You’ve found a fitness class you really like and want to stick with, but how can you ensure that you won’t flake out and fall off the fitness wagon again? As a fitness instructor, I’ve seen it over and over again. Someone falls in love with a class and starts regularly attending, but then something happens and their attendance becomes spotty. I’ve also seen many people fall in love with a class, start to attend and, in no time, that person is a permanent fixture in the class. One of my class members is a mother of four with a job and a very busy family life, BUT she rarely misses class. How does that happen? Why do some people have such trouble being consistent and others don’t? Here are a few things that can help you get the most out of your fitness class which, in turn, will help you be more consistent. These 5 tips can help you slay that class and move closer to your goals.
- Block Off That Time Each Week. For real. If the class you love is at 9:00 every Tuesday and Thursday morning, then don’t schedule your son’s dentist appointment during that time. Schedule all of your family’s appointments, activities, meetings, etc. around your class and don’t feel bad about it. Your friend wants to meet for coffee at 9:00? Ask her to meet after 10:00 instead or on a different day. Make it a nonnegotiable. It may take a little more effort, but it’s worth it.
- Make Friends. Don’t be a Lone Ranger class member. If you don’t know anyone in the class, introduce yourself and get to know the people around you. Fitness is so much more fun when you have friends in the trenches with you. Some of my greatest friendships have been made in my fitness classes. Also, when you know the people in class you have accountability. It’s much less tempting to skip out when you have people expecting you to be there.
- Talk After Class. So, you’ve made friends in the class, awesome! But don’t use class time to catch up on life. Focus during the class and chat before and after. If you socialize during your workout, you won’t be going as hard as you should be which affects your results. When you’re in class, you should be 100% focused and engaged in what you’re doing. Save social hour for after.
- Listen to the Instructor. It’s easy to zone out in class and let your mind wander. Instead, really listen to the cues the instructor is giving and make sure you’re doing what he or she says. The instructor’s cues are given to help you perform the exercises correctly and prevent injury, so pay attention to each one. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in workout effectiveness just by listening and putting the cues into practice. Also, instructors often give fitness and nutrition tips and tricks that you might miss if you’re off in La La Land.
- Fuel Your Body Before and After Your Class. Don’t go to your fitness class on an empty stomach. If you want to get the most out of your time in the gym, you need to make sure you’ve fueled properly before your workout. I can’t tell you how many times students have come to me after class telling me how they struggled and had no energy only to find out that they didn’t eat anything before class. Your body is like a car that needs fuel to run. If your tank is empty, you won’t be able to get very far. Eat something 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. A nice mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat (think Greek yogurt, fruit and nuts or whole grain toast and nut butter or a smoothie with fruit, almond milk and protein powder) is your best bet.
Group fitness is such a great way to get in shape. Implement these tips to rock your class and take your fitness to the next level.
All photos taken at the Waco Family YMCA. For membership information, click here.