Overcoming the first day jitters of trying a new workout class

One of the difficult things that comes with moving is finding your new “locations”. By locations I mean places you would go to on a regular basis such as the place you get groceries, where you get your cup of coffee, your favorite place to get froyo after a stressful day (I’ve already found my place even in this freezing weather!), and one of the ones that I thought was going to be even  more difficult, where to go to do your workouts.


This is how I spent one of my days off after one of my workout classes. Just sitting in a froyo place down in Columbus Circle, eating salted caramel froyo with granola, sliced almonds, and crushed Twix bars (TO DIE FOR!), and reading my book while people watching. It was one of the most relaxing afternoons!

This last part can be difficult because you want to work out somewhere where you feel comfortable the moment you walk through the door and  where you can find encouragement and the opportunity to seek growth in your fitness and through yourself. After that many other factors come into play. Is the price right? Is it in a convenient location and do the hours fit your schedule? Do they have enough equipment to suit your needs and do they offer classes you like?

These are all important factors when trying to either find a new place to workout or when finding your very first place to begin your transition to living an active lifestyle. Today I want to focus on group fitness classes and how to try out new classes since this can be intimidating when moving to a new fitness club or when you’re in the beginning of stage of starting a fitness plan for the first time.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to either mix up the same old workout or how to make working out fun is by taking a group fitness class.
Benefits of taking group exercise classes

1. Being in a group, whether it’s a club you join or a class you take, provides high energy and encouragement to help you reach that next level in your fitness plan.

2. By being in a class, you know you are “stuck” in that room for the given amount of time that the exercise lasts. That being said, it’s more difficult to walk away in a group setting once the class has started and you’re more likely to push yourself and go the full hour or however long the class lasts.

3. By switching up workout routines and essentially putting your muscles to shock with each new experience, exercising doesn’t get old or boring and I find I am always challenged in one way or another. There’s an incredible mix of diversity through fitness classes now a days and something for everyone from dance, spin, yoga, combat, circuit, water activities, and everything in between. This also makes working out fun so you’re more likely to stick to it.

That last part is incredibly important, because if you don’t enjoy your workout you aren’t going to stick with it. That being said, what’s the best way to go about starting a new fitness class or trying it for your first time? Not to go all Nike on you, but “just do it”! Even though it can be intimidating or nerve wrecking, everyone is a first time gym goer or has had a first time in a new fitness class.

How to overcome the “First Day Jitters”

1.Look up your gym’s class schedule and ask the employees about what instructors they would suggest based on your fitness level or preference.

2. Do a little research on the classes.The internet is an amazing resource which allows you to see what other people are saying about that specific class or instructor or about classes similar to the one you’ll be taking.

3. Wear something you’re comfortable in that will allow for movement and will also keep you cool. Also make sure you know ahead of time what you’ll need going into the class. Most facilities will provide the weights, bars, bands, and mats necessary but you may need to bring your own gloves to a kickboxing class or your own mat to a yoga session. This way you’ll feel prepared.

4. Try going with a friend. Something about knowing that someone else is there trying the class with you is very encouraging and can make you feel more at ease with trying something new.

The last couple of weeks I made it a personal goal to try a new class every week. I already talked about my love of “Whipped!” last week. But this last week, oh my lanta. I was humbled as I reconfigured my idea as to what a true challenging workout is.  Along with that, I’m going to try a new fitness class about once a week. This week’s challenge and one of my favorite classes of all time is Omar Sandoval’s “Titan Methods”.

This is the overall rating of Titan Methods on rateyourburn.com
I’d say that’s pretty accurate! Only I would give the music 3 music notes because I thought it was a great mix of high energy and motivating beats.

The class is a 60 minute conditioning class in which the instructor combines a high intensity muscle workout with the endurance of extreme cardio conditioning. You use light to medium weights as you go between lunges, overhead presses, abdominal swings, planks, burpees, pushups, and a variety of other exercises until by the end of the class you are doing burpees and pushups in a puddle of your own sweat. Or maybe it’s even the sweat from the guy next to you since the class is absolutely packed. The class went reasonably quick since the instructor had blasted some high energy beats and also participated in the workout himself. That’s another thing that I enjoy about a good class, knowing that the instructor not only designed it but they are also going through the same challenge you are.

For this week’s new class I’m debating between a conditioning class that combines the coordination of ballet movements and cardio to tone muscles I never knew existed (according to reviews on this class) and another cardio conditioning class.

What are some tips you have for mixing up workouts? Are there any classes you absolutely love and would recommend to others?

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Gearing up for cold weather, no excuse to miss your morning workout now!



Working at Women’s Health has been the best experience so far. Everyone who I work with is very welcoming, insightful, thinks outside the box, and I love the assignments I’ve been working on. The thing that’s been tough though is trying to fit in my daily workouts. By the time I get off work it’s dark and my body is absolutely exhausted after working and riding the subway home. So my only choice is to wake up at 5:30 am and head out for a run when it is dark and incredibly cold. Because of these aspects, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get out the door and on my way. The thought of submerging my body into conditions that make my fingers go numb, my ears tingle, and my lungs feel like they’re breathing in icicles just makes me want to hit the snooze button and lay in bed until summer comes around. No more excuses though, I’ve put together a workout attire and plan that’s sure to put a little warmth in the belly and help maintain feeling every limb in the body throughout an entire workout no matter how low the thermometer drops this winter.
Cold Weather Running Gear

These are the basics that I will lay out the night before I head out for my morning run and I know it’s going to be freezing outside. That being said, here’s my first tip.

1. Lay out everything the night before. And I mean absolutely everything from what clothes you’ll workout in to the undergarments you’ll wear to every piece of accessory you’ll need. Especially if you’re working out in the morning or you’re taking everything with you to work so you can workout after work. This way you won’t forget anything and all you have to do is wake up, slip it on, and run out the door before you can talk yourself out of it.

Here’s what I lay out
      Thermal Nike long sleeve top with an extended turtleneck (keeps mouth warm)
       Sports bra
       Windbreaker jacket (Not pictured. I like to have a windbreaker on top that is light and also has a couple of pockets for me to put my keys in.)
       Ankle socks (Sometimes I’ll wear high socks if it’s going to be especially chilly.)
       Running shoes
       Ear warmer headband (I like one that is fuzzy on the inside for warmth and has a wind blocking material on the outside. Otherwise I get headaches from the cold.)
      Touch gloves (I prefer TouchTec women’s gloves because they are smaller and the whole hand is touch material instead of just the fingertips.)
      Ipod and headphones
      Burt’s Bees Pomegranate lip balm (I take this with me on my run also.)
      A mug with a bag of tea to warm my belly before heading out the door!
2. If working out in the morning do NOT hit the snooze. This just makes it more difficult to get out of bed. If working out after work, go immediately upon leaving work. Don’t go home to get your stuff, you will only feel tempted to sit down and then you’re settled in.
3. If necessary, try putting hand warmers in your gloves. Also, resort to touch gloves (I love mine because they are touch all over so my iPod will respond to any part of the glove). This way you don’t have to take off your glove to change your mp3 player or your phone.
4. Take a few sips of a warm cup of tea. Careful how much you drink though! Bathroom breaks are no fun in the middle of a workout.
5. Have a mantra or motivation to get you through it. I tell people this all the time but I’ve never had a workout or run that I’ve wished afterwards I had just stayed at home instead of going out. You’ll be so happy you did it when you’re finished! Remind yourself why you’re exercising. Is it to fit in that little dress or be confident wearing your swimsuit? Is it to lower your blood pressure or work towards a healthier lifestyle? Are you wanting to prove to yourself that you can rise above a challenge? Tell yourself why and picture this while you’re working out.

6. Lastly, have a go to playlist to get your heartbeat pumping and your motivation flowing. Maybe it’s a beat that you can’t help but to feel energized and ready to kick some major booty or maybe it’s a feel good song that makes you feel inspired. Or maybe you need a song that gets your blood boiling and your heart racing. Whatever it is, put together a list and turn it up before you’re even headed out the door.

I do a couple other random things to help me get moving in the morning. First I’ll brush my teeth and wash my face with an orange melon cleanser so I feel fresh and clean as I get ready to head out. Something about the peppermint and burst of citrus wakes me up and I feel refreshed. If I’m really struggling to get out the door, I will make my bed so I can’t feel tempted to just crawl back in it and I’ll also hide all electronics so I’m not tempted to respond to emails or get distracted by Facebook, Pinterest, or even blogging. Getting plenty of sleep the night before will help you to maintain a high level of energy as well a making sure you’re taking care of your immune system by incorporating plenty of vitamin c and vitamin d in your diet. I also make sure to stay in well lit areas where there are other people if it’s super early in the morning.

So what are you waiting for? Start putting together your go to playlist and lay out what you need for your workout tomorrow morning. Here in New York City the temperature for the next week is supposed to get down in the teens, yikes! Better stock up on tea and hand warmers!

What do you do to keep warm when it’s chilly out and you need to workout?

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