While it can be difficult to find the courage to take an exercise class, especially if you haven’t worked out in awhile, doing so can be enjoyable — and motivate you to push yourself harder than you would exercising alone.
Recruit a Friend
Recruiting a friend to take a class with you for moral support may make you more likely to go. Meeting a friend at class makes you accountable for showing up, so you’ll be less likely to miss class. Choose someone who is a regular exerciser and who won’t be okay with skipping class when they’ve made the commitment to you.
Get a Health Coach
Finding a health coach significantly increases your chance of going to an exercise class and working out more regularly. A study published in 2010 in The Diabetes Educator found that study subjects who received 30-minute health coaching sessions over the phone fourteen times during a 6-month period reported increased exercise frequency compared with subject who did not receive the health coaching sessions.
Choose a Class You Enjoy
Dreading your exercise class means you probably won’t stick with it very long. A variety of classes are available in gyms and studios, so look for one that you enjoy. Try step aerobics, water aerobics, spinning, zumba, pilates, yoga, kickboxing or boot camp.
Find Inexpensive Classes
While you might be deterred by expensive studio classes that charge a high monthly membership, finding more affordable options may embolden you to take a class. If you’re already paying for a gym membership, which may run you between $25 and $50 per month, the exercises classes offered there are almost always available at no additional cost. Look into boot camps offered by personal trainers in your area, or local running groups available to you for free or just a small fee.
Change It Up
Participating in the same exercise class all the time can be monotonous, and can lead to overtraining if you’re working the same muscle groups time after time. You’re more likely to keep going to classes if you change things up regularly. Alternate between running groups, pilates or yoga classes, spinning, water or step aerobics, kickboxing, and zumba classes to keep you feeling energized, prevent boredom and make you excited about going to class.
An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin’s work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels.com.