a deep breath and get started. Oh, and remember to log your points on TeamUp!
A social fitness App start-up which motivates you to exercise more. Create teams with friends, family and workmates. Exercise where, when and how you like, log points and create your new, active lifestyle.