Group workout sessions are a great way to get in shape, work out with other people, and try out something new. You might be able to enjoy a type of workout that you’ve never done before, get tips for improving your workouts, or learn more about your favorite style of exercise. Even better, you’ll quickly discover that working out in a group exercise class improves your motivation and energy. It gives you a reason to give the class your best–and that means you’ll reach your goals faster. People who attend group exercise classes on a regular basis share a few key habits that make their workouts move more smoothly.
Respect is a Priority
When you attend a group exercise class, you’re sharing your workout with a group of other people. Making the most out of your exercise class–and allowing everyone to make the most of theirs–starts with being respectful of both the instructor and your classmates. This takes several forms.
- Leave your cell phone in the locker room instead of bringing it to class. Alkalign Studios said, “Your cell phone is a distraction, and using it is disrespectful.”
- Save the chatting for after class. It’s great to bring a friend along with you to increase your motivation for showing up and encourage you to give it your all, but class time isn’t the time for catching up. Pay attention to your instructor instead.
- Show up on time and ready to work. Slipping into the class late shows that you don’t appreciate your instructor’s time and can disrupt everyone else’s workout.
- Listen carefully to the instructor. You might not remember everything every time, but doing your best to listen to what the instructor is saying and follow those instructions makes for a much better class. After all, you’re there for the instructor’s expertise!
Eat to Work Out
If you know you have a fitness class coming up later that afternoon, go in prepared for it. Don’t sabotage your workout before you begin! Group fitness enthusiasts know that they need to prepare for their workout long before they set foot inside the gym with proper nutrition. This means:
- Eating reasonably throughout the rest of the day so that you have plenty of energy to work out.
- Not eating a huge meal right before the class. A huge meal can weight you down, make your stomach uncertain, and divert vital energy to digestive processes instead of letting you give it your all.
- Eating a small snack about half an hour before the workout so that you have enough energy to give to the workout ahead. This includes first thing in the morning, when you might not be eager to dig into a big meal. Stuck for breakfast? Try a piece of fruit.
- Managing hydration adequately throughout the day: drinking plenty a little at a time, not chugging water immediately before your workout.
Enjoy the Workout
Some people naturally seem to love the workouts they’re taking on every day. Others struggle through every aspect of every class. Don’t let yourself get trapped by the struggle! Choose exercise classes that you know you’re going to enjoy. Whether it’s a peppy instructor who always gets the most out of you or a style of exercise you particularly enjoy, people who regularly attend group exercise classes know that the type of exercise matters just as much as the act of getting into shape. Bringing a friend to class with you is another great way to get more enjoyment out of the session. Just make sure your friend is as committed to the exercise as you are and that you aren’t just showing up to goof off together!
If you’re thinking about group exercise class as part of your regular fitness routine, there’s no time like the present to get started! Find a class that you think you’ll enjoy and dive in. You might find a new type of exercise that you fall in love with, improve your appreciation of an old favorite, or learn how to push yourself harder than ever.