There are many reasons to join a gym class: to get fit, have fun, maintain a healthy lifestyle. But if your fitness goals begin and end with the weight room, then you may be surprised by what kettle bells, boxing, or even yoga can do for you. The key is to set realistic expectations for your first class and give yourself plenty of time to adjust.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of fitness classes, especially your first one, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to prepare and make the most of your first (and every) experience with group exercise.
Give yourself permission to be imperfect.
If you have been waiting to start exercising but have procrastinated or are just a bit nervous about jumping in, you’re not alone. You may be a little bit anxious or even worried that the workout will be too hard for you. Just remember it’s only your first class! You are allowed to learn and make mistakes without feeling like a failure. If at first you do not succeed, try again!
Try out a few different classes on different days.
Explore multiple gym class ideas. This way, you can find out which classes work best for your schedule, budget, level of motivation, and personality. It also helps prevent injury from overuse of one particular muscle group or tendon by alternating between activities throughout the week. For example, if you do cardio on Monday and weight training on Tuesday, try yoga on Wednesday and Pilates on Thursday so that each muscle group gets a break during the week.
Don’t worry about what other people are doing in class
Focus on what works for YOUR body! If you have any injuries or limitations that might affect how well you perform certain exercises (or prevent them altogether), let your instructor know before class starts so they can help adjust the exercises to ensure its safe for everyone in the class.
Bring a friend
Having a buddy there to hold your hand and give you a boost will make all the difference in helping you feel comfortable in the class. If you’ve been wondering how to exercise regularly, this will solve just that. Each of you have a hype buddy to keep you going.
Do some research before going in—and then ask questions!
The instructor should be able to answer any questions about how the class will work, how long it will last, what kind of equipment is needed… anything else that might be on your mind before getting started!
Don’t be afraid of looking silly
When it comes to trying new things, there’s nothing worse than being embarrassed about making mistakes or struggling with something that seems difficult at first (just ask any baby learning how to walk). Just keep moving forward, no matter what happens!