When I first started going to the gym, I stuck to one machine: The elliptical. I spent hours and hours burning calories, but I was bored out of my mind. Meanwhile, I watched as others filtered through the gym, going to fitness classes and creating their own workouts using weights and machines. I wanted to switch things up, but I was afraid to get out of my fitness comfort zone.
Sound familiar? Here are five things that boosted my exercise confidence. Take this advice and go try something new!
Know that You’re Not the Only One
If I’m afraid to sign up for a new fitness class or workout, I remind myself I’m not alone. Remember that everyone starts somewhere — every single person at the gym or in your fitness class has been in your shoes.
In my experience, people aren’t judgmental at all when they realize I’m trying a workout or exercise for the first time. Instead, they’re usually encouraging and eager to help.
Reach Out and Make Friends
When I try a new exercise class, one way I get out of my fitness comfort zone is to make a friend before the class starts. I’ll ask how long they’ve been attending the class, what they like about it and what I should expect for the next 45–60 minutes.
Having a workout buddy right off the bat helps me feel less worried about embarrassing myself and feel more prepared for what’s to come.
Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh At Yourself
When I try a new workout, I keep my expectations realistic. I know that I won’t be the first one to finish a WOD (workout of the day) or lift the heaviest weights in the group. I keep my goals simple when trying a workout for the first time: have fun, work up a sweat and learn something new.
If I mess up a movement or miss a beat, I do my best to laugh it off and keep moving. Remember, a one-time workout at the local gym isn’t a championship match or anything. Take the pressure off yourself and just have fun!
Talk to the Instructor Beforehand
If you’re trying a group workout for the first time, it’s usually a good idea to tell the instructor that you’re new to the class. That way, he/she can make sure you’re on track and doing the exercises correctly. Many instructors can modify movements to accommodate all skill levels, including beginners.
Most Importantly, Keep Trying
One thing I’ve learned after trying hundreds of different exercises and workouts is that the more I get out of my fitness comfort zone, the easier it gets. Trying one workout not only gives me the confidence but also the skills and strength for another.
For example, once I started doing yoga, I was more familiar with the movements featured in Pilates classes. And once I started doing Pilates, I quickly picked up some ab workouts in boot camp class! The more workouts you try, the better you’ll be for it.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your fitness comfort zone. Hopefully these tips will help you change up your workout with something new!
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.