How to prepare for your first group fitness class
by Glenneth Reed, TDF Blogger
Starting to exercise can be scary. Starting to exercise with a group can sometimes be even scarier. But group fitness classes can be a fabulous form of exercise and a great way to form friendships with like minded people. So, how do you get started?
What to bring to your first class?
- Money to pay for the class. If you are a gym member, the class is probably included in your membership. If you are going to a studio, check out pricing before you go.
- A water bottle. You need to be hydrated before you go and you need to stay hydrated during class.
- A towel. SWEAT! Unless you are doing restorative yoga, you will probably be sweating. Bring a towel (unless you know for sure the location furnishes them for you).
- Misc items. Some places may have you bring your own equipment. They should say this up front. Typically it might just be a yoga mat and a pair of dumbbells.
- A great attitude! Walk in with a smile and be prepared to have fun!
What to do when you walk in to class:
- Introduce yourself to the instructor. Hopefully it will be obvious who they are. Tell them your name and that you are new. Tell them any injuries or restraints you might be dealing with.
- Find a spot. While typically you might head straight to the back, realize it might be hard to see the instructor. I tend to go middle side myself.
- Look for someone else standing by themselves. Introduce yourself. Tell them you are new. Ask if they have been to the class before and for any tips. Who knows? This person could wind up being your fitness BFF.
During the class:
- Follow along the best you can. It is often hard during your first class to keep up. This is NORMAL. Do what you can. If you get tired? March/walk in place for a bit.
- Drink plenty of water. The instructor should give water breaks (especially for high intensity courses), but take them whenever you need them.
- Don’t worry about the weights others are using. The person next to you might be using 20 pound dumbbells and you are using 5 pound. This does not matter. You are at different levels with different goals. Do not compare yourself to others.
After the class:
- Make sure to get all your stuff (purse, keys, water bottle, towel, etc.)
- Thank the instructor. This is especially important if you really enjoyed the class and can see yourself coming back.
- Thank your new friend. Exchange numbers if you think appropriate.
- Drink some more water. Make sure to continue drinking water for a few hours after.