There's a reason why many people avoid the gym, or never make it past the 2-week mark before calling it quits. It's a common phenomenon known as 'gymtimidation', and it's also one of the biggest obstacles that can prevent you from achieving your fitness goals. Below are some tips that will help you face your fears of hitting the gym:

Go during non-peak hours

Most people tend to workout during lunch and after office hours. Try coming in earlier or later to avoid the masses. You'll also get to enjoy all the equipment without having to share with anyone else.

Bring a playlist

It's hard to finish your reps and routine if you're constantly being distracted by other people. Just plug in those ear buds and set it on LOUD to block them out.

Wear proper gym clothes

You don't have to spend a quarter of your paycheck on branded stuff. It's just easier to blend in with the crowd when you're not showing up in your pyjamas to run on the thread-mill.

Stay focused on your goals

Stick to the objective if your goal is to lift weights and work up a sweat. We're not saying you should avoid making eye contact with anyone around you, but chances are...

No one is really looking at you, so don't be so self-conscious

And even if they were, why should you care what they think? It's not like they're paying for you to be there. You can even use them as motivation to improve yourself by working out harder and longer.

And most importantly...have fun

What most newbies don't realize is that the regulars have also, at some point, experienced these same fears. The only thing that differentiates them from those who quit early is that they didn't give in to gymtimidation. And once it becomes a fun habit, chances are you'll complete forget why you were ever intimidated in the first place. Good luck!