Since I started working with Magna, I’ve had the pleasure of trying lots of different fitness classes for the first time as well as meeting lots of customers doing the same. Fitness classes are one of the most accessible ways to get active – but as with everything there is a knack to getting the most out of them. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid, all based on real life experiences.
1. Wear Something Suited To What You’re Doing
When I first joined Magna, we went to the lovely Soul Circus yoga festival. It was a day filled with lots of different kinds of yoga, some sessions for literally hours at a time. I decided to wear some shorts that I wore to the gym all the time – I should’ve been fine right? Wrong. It didn’t really occur to me that I should wear something stretchy, and so about halfway through the first yoga session we did I suddenly felt (and heard!) a nice big rip appear between my legs.
Learn from my mistake: If you’re doing something that requires you to be stretchy, wear something stretchy. This might seem obvious, but I wasn’t the first to make this mistake, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.
2. Don’t Be Intimidated By The Others In The Class
It’s easy to walk into a space for your spinning session or yoga flow, and especially a gym, for your training session and feel a little overwhelmed. Everyone there may look fitter, seem to have all the gear, or know exactly what they’re doing. Do not be discouraged. All of those people started exactly where you are, a beginner. I can guarantee that all of those people haven’t even noticed you, and if they have, they’re probably fondly remembering when they began and wishing you the best. This is one of the best aspects of group classes – you’re all in it together. If you don’t know something, just talk to them – everyone in a class tends to support each other.
3. If You’re Tired – Pausing Is NOT Giving Up
This is another one I had to learn from personal experience – in a yoga class no less; so much for yoga’s “easy” reputation. If you’re halfway through the class and feel exhausted, or just need to catch your breath it’s OK to stop for a moment to gather yourself.
Managing to finish the class and feel like you achieved something at the end is much better than getting to the end of the class and feeling so burnt out that you never want to go again. Even as they’re pushing you to do more, the leader of the session will understand if you need a breather. This is especially true if you’re new to it – no one expects you to be Michael Phelps when you’re learning to swim, and they similarly don’t expect you to be perfect the first time you try pole fitness.
4. Didn’t Like Your First Class? Try Something Else
It’s perfectly common to go to a fitness class you thought you might like, and find it’s not for you. ‘If I had a pound’ for every time someone has come up to me at the end of one of our Friday yoga sessions and said “that was so different from the first time I tried yoga – I loved it!”.
That’s just life – not everyone likes everything. Don’t give up on fitness classes as a whole, there really is something for everyone, you just have to find what is right for you. For example, ‘yoga’ is not just one activity – there a huge range of different styles. Some are some are faster (Rocket yoga), some are hotter (Bikram yoga), and some are even wetter (Love & Do Yoga – now on Magna!). This is true of all kinds of activities so just stick with it, try lots of things, and find your perfect fit.
5. Don’t Forget To Rest!
This is a mistake that absolutely loads of people make, from very beginners, to pros who should really know better. If exercise is so healthy – then exercising every 7 days a week should help you reach your goal as fast as possible, right? Wrong.
Your body needs time to recover! It uses this time to repair any damage sustained in your training, and build bigger, better muscles to help you to deal with the same training in the future. It’s continuous repetition of this process that will help you build muscle and tone up over time. So take rest days and enjoy yourself!