3 Tips for Anxious People New to Outdoor Group Exercise

With the weather improving in much of the U.S. many Americans will find themselves wanting to get outside and be more active. During Spring and Summer it is easy to find fun events like 5K runs, group biking, or outdoor sports leagues. This can definitely be a great way to get active and meet new people. The problem is it can be difficult getting yourself to participate in these events when not having participated in one before. Some people may struggle with interacting with people they may not know or may be self-conscious they will look foolish if they try something new in front of others. Let’s go over a few ways to get over these barriers.


Bring A Friend

Going to an event alone can be somewhat nerve wracking when you may not know anyone else there. A great way to ease this stress is to bring a friend or family member along with you. There very well could be someone close to you that wants to get more active who would be willing to go with you. Let others know your interest in going to an outdoor event and ask them if they would be interested in coming with you. This also allows you to have accountability with your friend. Building accountability with others helps both of you to follow through with actually going to the events and to push each other to do your best.


Be Humble

If you have to go it alone make sure to keep an attitude of humility at these events. You may not know what to expect the first time at a 5K run, maybe you will not be able to run the entire time, which is OK. It is not necessary to do everything perfectly. Often we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves and fear the worst will happen. No one is going to stop and laugh at you. If you meet other people at the event, let them know you have never done this before and this is a brand new experience for you. Often others will help you and give you advice. Take it as a learning experience, be humble, and enjoy yourself.


Just Do It

Overthinking any situation can be detrimental to your success. There will be reasons you tell yourself why you should not go and justify it in your mind. You might feel you are not ready to be physically active around other people or you do have the best equipment, so why bother going. The key is to just get out there and do it. Make sure you understand what you are signing up for and be generally prepared, but do not make it any bigger than that. I understand how it feels to try new activities and feeling nervous about how others may judge or what they might think about me. We often make things much worse in our minds than they are in reality. So just get out there, sign up for that 5K or team sport, and give it a try.


Whatever the outdoor events that you are interested in, get out there and try it. You may find something that you want to continue long term or may encounter a new workout friend. There is a lot to benefit from and little to lose.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant


Nutrition & Exercise Myths

It can be easy to confuse what exactly are the best foods to eat or exercises to do. There is an abundance of information available online that can both aid and impede the ability to understand the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Different sources you find may even contradict each other. Let’s set the record straight on some common misconceptions and myths in the nutrition and exercise world.


Eggs are Very Bad for Your Cholesterol

The yolk of an egg is high in cholesterol, and that is where the confusion begins. For this reason, eggs were thought of as a food that should be absolutely avoided to have good cholesterol. Later it was found that cholesterol in food does not impact your own cholesterol as much as it was once thought. It is easy to see how this myth was perpetuated for so long. The main dietary culprit of poor cholesterol levels is saturated fats which cause your body to produce more cholesterol. Feel free to have an egg or two in the morning without the worry of damaging your health.


No Pain, No Gain

When exercising, whether it be cardio or strength exercise, it is not uncommon to feel soreness in your muscles after working out. This is especially true of individuals new to exercise. Pain should never be a part of the equation. Pain in your joints during or after exercise is a sign that your form is incorrect or you are trying to lift too heavy of weight. This can cause both short term and long term injuries if not corrected. If you experience these types of pain, try to decrease the intensity of your workout and focus on having the best form possible. Avoid the pain, get the gains.


Sports Drinks are the Best Drink During/After Exercise

Watching commercials and reading ads online would lead you to believe that sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade would be the absolute best drink to have while in the middle of physical activity. In reality, these drinks are more or less glorified Kool-Aid. These drinks do contain the three electrolytes, Potassium, Magnesium, and Sodium, which are depleted in the body through exertion and sweat. Advertising can make it seem that electrolytes need to be replenished much more often than they actually do. The best source of hydration, of course, is water and it has none of the sugar.


There is a lot of confusion for multiple different reasons when it comes to a wide variety of health topics. The main goal of my blogs is to give my readers a better sense of what they can do to live a healthy lifestyle. With so much information available, especially online, try to take the advice of respected, experienced, and reputable professionals. This way, you will be able to understand and control your own health.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant