It can be intimidating joining a gym for the first time or going back after a long hiatus. But getting past the initial fear of joining, and then getting comfortable the first few times you go will ensure your long term success. There is no point in joining and letting your membership go unused! Here are a few tips for getting comfortable at a new gym:
When you join the gym, take a tour! You'll feel more comfortable knowing where all the bathrooms, weight room, group fitness rooms, etc. are located.
Most gyms offer a more specific intro session with a trainer to show you where all of the equipment is located and what it all does-take advantage of this!
Go to group classes. If you aren't sure where to start or don't want to hit the weights just yet, try out different classes. I have a whole post here about why I think group fitness is great, but essentially you'll get a great workout, stay busy for 45 min to an hour, and you won't have to come up with your own workout for the day. Win-win-win.
If you are ready to hit the weight room but feel intimidated-- go during less busy hours the first few times so you get comfortable and can locate everything without a bunch of people in the way. This time of year might be hard to find an empty gym at any time of the day, but usually early-mid afternoon or late night is great, or weekend evenings. I highly recommend the app Jefit which shows little animated picture of each exercise as well, so you can correct your form. I also recommend this as an intro program- it's free!
Even better than starting on your own would be to hire a trainer for a few sessions. This will ensure your form is correct and teach you the basics.
Don't give up! Everyone started as a beginner! Everyone at the gym is focused on their own workout, so go in there and get it done! You deserve to feel great.