Whether it is because they don’t feel comfortable using the equipment or they hate being ogled or they just flat out get bored, many people complain that they hate going to the gym. Fitness classes, however, can be a great way to get in shape while having fun. Personally, that was how I fell in love with exercise.
When I was a freshman in college, I started taking aerobics classes. Mind you, this was back in the day that the Reebok Step was the newest and most popular piece of equipment. I really LOVED this one instructor who kicked my butt, yet had me coming back for more. I loved her class and her style so much that she gave me the “I want to teach, too, bug.” Suffice it to say, this woman and her classes kept me interested in exercise for years to come. As a result, I want to impart some of my wisdom on finding an exercise class that will make you love exercising!:
- The Instructor: The instructor is a crucial element to a good exercise class. Without them, you could be lost. However, not any or every instructor is worth blocking off an hour in your day. Do your research. Ask around your gym or the facility to find out which instructors people enjoy. Find out when they teach and try their class. If you don’t like them, move on and find another instructor to try. Your instructor is there to motivate you and to teach you what you need to know to be safe and effective during your workout.
- The Class Type: If you don’t like riding a bike, then chances are you are not going to enjoy a Spin class. If you don’t like swimming, you very well may not like water aerobics. Find a class that is inherently something you enjoy. If you like to dance, seek out those classes that are centered around dance. If you enjoy using the latest exercise gadgets, look for those classes that utilize equipment (such as rebounding or BodyPump). The key to enjoying exercise is enjoying the activity you are doing. Don’t force yourself to take a class just because other people like it or you hear it is the latest rage. If you don’t like something or if you aren’t having fun, move on and try a different type of class until you find the ones you like most.
- Schedule: You are a busy person with very little time to squeeze in exercise. Look for classes that are convenient. If they aren’t convenient or if they fall at a time that is difficult to schedule in, you most likely won’t go or you’ll be too distracted to put in the effort. If, however, you feel that there is no good time to exercise, stop making excuses and start prioritizing yourself and your health. Once you build in the time to exercise, you’ll start wanting to build the time in more.
- Results: If you don’t feel like you got a good workout during a class, you may need to evaluate whether or not it is worth your time. Different exercise classes have different purposes: Some are geared towards an aerobic workout (hi-lo impactg aerobics or step), others towards balance and flexibility (yoga) and others to strength training (Body Pump). Be mindful of class descriptions and what they promise. If you don’t think the class delivered on the promise, it may be the instructor or it may be you. If the instructor isn’t motivating you or pushing you to work hard, you may need to look for a different instructor. If, however, you aren’t putting in a real effort, you may want to boost your intensity or find another instructor who may motivate you differently.
Enjoy what you do to stay active. That is what will keep you wanting to do more of it! What factors do you consider when you are looking for an exercise class?