Purchasing a gym membership is a huge step for some people just starting to get back in shape or committing to a healthier lifestyle for the first time. Gyms can be very intimidating, let alone the thought of trying a group fitness class. Fitness classes are not scary, seriously! Yes the spandex, loud music, other students and new moves can make anyone a little nervous when trying something new for the first time, but you can do it and scorch calories while having a whole lot of fun.
Everyone was a Newbie Once
Remember, every person that you see in that class was not born taking classes and had their first class at some point. If you can, try to bring a friend to class with you and try the class together. The first thing you want to do when taking a new class is talk with the instructor before class starts. Many new people feel embarrassed telling the instructor that they are new, but this is very important for many different reasons. Safety is every instructor’s number one goal for their students. In spinning classes and other classes that have specific equipment it is important to have an instructor help you get set-up properly. This will ensure that your body is in the proper position to be successful in the movements that will take place in class and avoid injury. Also, if an instructor knows that you are new, you will get more specialized attention which is almost like having a personal trainer without the extra cost! They want you to be successful and continue coming to class. Fitness classes are a great place to learn new moves and proper form so you are able to replicate these moves outside of class as well. Instructors are also a great resource for questions that you have about fitness or moves in the class that you just completed. Good instructors will always stay after class to talk to students and answer questions. Also, be sure to look for Fit Journey’s new video series coming in the next month called “Fundamentals” which will go through what to expect when walking into new fitness classes and gyms.
Why to Ditch the Elliptical a Couple Times a Week
Working out on your own is not a bad thing, but there are so many benefits you can receive from taking a group fitness class. Many times when performing cardio on our own we only do endurance, the same pace and resistance for a longer time. In classes you will experience more interval training. Interval training challenges your body through short bouts of increased work with recovery. You will burn more calories while having a lot of fun. Depending on the class, you can burn between 400-600 calories during a one hour class. Throwing in a couple classes per week into your cardio routine will also help you avoid the dreaded plateau. Keep your workout fresh in order to keep shedding pounds and to avoid boredom. Also it has been proven that taking regular fitness classes actually increases gym retention and you are more likely to stick with the gym if you find a class that you really like. It becomes a lifestyle, not just work. Many people in classes are just like you because they want to get in shape and have fun.
Spandex, is Not a Dirty Word
Spandex can feel sometimes like a bad word, because it shows every bump and curve. Instructors wear it because they want to show off their body, but in a different way than you are thinking. The instructor’s job is to show proper body alignment and form throughout class so students are able to mimic their form. If they were wearing baggy clothes it would be very hard to distinguish if your form was the same as theirs while performing different exercises. Think safety when you see spandex in your next fitness class. Some students will wear spandex as well, but don’t let that intimidate you. The important thing is that you feel comfortable. If that means you are wearing a baggy t-shirt and sweatpants, that is fine, you are at the gym and putting the time into a new healthier you.
Remember Fitness is Fun
The time you spend at the gym is for you. Gyms offer many types of classes so make sure to try all the ones that sound interesting to you and it is important to go at your own pace and listen to your body. Finding an instructor that you connect with can also help keep you motivated and on track. Most importantly, fitness is fun. Your goal is to find a class that makes you smile, sweat and work hard. Let your journey begin.
Author: Katie Bridger