Exercise! - Embarrassed to workout in public.

View Full Version : Embarrassed to workout in public.

10-01-2011, 04:53 PM
Hi everyone,
I have a big problem, I am severely embarrassed to workout in a public place. Anything from running on the street to going to the gym, I hate it. I have my own treadmill and weight set at home, but I can't hide forever so I was hoping maybe someone had conquered this fear. There are a couple reasons that I am so embarrassed by it

First reason - I sweat... Not the typical sweating, I drip from everywhere. I have hyperhidrosis so I sweat constantly, even when doing nothing and in the cold. So when I actually work out, I sweat so much that my entire outfit is drenched. Everywhere. Including my "area". My armpit sweat rolls down my arms, My back acts like a river. It is extremely gross and even hard to admit to everyone here.

Second reason - I can't continuously run yet, I love the treadmill but I can only keep up a running pace for 5min at a time. I am constantly changing the speed from a quick walk to a slow running pace. I am worried that everyone will stare at me and think I am not putting in enough of an effort or something. I know this sounds stupid, they are paying attention to what they are doing and probably don't even know I am alive but it still bothers the crap out of me!

I have occasionally ran in public when my treadmill was broken, but I ALWAYS go at night when most people are eating dinner and stick to the back roads. Has anyone else felt like this? Maybe someone can give me some tips to get over this. Thanks in advance!

10-01-2011, 07:42 PM
I've not been worried about running outside - but i'll reply anyway!

First Reason - sweating. My suggestion to this one is to look at getting some synthetic gym shorts/longs, eg the coolmax, or climacool gear etc, or compression shorts like Skins. Reason being that you can't tell visually if they're wet or not, and they're also easier to wear when wet - unlike cotton based stuff which looks bad and feels bad when it's wet! Same with tops.

Second Reason - someone else who's been in your shoes might be better qualified to answer that one, but i'd say why beat yourself up about it if you don't like it? There's nothing wrong with using the treadmill in your house if that's what you're doing and it's working for you. On the other hand, so what if you're walking a bit and running a bit? This is normal interval training anyway, and people do exactly that whatever level they're at.

Overall i think you're doing great in sticking to your exercise and the important thing is to keep doing it. You've already been out at night etc, so maybe one day you'll feel like giving it a go in daylight, but don't stress about it!!

10-01-2011, 07:42 PM
My mother used to say, "In your teens and twenty's you worry about what people think about you. In your thirty's and forty's you no longer care what they think about you. In your fifty's you realize they were never thinking about you at all.

10-01-2011, 08:09 PM
I agree with the second poster on what to get to wear. Also, bring a towel to the gym. (This is normal, so many people carry a towel around to wipe foreheads and backs while working out). Sweat bands can also come in handy. I wear one on my wrist to help with wiping sweat from my brow. I sweat a lot up there. I also turn bright red (Curse my Irish and Polish heritage). I look like a beet when I work out. Oh well right?

Honestly, every time you go to the gym, do you look over at the girl next to you and think "geeze... she can't run that fast..." or even think something like that? Most people don't judge the person next to them. Sometimes they might think "good for them" or "HOLLY **** HE RUNS LIKE A MONSTER!" but that's about it. The ones who do judge (few and far in between) will judge you anyway. Walking down the road, oh... she doesn't have a care, etc. These people are waste of space and their opinions are too haughty to be taken seriously.

A lot of people go to the gym and run in intervals as well. Many C25K runners I've noticed. A lot of people working their way up, and a lot of new starters. It's normal to run steady for a few then walk. The point is, you're trying.

I'm just like you though, I really do feel conscience when I go. But I go. I say "screw it, I need to be here." I sometimes bully myself into going and tell myself it's all just an excuse and the reward is too great to pass up because an hour might feel like I'm on display. It's worth it to just go. And hey, you never know... you can make a new friend while there.

10-02-2011, 05:36 PM
I used to be pretty self-conscious about working out too. I only just got a gym membership this summer. Part of the reasons were financial, but part were definitely that fear of exercising in public. Growing up as the fat kid, I had plenty of hang-ups about it! At a certain point, I just had to stop caring about other people and decide to push through those insecurities.

As far as the sweating, I'm a sweaty mess when I leave the gym... and at this point, I kind of love it! Especially when I'm in spin class, we're all literally dripping sweat into little puddles onto the floor and having to wipe off our faces, necks, shoulders, etc. after every song. You know who are among the sweatiest people at my gym? The instructors! And those people are serious badasses. In my book, if you're sweating, you're doing something right, so be proud of it! Find clothes that won't show the sweat (i.e. not cotton) and rock it!

As far as running, just do your thing. A lot of people (myself included) choose to run intervals for a quicker, more intense workout. I speed it up, I slow it down, I jump off and breath for 10 seconds. I never really stop to think about if other people notice, I just do my thing. They have no idea if I had planned to do that or if I just got tired and jumped off. Sometimes both happen and that's OK ;).

Forget the other people are even there and just do what you need to do. The majority of people are there with the same goal: to get fit and be healthier and really aren't there to judge. Will it feel weird at first? Maybe. But the more you go, the easier it will get. You are worth it and you belong there just as much as anyone else :)!

10-02-2011, 11:48 PM
I look like I've taken a shower in my clothes when I leave the gym. I used to be really self conscious about it, but now I'm proud of myself. When I take spin class, I bring 2 towels, so it's perfectly normal.

I was also really self conscious about my running. When I first started, I was only able to run for a minute at a time. I did C25K and I was so nervous that people would think I was weird...but it was FINE. Someone once even saw the app on my phone (it has the big ticker) and asked me about it once I got off of the treadmill.

I think everyone has a bit of embarrassment about the gym, but the important thing is that you're trying, whether you're at home, outside, or there. I hardly notice the other people around me when I'm working out, and I think that's how most people are. You get in your zone and don't really pay attention to what everyone else is doing.

10-03-2011, 12:50 AM
Hi there isis21-

Please read online about Jeff Galloway's run/walk training programs. There is not a single thing wrong with walk breaks while you're running. I am currently reading his first book and it is excellent. His thoughts are so simple and I never thought of it. I thought like you did, originally, that if I wasn't running the whole time that somehow I wasn't a real runner. If you go at running with the idea that you are going to be taking scheduled walk breaks, you won't feel like you aren't doing something right because that's what you set out to do. It works. So much of running is psychological and in what we tell ourselves.

Also, I have a quote on my refrigerator that says "As you believe, so will you do, think, feel and become."

The next time you go running or exercising think of yourself as a healthy, strong, vibrant, beautiful, happy woman. Don't allow the negativity to creep in for even a second. Just keep telling yourself that you are wonderful and strong. (Which you are!)

Good luck!

Missy Krissy
10-03-2011, 01:00 AM
I wouldn't stress about the workout sweat, at this point the sweatier I am the better! I kind of play a little game with myself - the more I sweat the more points I get (kind of weird, I know). I don't remember who it was, but in someone's signature on the forums here they've written: "Sweat is just the fat crying as it leaves the body"!