Plucking up the courage to go to a fitness class for the first time is not easy but doing the class doesn’t have to feel like hard work.
Here are my top dos and don’ts for helping you get the most out of a class so you can actually enjoy it!
- Talk to other people at the class – It can be daunting going to a class on your own. Make the effort to chat to other class members. If you make some friends you will look forward to socialising with them at the class – even more motivation to go!
- Listen to your body – It’s all about finding a pace that is right for you. You don’t want to overdo it but equally you need to challenge yourself. You need to know the difference between the feeling of exertion and the feeling of pain.
- Make it fun – Whatever you do make sure you enjoy it! When you think of the word workout, you naturally think of the work part which isn’t very appealing. Find a way to think of working out more positively. Pick a class you enjoy, go with a friend and set yourself a target.
- Consult your instructor – Want advice? Just ask! That’s what your instructor is there for! They want to help you get the best results possible. Share your goals and struggles with them and get help where needed.
- Laugh off mistakes and keep trying – Group exercise is all about copying and following the instructor. Remember, you’re not going to be as good as the instructor after just one or two classes! Nobody gets it right the first time so don’t psyche yourself out and give up.
- Try to keep up with the person next to you – This may leave you either pushing yourself too much or not enough for your current fitness level. Everybody in a general class will be of different abilities.
- Go through the motions – As you progress and get used to a workout make sure you adjust your effort levels accordingly and up the difficulty. Don’t let yourself plateau.
- Hide away – There is usually a mad dash to get to the back of the class but make sure you can see the instructor and have enough space so you can perform the moves properly and safely. Nobody is looking at you; other class members are too busy concentrating on themselves!
- Swelter out of self-consciousness – You should always wear something you feel comfortable in but you might regret that big jumper you’ve put on to cover up your ‘lumps and bumps’ when you start warming up. Wear something that will also keep you cool and you can move easily in.
- Don’t forget to re-hydrate – This goes for during and after. Don’t skimp on water breaks during a class for fear of looking like you’re struggling! Water is essential for a good workout performance. If you get dehydrated fatigue will soon kick in.