How to Conquer Your Fear of Spin Class

Senior Woman Cycling In Spinning Class In GymAnxiety about taking a spin class is only natural. The good news is that whatever the reason for your fear, there are ways for you to approach and conquer it—and have a blast in spin class.

Take Your Time
There is no rush in joining a spin class. If you need to, acclimate yourself first to the spin or stationary bicycles at your own pace, without taking a class. Do this for however long you like, whether it is a few days or a month.
In fact, spinning is a very individual exercise even in classes. Each spinner controls his or her bike’s resistance, and the resistance and pace the instructor suggests are only guidelines. By no means do you have to go as fast (or as slow) as the instructor suggests. Instructors will not single you out in class; their aim is to motivate you and help you reach your potential. You work as hard as you like.

Help the Instructor Help You
The first time you attend class, tell the instructor you are new and a beginner. Much of the time, instructors will even ask at the beginning of each class who is new so they can provide some tips and help ensure proper bike fit. However, seize the initiative and introduce yourself before class. You will be less rushed this way, and you definitely want the best fit as possible to reduce the chances of strain from spin class.

Pace Yourself
You definitely don’t have to spin every other day. In fact, many new spinners only attend one or two classes a week at first. Spinning is challenging and will cause you to be sore. Give your muscles and body time to recover.

Clothing and Preparation
Thigh chafing is common among spinners who don’t wear proper attire. Plan on long shorts that cover and protect your inner thighs. You can also wear padded bike shorts if the seat hurts you. Bring plenty of water and a hand towel to mop up sweat. Normal running shoes work fine; don’t let cost stop you from taking a spin class.

Other Tips

  • The more the merrier. If you’re worried about appearing self-conscious, ask a friend to come along. The friend can use a guest pass if he or she is not a gym member. Show up with a positive attitude and remind yourself of the benefits that will occur (better shape, firmer, toned  legs and so on).
  • Promise yourself a reward for going to spin class. Try to avoid food-based rewards, though. You could motivate yourself to go by buying a shirt you’ve wanted for a long time after class. Before long, you won’t need external motivators to go to class.
  • Get to the root of your fear. For example, if you are overweight and don’t want to appear out of place among model-like athletes in class, do a few things. First, peek in at one of the classes. It is hardly unlikely everyone there is in tip-top shape. Spinning is for everyone—male, female, overweight, underweight and so on. Second, change your mindset. Use these people to encourage you, not discourage you. Look ahead to a time when you will be more in shape instead of putting yourself down for the way you look. Spinning will also release natural feel-good hormones.

Is it better to workout in the morning or evening

morning wrkout pic 2Working out is a great way to lose weight, stay in shape and stay healthy.  It’s one of the easiest ways to decrease blood pressure, tension and stress and one of the best ways to increase muscle mass, lose weight and gain energy.  And yet people have such a hard time in keeping with a balanced schedule of working out.  Perhaps if they knew how much it would help them, more people would work out! One of the biggest burning questions for people is when is THE best time to work out?  In all honesty, whether you work out in the morning before work or in the afternoon/evening after work, working out is working out.  It’s better than sitting on the couch like a couch potato and doing nothing to stay active.  But, if you want to work out and you want to benefit from things like sleeping well, or having energy through the day, there are definitely times you specifically want to watch out for.

A Better Night’s Sleep

If you are one of the many people that needs a good night sleep and wants to wake up feeling refreshed and energized, working out in the morning is a great way to reach this goal.  A study was done recently which tracked the different sleep patterns of people who were ages 40 through 60, these people walked for 30 minutes on a treadmill about 3 times a week.  In the study all of the people worker out during different peak hours of the day – from 7am to 7pm.  Those people that got on the treadmill and worked out at 7am slept longer and had a much deeper sleep cycle than the other people that exercised at other points during the day.

Healthy Living

Not only did the people that worked out in the morning get a better sleep, but these people also had an increase in health and cardio health, lower blood pressure, and more importantly; a decrease in anxiety and stress during the day.

A Safer More Energized Day

Another study was done and it also had people that were working out from 6am to 6pm.  The people that worked out at 6pm had much more energy the following day.  In fact, most of them reported an increase or a “spurt” in energy like they did not experience before.  People also tend to injure themselves less in the afternoon when swimming, running, walking or rock climbing because your muscles and bones are already adaptable from your core temperature therefore making exercise easier, as well as safer.

The time you choose is really going to depend on what you want from your workout schedule.  Do you want a better night’s sleep or do you want more energy?  But, the biggest thing to remember is that you can’t get healthy, lose weight or have any of the above mentioned benefits if you don’t take the first step!  Even just 30 minutes a day will do so much more for your body, mind and spirit.  You don’t have to run a marathon or swim an ocean.  Just start with something easy like walking outside or jogging inside if you don’t feel comfortable enough.  Before you know it, you will be reaping benefits like crazy from working out and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner… much much sooner!

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Fitness Excuses You need to Eliminate

excuses blog pic 1Most people intend to exercise on a regular basis but few actually do it. They usually come up with a litany of excuses. Those excuses need to stop. Whenever you begin to skip your work outs and justify doing so by using any of the reasons listed below, you need to realize that you are lying to yourself. Stay true to the fitness promises you made to yourself and you’ll be on your way to a fit and healthy body.

I’m Too Tired

Whenever you feel too groggy to exercise, remind yourself that physical activity serves as stimulation for both the mind and the body. You’ll feel much less tired within the first five minutes of your workout routine. If you feel too tired to pack your belongings and drive to the gym, skip it and do a workout at home. The point is that you should at least try. Once the ball starts rolling, you’ll feel energized. You’ll continue with your workout and hopefully complete it. Even if you can only last for ten minutes, that is much better than zero minutes. If you are consistently too tired to exercise, go to bed earlier or wake up later. What’s the point in being awake if you are too tired to take care of yourself?

I Feel Out Of Place

The majority of gym members are fit and trim.  But many of them were once fat and out of shape.  Keep that in mind and don’t be so self-conscious.  Your onlookers are probably thinking, “Good for her.  She’s putting forth the effort to change”.

There’s Not Enough Time

This is not only an excuse but it is a bald faced lie. Fit people make the time to work out even if it means sacrificing something else in their life like money, friendship, shopping or hobbies. What’s more important than your body and your health? Nothing.  You must remember that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Sick people can’t work, they can’t maintain friendships, they can’t fall in love and they can’t enjoy their hobbies. So put your health first and place everything else on the back burner. Devote at least twenty minutes a day to cardiovascular exercise. This can easily be done during your lunch breaks at work.  Or set the alarm half an hour earlier and exercise as soon as you wake up.

Gyms Are Too Expensive

It is true that some gyms are quite costly, especially in highly populated urban areas. Yet this is not an excuse to skip your workout. You can stay fit and trim by exercising at home or in a public park. Head on out to a recreation center or an open green space and start running, doing situps, pushups and jumping jacks. Remember that you can enjoy sports and outdoor activities like tennis, basketball and hiking for free. Or stay inside, shut your door, put on some headphones and dance the night away to your favorite tunes. If you are poor you aren’t permitted to be lazy and fat. You just have to be a little bit more creative.

It’s Too Monotonous

If you are bored with exercise, you are doing it wrong. Switch up your workout routine and incorporate new exercises. If you are still bored, partake in an outdoor activity like hiking, skiing or other sports. Join a flag football league, a kickball league or a softball league. Even if you find sports boring, remind yourself that you aren’t exercising for entertainment. You are exercising to stay fit, to be healthy and to live a long life.

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The Benefits of Group Exercise

Fitness danceGroup exercise is great way to get started with an exercise routine. If you’ve been reluctant to exercise regularly because you don’t find the motivation on your own, group exercise may be the answer. As long as you are willing to work hard and have a good time, you can get a lot of benefits from group exercise that you may not get with individual exercise.

Proper instruction

Trained workout instructors design safe, effective workout environments and provide guidance for both new and veteran class members to exercise the right way. With a teacher modeling the steps of a routine, you’ll gain confidence with it. Trained instructors implement a consistent exercise schedule with the proper intensity for a given group. In addition to the core exercise component, their classes include warm-up and cool down times. While you may be tempted to skip these steps when you work out on your own, you are more likely to stick it out in a group and will benefit accordingly.

Motivation and accountability

If you work out on your own, you may or may not be motivated to stick with it. When you sign up for a class with a friend, the two of you can hold each other accountable. Choose a workout partner who will build up your self-esteem, offering encouragement as you work hard to keep improving your skills. Be prepared to offer reciprocal encouragement. Make sure to find a class that works with your current schedule. If you don’t have to rearrange your entire life every week in order to work out, it’ll be easier to keep up with it.

Variety

One of the most common reasons that people quit working out is because they get bored. Running the same route in your neighborhood or working through the same exercise routines at home can get monotonous. When you’re in a group setting with engaging music and you get to keep trying new exercises, the time goes by much more quickly. New exercises also offer a challenge, which is good for both the mind and the body. With a variety, you’re also more likely to work multiple muscles.

There are a wide variety of classes available these days with everything from pilates to Zumba to hiking groups. You’re sure to find something that fits your interests and keeps your motivation level high while still providing needed variety.

Multiple levels

Many gyms and studios offer classes at multiple levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It is important to be realistic and choose a class at the right level. You don’t want to be bored, but you also don’t want to get in over your head. Whenever you sign up for a new class, arrive a few minutes early at the first session and introduce yourself to the instructor. When you develop a relationship with an instructor, you’re more likely to find a workout that challenges you within a safe environment.

Socialization

Whether you are planning to exercise with a group of friends or you’re interested in meeting new like-minded people in your area, socialization can be a great aspect of a group exercise. You get to do something good for your health while you grow closer to existing friends and make new connections.