Fitness classes are a great way to get in shape
Fitness classes are awesome because they truly takes the guesswork out of working out.
Your instructor has the workout planned, the equipment is all there and the music and your classmates will help motivate you. But if you think that all you need to do is show up, think again. There are things that you can also do to get the most from your classes.
Don't pick the easiest option
In any group fitness class worth its salt, the instructor will offer a variety of levels and modifications to make it easier or more challenging. A lesson may, for example, start with knee push-ups with the option of progressing to full push-ups. If you are visiting the class for the first time, it's definitely OK to pick the lighter option. But once you have taken a few classes experiment with something more challenging and give it a strong effort.
Don't pick the most difficult option
Just like picking the easiest option, it's also a mistake to always pick the hardest option in every group fitness classes. Overdo it and you could end up feeling extremely sore or suffer an injury and be forced to take additional exercise days off. Pick a weight that is both challenging and manageable for the duration of the class.
Don't work out in the same spot every class
Try and get out of your comfort zone and work out in a different space. Letting go of “your” spot will also help decrease your stress level because you won't be worrying about someone stealing it. Changing your spot may actually place you in view of another person that may challenge you even more.
Don't leave before stretching
Life can be a blur and cause us to be in a hurry, but the best part of the workout is the stretch. As our bodies cool down at the end of a workout so do our muscles making stretching more challenging. Stretching post workout can help relieve any immediate tightness, cramping or discomfort you may have felt during class. So try and stay till the end as that is truly the best part.
Don't hide your injuries
You may not want to broadcast your injuries to the entire class but do make sure the instructor is aware of them so she can recommend the best course of action for you throughout the class.
Don't give in to a bad attitude
We all have bad days. However, it is surprising when people arrive at class sulking or pouting because they don't want to do the exercises of the day. I get that everyone doesn't want to do burpees every single time but, if you are having one of those days, perhaps a workout on your own would be better than coming to class and spoiling everyone else's buzz.
Enjoy your group fitness classes and B-Active For Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook