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5 ways to feel less awkward at the gym

Nervous around all those big buff dudes and Miss America lookalikes? Going to the gym can be a little intimidating, sure, but there is no need to sweat it! Here’s five ways to make sure you don’t feel out of place.  
You don’t have to make friends
Don’t feel like a little fish lost in the big sea. Try to remember that the gym is a public place and all are welcome, but you don’t have to become BFFs with anyone. Pop in those earbuds and do your own thing. Be polite, of course, but it’s A-OK to tune the world out.
Feel (and look) comfy
Wear what’s comfortable and not what’s trendy. That old t-shirt and cotton gym shorts will be just fine, promise. Spendy spandex? Who needs it?
They once were just like you
All of those muscleheads in there weren’t born that way. Before they were that big they were just as small and inexperienced as you are, so don’t worry, there is no judgment coming from their side. They’d probably even be happy to give you some pointers if you pipe up!
Join a class
It’s THE easiest way to stay engaged, ensure you’re actually working (and not just reading a mag on the recumbent bike) and have fun.  

Tag along
There’s power in numbers. Snag a friend who’s at your level, so you can hit the bikes together. Having your BFF with you can help ease your nerves and give you someone to chat with while sweating it out. She can even spot you on the bench press!

BY ANA D’AMBROGI ON 10/7/2011 9:00:00 AM


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Stretch in the morning and before bed to help you stay refreshed before/after a looong day. 
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