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It’s Halloween time so I thought I would talk about one particularly scary situation. We’ve all experienced the trepidation of starting a new exercise class. And many of us have experienced the gut roiling horror of finding ourselves locked into the exercise class from hell for 30 minutes, 60 minutes or an eternity depending on the severity of our crimes in some former lives. Finding yourself “stuck” in a miserable, embarrassing or even dangerous exercise class can turn you away from exercise for a long, long time so I thought I’d share some tips for helping you to avoid this situation.
1. Trust your instincts. If your walk into a class feels like a jaunt into Dracula’s castle, listen to your gut. I give you absolute permission to walk into a class and turn right around and walk back out. If you walk into the classroom and some harpy screams at you for taking her “spot” and the students are speaking in hushed tones about last week’s fatalities, and the teacher is sniffing you to decide whether or not to suck your blood, then for heaven’s sake, get OUT OF THERE!
2. Ask to observe the class first. This little tip can save you so much heartache. How many times have we gotten ourselves into the middle of a class that just isn’t right for us, but felt to embarrassed to leave the workout floor and walk out in front of everybody? So we keep on slogging through the exercise class from hell that seems to last just fifteen minutes from forever? Don’t do it! If you ask to watch first, you’re making it clear to the instructor that you’re not sure that it is right for you. If it looks super easy and fun, then join in! If it like a nightmare from hell, just walk out. It’s that easy! Honestly!
3. You don’t have to do everything the teacher says. You should always free to modify moves or not do them at all. If something hurts, don’t do it! You can simply march in place or even sit down until you feel ready to join in again.
4. Talk to the teacher first. If you share your concerns with a teacher ahead of time,they can often steer you in the right direction. They might advise you about the best way to cope with their class, or they may steer you towards a different class altogether. In any case, communication is key.
5. Keep your sense of humor. Even exercise class disasters can be funny if you keep your sense of humor about the whole thing. As long as you don’t allow yourself to get injured, you’ll simply have a great story to tell or at least something to blog about!
See a new exercise class doesn’t have to be so scary. Just try these tips and have a ball!
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
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