30 Oct How to overcome your fear of group exercise classes
Do you have a fear of group exercise classes? For some people, the idea of exercising in a group of strangers can be scary! Lots of unfamiliar faces, exercise routines that are new to you, activewear that’s hugging your body in compromising places and self-doubt about your fitness level – we get why it can be more frightening than Halloween!
But it’s not all doom and gloom, once you get into them, group exercise classes can be lots of fun! Other participants can provide friendly competition to keep you pushing yourself, the instructor can be a great motivator and you might even make a few gym buddies.
Here are our top tips for alleviating your fear of group exercise classes. Why not face your fears and give one a go this Halloween!
If you’re already nervous, don’t make it worse by having to rush to find a car park and get flustered trying to find the group fitness studio. Lots of group exercise classes fill up quickly too so you don’t want to struggle to find a spot or scramble to get the right equipment. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early so you can calmly pick a spot and figure out what you need by asking the instructor or other class members.
Don’t hide at the back of the room
This will go against your natural desire to be as invisible as possible; if I’m at the back no-one can see me getting the moves wrong and I can’t embarrass myself! In reality, a popular class means you won’t be able to see the instructor clearly, which can be even more overwhelming as you won’t know what you’re meant to be doing. Be brave and go for a spot in the middle.
Take a friend
Power in numbers! If you have a friend that goes to your gym, ask them to join you. You won’t feel so lonely and can laugh at each other being uncoordinated as you’re both learning the moves at the same time.
Let the instructor know it’s your first time
Before the class begins, the instructor will ask if it’s anyone’s first time doing the class. Even though you probably don’t want to draw attention to yourself, make sure you let the instructor know you’re new the class. They’ll give you a little extra TLC and ensure your technique is correct to minimise your risk of injury.
Don’t worry about what other people think
Even though it feels like everyone in the room has their eyes on you, they’re actually only concentrating on THEIR workout! They are either watching the instructor or checking their technique in the mirror, no one is watching you. Plus, everyone was new once and knows exactly how you’re feeling. They might even offer helpful advice if they can tell you’re stuck.
Relax and enjoy it!
The best way to face your fears is to dive in! Loosen up your body, give it a red hot crack and laugh at yourself. Don’t worry about making mistakes, once you’ve done two or three classes you’ll start to smash it!
If you need help getting started or would like an exercise program tailored for your individual needs, contact your local Accredited Exercise Professional. Click here to find one near you.