Gymtimidation: How to face the anxieties of going to the gym.

Eastern is a unique university in many ways. From the small classroom environment, to the strong sense of community, Eastern is a place where many feel comfortable. However, there is one space that makes some Eastern students rife with anxiety: the state of the art fitness center.

The fitness center is beautiful, with brand new equipment and music blasting throughout, but there are some aspects that make some uncomfortable. For one, Eastern has one fitness center; the fitness center that the NCAA athletes use for their team weight lifting sessions is the same fitness center that non-athletes use to get some steps in on the treadmill.

It makes sense for Eastern; the small student population does not need multiple gyms. Still, that does not keep gym anxiety at bay.

One Eastern student expressed the following concern about the fitness center: “I feel like I’m constantly being judged. I’m not an athlete (or athletic for that matter) but I am still trying to do better for my own health. At this point, I’m doing yoga in my dorm to avoid the stares”.

Since the rise of COVID and the at-home workout, many students have retreated to doing workouts in their rooms, both for the sake of their anxiety and convenience. YouTubers like Chloe Ting and Lilly Sabri have become pioneers of the at-home workout, creating quick and easy workouts that come with results.

Another great way to stay fit while staying away from the gym is taking hikes to Wayne. Downtown Wayne is only about a mile away from campus, and it is a beautiful hike to make.

Between the lush greenery of the Fenimore woods and the great food of downtown Wayne, taking an hour to explore the area is not only a great way to stretch your legs, but it can be a great source of meditation and self-reflection. Remember to stay six feet away from other hikers and bring your mask!
If you can not avoid the gym and are still having anxiety, do not hesitate to ask for a workout buddy or ask for help from the fitness center staff; that is what they are there for! The strength and conditioning team at Eagle even has their own Instagram account (@ironeaglessc) filled with nutritional and workout advice.

While the gym is not for everyone, it is important that everyone gets some sort of exercise a few times a week. If you’re having gym anxiety, never fear. There are plenty of alternatives.

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