How To: Make Exercise Less Intimidating

 Exercise is an important part of wellness.  Taking a walk or perfecting a yoga position can relieve stress and help you stay in shape.  However, according to the 2010 National College Health Assessment, 46.7% of students meet the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommendations for physical activity.   Fewer women (43.6%) than men (52.3%) meet the recommendations.

A hectic schedule or the monotony of a treadmill may discourage you from exercising.  However, complex machines and fit people around campus can be intimidating enough to make you skip a workout too.

Here are five tips to make exercise less intimidating. 

1)      Go to a group fitness class.  You can feel less self-conscious in group fitness classes because everyone is doing the same thing.  Classes can also help you become more comfortable with new exercises and equipment.

2)      Ask for help.  If you are uncertain about trying anything, ask for help.   Knowing how to use equipment may boost your confidence.  Campus Rec offers a FREE Fitness Orientation to all of the gym equipment and personal training for a fee.

3)      Refocus.  Do not focus on what you look like (except for correct form), what you want to look like, or what everyone else looks like.  Revert your attention to what you can do physically.

4)      Try a sport. Participate in a sport where you can focus on developing a skill or winning the game.  Plus, you will have teammates there to boost your confidence. Information about sports clubs at UNC can be found here.

5)      Take a friend.  Friends always make situations more comfortable.  Partner exercises with a medicine ball can make workouts more fun and reduce worry.

 Have a great workout!

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