Gyms Intimidate Me

Dear Chris,

I’ve heard what you’ve said before about the importance of exercise and I find that the only way for me to stay motivated is to go to a gym. However, whenever I go into one, I cringe. It seems that everyone in there is trim, buff, and young. I am a retired woman living in the Toronto area and would like to find a gym where I feel comfortable. Do you have any suggestions?

Shy in Spandex, Scarborough

Dear Shy,

In the Toronto area, there are several women-only gyms as well as gyms that have women-only exercise classes, or women-only exercise rooms. You might feel more comfortable there. Alternatively, many churches, community centres, and seniors’ day centres hold regular group exercise classes. You may also want to hire a personal trainer to help get you motivated. I offer this service in client’s homes and also offer small group sessions.

Another possibility is to go with a friend. But you really don’t need to worry — I guarantee you that all of those buff young things you see at the gym are also shy about how they look.


Information on should not be used for diagnosis, nor should it be considered a replacement for consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have questions or concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider.

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