July 22, 2017

Considering an Exercise Class? By Jennifer Austin

Thinking of joining a class at the gym? Here are a few tips to get you started safely.

Know the class description. Most gyms offer a class schedule (either online or via hard copy) along with a brief description. Still unsure, ask a staff member for more information or do a little google search for more information. Walking into a class that you don’t know about is simply careless.

Be realistic in your fitness ability. Know your capability, what you want to accomplish and know your strengths and weaknesses in the exercise world. We don’t gain our goal fitness in a single workout or single day. If upon reading the class schedule, something interests you, but seems like a stretch in your fitness consider adding it to your three or six month fitness goal list.

Know the fitness that is required. In the schedule, you’ll find a degree of difficulty, beginner, intermediate or advanced. There is a reason for the listing!

Get proper guidance, instruction or set-up. If you’re joining a class that includes equipment or gear, make sure you know how to properly use the equipment. For example, if you’re trying a spin class for the first time, ask the instructor for a set-up. If you’re joining a boot camp class for the first time, ask the instructor for guidance how to perform the exercises.

Be prepared. Knowing what the class entails, also means showing up prepared. In most cases, being prepared means being hydrated prior to the class, having eaten prior to the exercise if that is what you usually do, wearing proper clothing (breathable, clothes you can move in), wearing proper footwear for the activity, bringing a water bottle, bringing a towel, turning your cell phone off during the class,

Pace yourself. Your goal during the first class is to be an active observer. Do the moves if they feel comfortable, but mostly observe to get an idea of the flow and intensity of the class.

Give it a few chances. If the first class doesn’t go as well as you expected, try again! If the second class doesn’t go as well as expected, but you find you do enjoy the style of workout, try a different instructor. Every instructor has a different teaching style, personality and instruction back-ground. It would be a shame to not pursue an interest, on account of not enjoying the instructor’s style.

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