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Working out is hard enough, but the thought of doing organized movements surrounded by strangers can cause people to have mild panic attacks. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not as scary as you think.
The CUI's Amanda Moutinho discusses group fitness classes in this installment of College, Cardio and Carrots. (CU Independent/Josh Shettler)
I’m an energetic person, who loves to shake my ass, shimmy and thrust. So when I heard about Zumba, a fitness class that combines global dance trends, I knew that I needed to check it out. I stepped out of my comfort zone, went to the class and had so much fun.
For those of you who get hives thinking about group classes, here are the dos and don’ts of joining a fitness class:
Don’t think it’s too late
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t sign up for fitness classes at the beginning of the semester. Classes around CU still offer drop-in rates of only $3 per class. And since there are only two months left of school, it’s a better deal to just pay for each class. Plus, you can sample a bunch of classes instead of committing to one for the rest of the semester.
Do research before you go
Find a class that you’ll have fun with. Do you like to stretch? Are you looking to tone up? Do you want to learn moves you can use on the dance floor? Or do you just love to run? The rec center offers yoga, Pilates, cycling, martial arts, dance, guts and butts, marathon training classes and more. Assess your fitness level and pick a class that will be a challenge and not a death sentence. For a full list of classes and times, check out the rec center and Williams Village websites.
Don’t worry about the other people
There are people of all shapes and sizes in fitness classes. Everyone has different motivation, but everyone is there for the same reason – to workout. No one’s judging you, everyone’s focused on getting the steps right. Remember that some moves will be easy for others and hard for you, and vice versa. Don’t let other people’s judgment stop you from going to the class or from enjoying yourself.
Do recruit a friend
If you’re nervous to go alone, then grab some friends. Instead of heading to the movies or happy hour, get your partner or best friends together and hit a Zumba or Pilate’s class. It’s easier to enter an alien environment if you have the support of your friends.
Don’t stress about getting all the steps
No one will laugh at you and the teacher won’t stop and yell at you – and if they do then maybe you’re in the wrong class. Relax, try your best and have fun.
Do laugh at yourself
I am the most uncoordinated person you’ll ever meet. I’m the girl who’s going left when the class is going right. I’m two steps off the beat and if my arms are doing it right, there’s a good chance my legs aren’t. As the class does an intricate step, I’m stomping along, frantically looking at other people trying to figure out the footwork. In those instances there’s only one thing to do: laugh. It’s OK if you don’t look like Beyonce. Embrace your awkwardness and don’t let self-consciousness get the better of you.
Don’t starve yourself or eat a big meal
There’s nothing worse than feeling too light-headed during a workout. It causes you to slow down and muddles your mind. Fitness classes are long, and you burn a lot of calories. Prepare yourself beforehand by eating enough to have energy to complete the class without getting dizzy. But, that also doesn’t mean to stuff yourself silly. You’re not going to be a happy camper if you do yoga after eating a Chipotle burrito.
Do stop when you need you need a break
It’s essential to push yourself, but if you feel like you’re going to faint, take a break! It doesn’t matter if the class is still going, if you’re thirsty or tired then stop. Don’t be embarrassed. Put yourself first and satisfy your needs.
Don’t look at the clock
We’re all slaves to the clock. The moment you look at the clock you’ll start counting down. Only 54 minutes left… 45 to go… 31… 18… 17… 16. It will completely distract you from the task at hand. Try your hardest to never look at the clock and be fully focused. But if you can’t avoid it, like me, then hold out as long as possible.
In future columns, I will talk to health professionals, discuss my struggles, and try to answer the question of “what is beauty?” Stay tuned for advice for living a healthy life, and to know you’re not the only person struggling with weight issues.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.email@example.com.
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