You're doing it. You're finally going to take that fitness (barre/spinning/boxing) class. It's a new year and you're ready to mix up your workout routine.
But, let's be honest: as much as you're excited to get your sweat on in a totally new way, you're also a little nervous. You can't help but worry: Will everyone be more in shape than you? Will the technique be too hard for you to grasp? Will you literally fall flat on your face?
No one likes to be the new student, which is why we came up with everything you should know before going to your fitness class. You got this!
It's important to fuel your workouts. A lot of people don't like to eat or drink before working out, particularly if the class starts early in the morning, like at 6 a.m. But not properly fueling yourself beforehand could sabotage your workouts, not to mention be potentially harmful.
Whether you're taking a spinning or boot camp class, you're bound to sweat and burn a ton of calories. Because you don't want to tire out before the class is over, ensure that you're drinking water before, during, and after class. When it comes to food, eat something 30-60 minutes beforehand and keep it light. Think: yogurt with berries, or a banana with peanut butter, both of which are a great combo of light carbs and protein.
Wear the Right Clothing
You want to dress the part, and not every fitness class demands you wear the same clothing. Think about the class and what you're going to be doing. If you're doing quick movements or will be using any large equipment, like a stationary bike, then you won't want to wear baggy pants or loose shirts. Don't underestimate how hot a classroom filled with sweating bodies can feel like. Translation: think twice before wearing a long-sleeved shirt. If anything, layer up. If you start overheating, you can easily shed off your shirt for a tank top.
Get There Early
Punctuality goes a long way, especially if it's your first time. You want to give yourself ample time to set up your station or bike and get the right equipment. Plus, arriving early also gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to the instructor and sign any waivers, or ask any questions that you might have, including injuries or pain.
Another thing: keep in mind that latecomers usually end up in the front row (because no one likes to be front and center). So if you come early, you can grab your spot in the back and be as inconspicuous as possible, which is every newbie's dream.
Take Breaks If Needed
Being excited to tackle a new class is amazing, but don't let your overzealousness risk injury or worse. If you're feeling sick, dizzy, or winded, don't be afraid to take a break, or more when needed. Hydrate yourself. Take a moment to breathe. Then, get back in there. If you're really not feeling well, don't be embarrassed if you need to leave the class to gather yourself. Everyone's been there before. You've got to take care of you first.
Everyone has been new to a class at one point. You deserve to be there as much as anyone else. You will learn the moves and be as competent as the most passionate and capable participant in the class -- it just takes time and consistency. Fitness classes can be a great source of support and motivation. Let yourself go, keep an open mind, and enjoy!
Related on Organic Authority