Starting an exercise routine as a beginner can sometimes be a confusing and slightly intimadting process. But group exercise can be a great way to beat this and to stay active and healthy, as well as being a fun and social way to meet new people. So if you're new to group exercise, here's a comprehensive guide to help you get started:
RESEARCH and TRY different types of group exercise classes: There are many different types of group exercise classes available, such as strength training session, yoga, spin, circuit sessions and more. Research the different options, speak to instructors about your experience and goals and find one that interests you and fits your fitness level. Once you have a little more information go and try out the different sessions with an open mind. At Witness The Fitness Training Studios we have a varied timetable which is great for a variety of fitness levels and abilities.
FIND A CLASS NEAR YOU: Look for group exercise classes in your area by searching online or asking friends and family. Having a the gym near by will limit barriers to you attending regularly.
PREPARE for your first class: Wear comfortable workout clothes and bring a water bottle. Some classes may also require special equipment, such as a yoga mat or cycling shoes, so be sure to check in advance. The type of beginner we love at the studio, usually say 'I've got all the gear and no idea'. Having all the gear significantly improves the likelyhood for success and looking and feeling 'the part' is an important factor.
ARRIVE EARLY: Plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the class starts so you can meet the instructor and get set up. Different sessions can require different set up of equipment. Speak to the instructor and they will help you set up. In most cases in a friendly and positive fitness community, you may find a member or a regular to the class will often see you and help you set up. Making new fitness friends already!
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTORS CUES: The instructor will guide you through the class, so pay attention to their cues and instructions. If you're not sure how to do a particular exercise, don't be afraid to ask for help. Good movement and posture when exercise is always more important than intensity.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: Group exercise classes can be intense, so it's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard when you first start out. If you need to take a break or modify an exercise, that's okay. Grab a drink, re compose yourself and then go again.
HAVE FUN: Remember that group exercise is meant to be fun and enjoyable. Don't take it too seriously and don't compare yourself to others.
BE CONSISTENT: The most important thing is to be consistent and stick with it. Attend classes regularly and try to find a class schedule that works for you. At the studio we help support beginners to structure their week, so it helps when be consistent and have enough rest bewteen sessions to allow their bodies to adjust.
COMMUNICATE with the instructor: If you have any injuries, illnesses or special needs, make sure to communicate with the instructor before the class. Most of the time small modifications and adjustments are all that is needed.
STAY MOTIVATED: Usually the first 6 weeks of starting an exercise programme is great. I call this the 'honeymoon period'. But you face some challenges or get discouraged along the way. Understanding that this is completely normal but it'simportant try to stay motivated and remind yourself of your goals to keep you going.
As a beginner, group exercise can be a great way to improve your fitness, meet new people and have fun. Whilst initally you may feel apprehensive, by following these tips, you'll be well on your way to a successful group exercise experience and becoming fitter and healthier.
At Witness The Fitness we help beginners find their feet with group exercise as part of our Back To Fitness programme, get in touch today to start your fitness journey.