“I’m really nervous”
“I don’t know what to wear”
“I don’t know what to expect”
“I’m feel a bit embarrassed”
“What if they don’t like me?”
“You know what… I think I might cancel”
These are things I’ve heard people say before starting a new exercise class. But if you didn’t know better you might think these comments are about internet dating. And both scenarios have a lot in common. Standing there, with people you don’t know, in your exercise gear… I completely understand how that can make you feel vulnerable. But like internet dating, group fitness classes can have some wonderful outcomes. Who knows, you might even fall in love!
If you feel nervous about starting a group fitness program then read on… here are 3 group fitness secrets to help you feel confident before you step into the studio.
What to wear? What to bring?
This is a big question both before a group fitness class and before a big date. So just wear what makes you comfortable. Wear stretch fabrics that breathe well. And also wear layers so you start warm and you can take something off if you get hot. I also recommend pulling your hair off your face if you long hair as it will just get in the way. If you are attending yoga, wear clothes that are fairly form fitting so that your t-shirt doesn’t fly over your head when you are in downward dog. And if you can, bring your own mat. If you are exercising outdoors think about whether you need sunscreen and/or bug spray. And no matter what exercise you are doing, always bring water.
What to expect when you get there
If this is your first class, come a little bit early as there may be paperwork for you to fill out. The teacher will show you where to be for the start of the class. Feel free to introduce yourself although your teacher may do that too. You will usually have a warm up, then the main exercise part of the class and then a cool down. The teacher will demonstrate the exercises as often as you need to so that you can do them with good form. And don’t be shy to ask if you didn’t understand something. Your teacher will also keep an eye on all the students during the class to make sure that everyone is doing the exercises correctly. In most classes you will be given time to have a break but if you feel like you need to rest there is nothing wrong with taking a moment. Just know it is better to rest than to push through as you may cause yourself an injury.
What everyone else is thinking?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could read minds? Well, here are some little insights into what is on the minds of other people in the room…
The teacher is very excited to have you there. She wants to make sure you have a good experience. I tend to ask my students if everything is ok throughout the class because I try to foster a nurturing and gentle environment.
The other students are pumped! They remember what it’s like to start a new class. Most people who join a group fitness class do so because they enjoy the group environment. They enjoy being around other people and they like to encourage and be encouraged. Know that the only judgement they are making about you is “how awesome is this chick for rocking up today!”
So, group fitness (like a really good first date) can really change your life! You will get fitter & stronger, you’ll meet new like-minded people who also care about their health… and you just might fall in love!
What’s your best/worst internet dating story? If you tell me one in the comments, I’ll tell you one in return.
If you would like to learn more about living a healthy life (and maybe try some exercise at home before you head out to a class) then subscribe to my free 3-part video series. You will receive an 8 minute full-body toning workout in your inbox within minutes!