Overcoming Your Group Exercise Fears
Have you ever seen a group exercise class taking place, or even an ad or commercial for one? Did you want to join in but were worried that you wouldn’t know what to do or be able to follow along? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a Zumba class or watched from a distance at your local gym while a step or Pilates class was taking place. While it looks like fun, and you are nearly certain that you would enjoy it, you’ve just never gotten up the gumption to step inside. Does this sound about right? If you reflect back on these moments, what’s really holding you back?
For many people, it’s the worry that they will be judged or that it will be too hard for where they are in their current fitness and health journey. If this is the case, fear no more! Here are some tips to help you get over the hump and finally go to that class you’ve always wanted to try.
Know the facts
- Ahh, the power of the internet! If you are worried about what to expect, try youtubing the particular class you are wanting to take. This way you can watch the movements and flow to feel better prepared and even follow along at home until you feel comfortable enough to go.
- If the class is at a gym, look up the schedule on the website. Often the classes will list a description of what the class aims to do, how long it is and the level of intensity.
- Ask to sit in! If you aren’t ready to dive right in, but you want a close up view of what to expect, ask the instructor before the class starts if you could observe from the back or side of the room.
- Call the gym or studio and ask when the busiest times are and when the classes are typically smaller. This way, you can maybe try out a small class during an off time and avoid feeling like you have too many eyes on you.
Often, there is a “morning crowd” for 6 or 6:30 classes and then a big surge for after-work folks at the 5:30 or 6 pm classes.
Try asking yourself the questions below and write down your answers to post on your fridge, phone, or desk to stay motivated:
- Why do I want to take this class?
- What am I hoping to get out of it?
- How will this help me to reach my current health and fitness goals?
- What strengths can I pull from to motivate myself to attend the first class?
If you think that talking through these questions out loud would be helpful, consider a session with one of our awesome health advisors right here at Wellview! To schedule an appointment, you can email our concierge at email@example.com .
- Ask a friend or family member to try the class with you.
- Talk to the instructor! Remember, he or she is there to help you in your health and fitness journey and will likely be your biggest supporter. Let them know what your concerns or hesitations are and any movements that bother you or that you are worried about. They should be able to provide modifications to any movement and will show a demonstration in class.
Don’t worry though! They won’t call you out about it! They will likely say something like “if this movement bothers anyone’s knees or hips, here is a variation that you can try”.
- Remember, everyone is there for the same reason: to better themselves. You might be surprised to find how supportive and encouraging the atmosphere is. Plus, you may just make some great new friends along the way!
I hope these tips have been helpful to you and inspired you to take that first step to trying a new, energizing, and fun form of exercise!
– LAUREN ORMSBEE, MS, CEP, CHC