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Feeling a little less than at home at the gym? Many people feel insecure and uncomfortable at the gym, especially in mixed company. Use these great tips to feel more confident and comfortable while you work out.

Imagine yourself walking into the gym with your head held high, eyes focused, and a sense of assurance and confidence. Pumping away on the machines, and comfortably making your way around the benches, weights and cables as naturally as ever. If this is what you want to feel and be when you hit your local gym, then read on!

5. Find a gym buddy

A great way to boost your confidence is to find a gym buddy. It should be a good friend, and someone who you feel comfortable with even if you feel silly. Even better, the friend can be as clueless as you feel at the gym, or be a jock who loves the gym. Use the buddy system to make yourself feel a little more comfortable and confident in the unfamiliar place.

6. Find a womens gym

For many women, working out around men is the most uncomfortable feeling. Nervousness about being judged or 'checked out' can be a serious turn off. In addition, the weight section of many co-ed gyms are usually filled with huffing, puffing, grunting sweaty guys, which can be intimidating to a woman- even if she knows what exercises to do. It may be your best bet to find a womens-only gym to feel at ease and comfortable at the gym.

7. Get to know the staff

Be friendly with the staff at your local gym; get to know their expertise, and network. You'll feel more at ease in an environment where you know the staff. You may even like them, and walking into the gym will become a much more positive experience when you know who's greeting you.

8. Get to know the clientele

Being friendly with the people around you can make going to the gym a much more positive experience. Just like getting to know the staff, knowing your fellow patrons makes working out more comfortable and pleasant.

9. Familiarize yourself with the machines

Before getting into your workouts, get to know the machines you'd like to use. Look for instructions and warnings posted on the apparatus to help you understand what its meant to work and what technique is required.

10. Get a personal trainer

If all else fails, you can always work with an expert. Be sure that your trainer is experienced and educated. Just because a trainer looks fit it doesn't mean that they'll know how hard to push you or the right exercises for you. For this reason, its a good idea to ask about credentials and the degree of experience.