fitness freedom follow-up: 6 tips for trying new movement

solo to group fitness

In the past I was a solo gym goer (read my fit chick story here). When I left the gym setting over 6 months ago I was forced to embrace at home workouts. I found my groove and routine, but it became an effort to do it and to push myself. At home so many other things tempted me, like cleaning, cooking, the couch - you know what I mean.

I knew I needed something different. I researched every boutique fitness studio in the area from cycling, to yoga, to barre, to bootcamp type gyms, but something held me back from actually trying it out.

I was nervous and intimidated.

from fear to action

As someone who was so comfortable in the weight room, I was intimidated by a lower impact fitness class in a room full of what was likely to be mostly females. It was an embarrassing realization for me. Once I recognized that my avoidance came from fear, and not disinterest I knew I had to do it.

I have tried seven different studios in the last 6 months. Once I got comfortable with the discomfort of being a newbie, it was no big deal. My fear was unwarranted. Everyone was there for the same reasons: to get a burn, to get centered, to destress, to feel strong and confident - NOT to judge the new girl.

listen to your body

When it comes to finding the right type of exercise for you, be patient with yourself and realize you will change over time, and that is okay. What serves your body now may not serve your body forever. What is most important is that you enjoy the activity you choose because that is what keeps you going. No judgement or guilt should come from the type of exercise you choose to do - or not do! You can read more about finding your fitness freedom here

six tips for trying new movement

I know now that people are intimidated by all sorts of exercise every single day. From body insecurity, to self-consciousness, to crowds, to never being quite certain if you’re doing something ‘right’ - all fitness settings are intimidating in some way.

If you have been curious about a new fitness setting, feeling intimidated by the gym, or nervous to try that studio near you- then today's post is for you! Below are six tips for trying new exercise settings that will help ease your apprehension and help you find your 'thing.' I promise, it is worth it.

  1. Contact. Contact (phone or email works) the studio or gym you want to check out ahead of time (especially if you’re anxious, like me). Let them know you want to try out  their space. If it is a boutique studio setting, ask about the best beginners classes and what you need to bring (socks, mat, towel, etc). If it is a gym setting, ask about the best time to go in and when someone will be there to show you around. The staff is there to help you - it is their job!

  2. Take advantage of deals. Take advanage of new member packges, trials, and freebies. Most gyms and studios offer a free first class, day, or week. Explore these offers in a variety of settings. The more opportunities you give yourself to check out something new, the greater chance you will find your place, and know it is the right match!

  3. Arrive early. Trying out a group fitness class? Arrive early. Give yourself time to get checked in and oriented to the space. Claim your ideal space in the room (the back can be good so you can observe the form of more experienced attendees). Make small talk with the person next to you. It can be a great way to get insight into the instructors, and typical flow of the classes. Or, skip the fitness talk and just get to know them. Having a friendly face makes you feel much more comfortable and you might make a new friend in your area!

  4. Take the pressure off! Putting money into the equation can be motivating, or stressful. A year long gym membership or unlimited monthly class pass can add pressure to get your money's worth. Be sure to find out all of your options for using a space before signing up. At boutique studios I like to purchase a package of several classes that I can use at my leisure. This leaves me days to go for a walk, exercise at home, or just take a rest day, without feeling like I must go to class to avoid wasting money. Remember, when exercise is forced, it is not enjoyable. Looking to join a gym? If you have never successfully stuck with the gym for a year - don't sign up for a year membership. It can quickly go from motivating, to overwhelming. Signing up for a shorter time is similar to setting your small goals! Re-evaluate and get re-movitated each time the renewal approaches. 

  5. Look good, feel good. Wear your favorite workout gear. Invest is some workout gear that makes you feel awesome. I promise, a proper fitting tank is way more inspiring than a ratty old T-shirt from high school. Workout gear doesn't need to be expensive to look nice. While I appreciate investing in pricier items from time to time, most of my fitness wardrobe consists of bargains from Target's C9 for Champion line, Old Navy, TJMaxx/ Marshalls, and Victorias Secret.

  6. Conquer your fear. If it feels scary - all the more reason to do it. Remember, this year we are seriously breaking through the fear. Suprise yourself, do something you never thought you would or could! It is empowering! And, of course - let me know about it!

Once you find a fitness routine you enjoy you will crave it!

Live in Baltimore? My favorite studios right now are: INLINE Fitness, M.Power, LIFT

In 2018 I will be working towards my personal training certification. I hope to bring non-judgmental and accessible fitness to more people. Want to hear more fitness talk, home workout ideas, equipment essentials, etc? Let me know!