You’ve got a gym contract and you do your best to make a habit of visiting the gym. But how do you deal with the young and toned pumping iron all around you? Some might see it as competition to keep up, others might just make a b-line for a quieter, empty area. Whatever your strategy, it’s important to do what’s right for your body and confidence. Keeping up with the kids might not be the best idea, but filling a space that is equally yours to fill is important too.

So, the big question – how can we avoid feeling old at the gym?

1. Confidence is key

If you’re going to the gym, maybe that’s already an achievement in itself and a testament to your commitment to physical wellbeing. Sure, there might be young girls around with no bingo wings and zero signs of sagging, but who cares. Have the confidence to put your health first, and try not to think about the other people there. 

2. Don’t try to show off your guns

Being competitive is great, but in a gym environment, it could potentially do more harm than good. We’re not saying don’t push yourself, we’re just saying make sure you’re not pushing your body past its limits. If you're not used to heavy weights or running too fast, you might pull something, and recovery can be a long, tedious process… talk about adding insult to injury.

3. Find a space that suits your workout

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a corner with loads of other people when you’re trying to focus on yourself. Yoga/ Pilates rooms are a great open space to do your Optimal workouts in peace. You’ll be focused on what you're doing rather than trying to keep to your mat.

4. Do what makes you feel good

Exercise is meant to get the happy juices flowing, not make you tense and self-conscious. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it. Obviously we’d recommend our Movement as Therapy workouts because they focus on all the functional elements of a healthy body, but you can definitely incorporate it into other movement forms that are easy on the joints and muscles. Make sure you love the exercise you choose to do and you’ll likely forget your age while you do it.

5. Skip the gym entirely

Choosing not to go to a gym is also fine, and probably more convenient for some. If you’re disciplined enough to workout at home, that’s fantastic! If you’re not, get a friend involved to get each other moving and accountable for staying fit. Why not try the park? Fresh air, ample space and a great place to get in touch with your body.