When it comes to “getting healthier” many people tend to let fear rule their minds instead of allowing themselves the steps to get fit. Why is it that we can let these thoughts, notions and worries keep us from our greatest health? If you have ever let fear get in the way of a lifestyle change, you aren’t alone. Many people struggle with letting fear win over getting fit. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” But when it comes to fitness, you can – we all can!

There is literally nothing more important than your health and wellbeing. If you aren’t well then you can’t be, do or support others in the best way possible. No person can ever give enough to others to make themselves well. You have to do the work on you, and that is nothing to be scared of! Let’s look at some common reasons people choose fear over fit:

People “looking at them,” is often a common fear and we hear you. Many people fear working out in public because they don’t want anyone to see them. Well, you can always work out in the privacy of your home but we think that if you make the effort to go to a fitness class and find a focused physical activity you will see most people aren’t really worried about anyone else in class, rather they are more focused on their own form, activity and success.

What do you wear? You wear what makes you comfortable. Someone who comes into a class or gym who is comfortable will always be more successful than someone who is self-conscious about their clothes. If you don’t want your belly showing make sure you have a long enough shirt. If you aren’t comfortable with someone looking at your hips in a class, tie a shirt around them. Where what will make you feel the most comfortable and secure.

Plan to sweat! Always plan on sweating! Plan on taking off your sweatshirt or cover up if you warm up. And bring a towel if you like.  That’s a mistake many people first make when joining a class or gym. Better to be prepared than to have your body overheat.

Bring clean, dry, indoor shoes. If you are going to Zumba® or to a gym to walk the treadmill they likely have just about everything you need there but all gyms want you to wear “indoor only” shoes. This means you can’t come in and bang the dirt off or try to dry them. For best success and the greatest welcome –hand carry clean, dry indoor shoes. Any gym owner or fitness instructor will thank you for that.

Don’t expect too much! There isn’t anything too alarming that will actually happen except you are likely to be welcomed, so expect hellos and people introducing themselves. Expect to start making friends if you are ready on day one. Expect there to be music. Classes and gyms often have music to keep you going so if you forget your music device; don’t sweat it (pun intended.) You should expect a little paperwork even if you are just visiting a gym or fitness class. This will probably include a liability form that you are free and clear for all physical activity. If you aren’t sure if you can sign that with confidence, check in with your healthcare provider.

Laughing! You should expect laughing! Most instructors or gym-goers are there for a good time! They aren’t just there to torture themselves! They want to enjoy their time and they want you to too! So don’t be surprised if your instructor cracks jokes or the guy on the bike next to you tried to tell you something funny. Go ahead and laugh, its breaks the pressure too.

Most people really find that being part of a like-minded community helps them to commit to their fitness goals and also keeps them motivated. The friendships we build in a healthy and supportive environment can even become some of our most treasured. Along with a new fitness life, you may develop new skills, interests and even milestones. When you commit to any new physical activity you will see your body also evolve. Expect to increase your endurance, maybe even lose weight and wake up with more energy.

You deserve to be as healthy, strong and independent as you desire. If you have questions or concerns about joining a class or fitness facility feel free to call Mary Hoadley at 802-334-5566 and she’d be happy to discuss this with you. She also reminds us that, “No matter how we go about change, to be successful and to make long-lasting lifestyle changes, our lifestyle has to change. The way we think, act, eat, exercise and our attitudes about food, exercise and self will need to change.” Choose fit, it’s got a lot more to offer than fear, and you deserve all the abundance of health you can accumulate. We hope you will choose fit over fear!


Mary Hoadley

Director Of The Wellness Center