Our favorite fitness-lover shares her go-to winter workouts.
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We’ve all been there—trying a fitness class (or studio) for the first time feeling nervous, anxious, and intimidated—not knowing what to expect. Did I bring enough water? What weights do I grab? Why can’t I find a seat in the back of class? Am I the most out of shape here?
Getting out of your comfort zone and starting a new type of workout can be a daunting task, especially during your first class. Like starting a new job, getting to know your surroundings and accepting that things *might* get awkward is just the start.
Whether you’ve never done burpees before and are dying on your mat in the middle of class or your Warrior Pose looks a little weak, here are ten things to do (and remind yourself of) when trying a workout for the first time.
Guess what? You booked the fitness class, and you showed up. Give yourself a high-five! It takes courage to try a new workout, especially if it’s something that’s outside your normal routine. Be proud that you made it and start class on a positive note. Also, try picking a spot in the middle or front of class so you can make the most of your experience.
There’s something about starting a new class with a friend that helps to calm the nerves. You’re in it together, right? Leveraging your support system can help you overcome that “OMG what if I fail” fear that can come with trying a different type of fitness. Plus, after class, you can trade war stories and laugh about that super-hard squat sequence or how silly you looked in Downward Dog.
Nothing heightens your stress level pre-workout like showing up to a new studio with just seconds to spare— and there’s no parking. Make an effort to arrive early to the studio to get better acquainted with the location, staff, and classroom. This also gives you the chance to ask questions and get set up, like finding the right position (and gears) on the cycling bike.
One of the bonuses of arriving early to class is that it allows you to talk to the instructor and let them know of any injuries you may have. A good instructor will always have a modification up their sleeve—like swapping lunges for squats. While your workout should be challenging, you shouldn’t be in pain and instructors want you to make the most of the sweat session. What if you’re in the middle of class and need help? Don’t be afraid to raise your hand!
Put yourself in a positive mindset when you walk into class by setting an intention or selecting a mantra to help guide your workout. It could be anything from making sure you complete one full sequence in class to leaving the days negativity at the door. You’ve made it to this new class, so why not enlighten your workout with something that makes you smile and feel stronger? Remember, this is your time to make the most of every sweat-dripping heartbeat.
If fitness were easy, we’d all be running around with the “perfect” body. Guess what? That’s not reality. No matter what you want to achieve—leaner lower body, better heart rate, a little *extra* self-love—you have to work for it. Whether it’s tucking at the barre or clearing your mind of negative thoughts on the yoga mat, every fitness class you try should challenge you. Your muscles are going to tremble, and you’ll sweat bullets. It’s supposed to be hard.
Real talk: We’ve all looked at someone else in class or at the gym. Maybe to check out their yoga pants, see how much weight they just picked up or how seamless their yoga flow is. When stepping into a new type of fitness, avoid comparing yourself to the other people in the room. Everyone starts somewhere. No matter where you’re at in your wellness journey, don’t worry about what everyone else looks like or how much faster (or slower) they complete their reps because you are doing your best.
When you’re burning out those muscles and getting tired in class, your form can get sloppy—and you can start to feel defeated. Instead of giving up and staring blankly into the mirror, focus on the voice of your instructor, the sound of the playlist, and reset yourself. Take a deep breath and a quick water break. Your body knows what it needs. Pausing in class to get your bearings doesn’t mean you’re giving up, it just shows you’re listening to your body and taking the time to do it right.
Ever wake up the day (or several days) after you’ve tried a new workout and you can barely bend down to pick up your shoes? It’s no surprise that soreness is a side effect of working harder. Be prepared for soreness after your new class. Instead of viewing it as a painful punishment, look at your aching muscles as an accomplishment! You completed that class, and you’re getting stronger.
As you second guess your class choice while barely catching your breath (and dreaming of a cold shower), remember you booked this class for you, no one else. Maybe you love it, or you never want to come back. No matter how you feel after class, you tried out a new type of fitness and that’s what’s important. Here’s to sweatin’ out of your comfort zone!
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.