Do the thoughts of joining a group fitness class when you are 50+ make you sweat even before starting the class? I know how you feel, especially when you know that most of the class will be made up of women in their 20’s and 30’s. So today, I am going to give you my tips and suggestions on how I survive and thrive in these classes. You may be fortunate enough to live in an area that have classes geared toward the 50+ woman; however, I don’t have that option in my area. The classes are for women of all ages. So today I am going to share with you some easy ways to overcome any anxiety or fears.
INVEST IN PROPER WORKOUT WEAR AND SHOES
This is a very important task to follow and I urge to you invest in good workout wear and the appropriate shoes. Believe me, it can and does make a huge difference. First of all, it will just make you feel better to be dressed appropriately. And finding the right clothing and shoes that fit you makes all the difference. Not all workout wear is for everyone. I tend to gravitate toward yoga pants, long and capri length leggings, and coordinating tops and really good sports bras and socks. As for shoes, I like the Asics Gel or the Brooks brand. There are so many brands and colors to choose from, but I do feel you need to invest in a great pair of sneakers. This is your foundation and you need to be able to walk and move in the shoes comfortably. I know they can be a bit pricey, but it is well worth the cost. Otherwise, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started. Today, there are many colors and choices of workout wear. Some brands I like are Fabletics, Under Armour and Jockey; however, you can also find great bargains at Target. They usually carry the Champion brand and they always have a variety to pick from as well and the price isn’t that bad. The key is just finding what works for your body type and what you are comfortable in.
TAKE A FRIEND OR CO-WORKER WITH YOU
Ask a friend or co-worker to join you. Having a buddy by your side will help you overcome any fears or anxiety. Plus it can be fun to have someone else along with you. Not only does it help you feel more relaxed, it makes you accountable as well. For instance, if you are trying to find an excuse to not go to class, you will have second thoughts because you feel obligated since your friend is going and you definitely don’t want to let her down. So in reality, it works in more ways than one.
STAY FOCUSED AND DON’T SWEAT IT
Literally….don’t sweat it. Sometimes the fear we experience is all in our heads and actually doesn’t exist. Everyone is there for the same reasons to get fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, me included, feel that others are looking at us or judging us for our body type or shape and we shouldn’t let that negativity creep into our heads. Especially as we get older. We are all unique and one of a kind women. So just stay focused on your goals. Also, if the instructor is performing exercises that you feel you cannot do or are not comfortable doing, just walk or jog in place until the next exercise starts. Just remember…..go at your own pace. Don’t worry about keeping up with everyone else. If the exercise calls for 10 reps and you only do 6 or 8, don’t worry. Just let it motivate you to do more the next time.
As women, we tend to reward everyone else around us and end up neglecting ourselves. For all your effort and hard work for overcoming your fears and inhibitions about group fitness, I suggest that you give yourself a small reward. It could be something as simple as a manicure or pedicure or a new handbag or maybe you have been eyeing a new dress or outfit. Whatever it is, reward yourself. You deserve it. Decide on your reward before starting the class, that way you have something to look forward to for accomplishing your goals and it will motivate you to stick with it. We all need those little wins in life.
And above all, just have fun and enjoy meeting new people and learning new exercises.
Remember, exercise and fitness is your journey. Go your own pace and just keep moving and I guarantee that you will see results. These are things I did when I first started going to group fitness class and you know what happened, I got the nerve up to get my group fitness certification (I will keep that story for another post). You talk about overcoming some fears. But I did it and love helping women achieve their fitness goals no matter what age they are.