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Women’s Gym Anxiety At An All-Time High: 5 Ways For Women To Get Fit Without A Traditional Gym

woman working out at home

Searches for ‘women’s-only gyms’ have increased by 34% over the past year, making the need for safe spaces where women can exercise more prevalent than ever.

OriGym’s Gymtimidation Report revealed 45% of women prefer to go to the gym with a friend because men make them feel uncomfortable when exercising alone, with the hashtag #GymAnxiety having gained over 62.3m views on TikTok.

Traditional gyms can be intimidating for women – from the clanging weights to the testosterone-fuelled gym bros, the anxiety can be crippling, and that’s before your workout has even started. However, there are plenty of ways women can get fit without stepping foot in a traditional gym.

To help combat the issue, the team from OriGym have listed their top 5 alternatives to the overwhelming gym environment.

1. Invest in a personal trainer that understands your boundaries

We all have our own boundaries when it comes to exercising, if you’re a beginner the thought of going to the gym can be overwhelming, but if you’re a total novice you may need a bit of extra support. 

Personal trainers aren’t just based in the gym, a lot of coaches will come to your house, meet you in a local green space or set you up with an online program you can do at home without any intimidating equipment. 

If your goal is to achieve results without attending the gym you have the option of working with a coach via video call, in person or by following a program prescribed to you by a qualified fitness professional. 

If attending the gym is something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, exercising in a familiar environment like your own home with support from an understanding personal trainer will help you stay consistent.

2. Join a local exercise group that works for you

Whether it’s walking, running, a boot camp or a Zumba class – your local area will be full of fitness clubs you can join to move your body and make new friends. 

We often think the only way to lose weight or see changes in our body is by joining a gym and jumping into a fitness journey head first, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Exercise classes have been popular for over 40 years for a reason: they’re fun, social and a lot more motivational than traditional gym workouts. 

As fitness has evolved so have fitness classes, in most towns you can find running clubs, CrossFit gyms and boxing clubs to name a few. 

So don’t be scared to try a few different exercise options, it may take a while to find a class you really love. 

3. Sign up for an online fitness program

One-to-one online personal trainers can be expensive leaving those who want to start their fitness journey on a budget-priced out and feeling deflated, however, online fitness programs are often cheaper and give all the tools, knowledge and expertise needed to kickstart your journey. 

Typically the platforms allow users to follow personal trainer-approved workouts as well as giving access to nutrition plans and recipes.

Most of the platforms include a free trial for users too so you can try before committing to spending money. 

4. Make it social

A great way to overcome something you find daunting is to do it with someone else rather than facing it alone – this goes for the gym too. 

The thought of going to a gym on your own may seem intimidating but if you can find someone to join you the journey will be a lot more enjoyable. 

Attending the gym with a friend can give you the chance to make it a social occasion, rather than beasting yourself from start to finish, do a light warm-up together and then go into a more intense partnered workout so you can spur each other on.

If attending a gym is still out of the question try doing physical movements that aren’t too strenuous, this could be going for a brisk walk or run together, moving your body in any way will raise your heart rate and make you feel great. 

5. Try a ladies-only gym

OriGym’s Gymtimidation Study revealed 2 in 5 women have avoided exercising at the gym because men make them feel uncomfortable, a great way to combat this is by using a ladies-only facility. 

Women’s only gyms allow members to work out in an environment that’s more comfortable, with an uplifting atmosphere. 

According to the Gender Equality in the Fitness Industry 2022 report, men currently make up 70% of gym owners in the UK, meaning women’s only spaces can be hard to come by, but the internet is full of resources to help you find the perfect gym. 

No boys allowed: the women’s only gym that’s building community and confidence

Rosie Webber, 26, owns Webber’s Gym in Essex, a women’s-only gym which she founded after seeing a gap in the market for women who want to get fit in a safe space. 

Credit Instagram: @francescoiaiaproductions@webbersgym

Rosie said: “I have ladies messaging me online telling me they wish they had my confidence and they could go into the gym. They all say the same thing – the gym is daunting and scary – I’ve made sure my gym is a safe space for women to get strong together. 

“It only takes two seconds for a new gym member to take their first step into a gym, so we should be encouraging them to train and get strong and not be scared of what other people are thinking. 

“That’s why I make sure I don’t overcomplicate things, I speak to members like humans and I don’t use fitness jargon too much. This can stress new members out and a friendly smile never goes a miss.”

Training in the gym can be a highly effective way to build strength, confidence and achieve your fitness goals, so don’t let gym anxiety hold you back from unlocking your full potential. 

If you struggle to find a ladies-only gym in your town, many traditional gyms now have women-only areas which are ideal for fitness newbies who don’t want to tackle the main gym floor straight away.  

Abbie Watkins, a Personal Trainer from OriGym said: “Women shouldn’t have to compromise their health and fitness goals because they feel intimidated to train in the gym.

In 2023 there are so many options when it comes to starting a fitness journey or changing your body, gone are the days of spending hours on a treadmill in the gym.

“Sustainable fitness goals are made when we find a training style we can stick to because we enjoy it and feel safe and comfortable.”