Starting a new workout routine or activity can be a fun adventure. But it can also be a scary one. If you are trying some sort of athletic activity you have rarely or never done, there can be a lot of emotions surrounding your new lifestyle.
Here are some things to consider when venturing into something new:
PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR & SHOW UP
You can give yourself a high-five fort this one because showing up is half the battle. Count this as a positive step in your health & fitness.
TAKE A FRIEND OR MAKE A FRIEND
Having a support system helps calm nerves, fears or self-doubt. If you don’t already have a friend involved in your class, then make a friend. Be engaged & involved with the people in the fitness community you have chosen to reside in. Feeling comfortable with someone else in your class will also release those “good feeling” hormones that will cause pathways in your brain to remember that place as a happy one.
Make an effort to arrive 5-10 minutes before class. This gives you time to interact with coaches & instructors, settle your stuff where it needs to be & prepare mentally for the task ahead. It also will keep stress levels low. Even if it was a stressful day or you had a stressful event leading up to arriving at your class, having a few minutes to prepare mentally will help your physical ability as well.
MAKE NECESSARY MODIFICATIONS
Whether you need to modify at every class or only at certain classes, do it. You only get one shot with the body you have & the last thing you want is an injury because your pride got in the way of your brain. If you are not physically capable of doing what is being asked, your instructor will be very happy to help you modify. No good instructor wants anything more for you than healthy movement. They don’t really care that you can do the highest-level skill in the world; they care that you can do your highest-level skill.
DONT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
We’ve all looked at someone else in class & thought how nice it would be to be as flexible, fast or strong as that person. Everyone starts somewhere & you probably don’t know the full story of where that person started. Physical activity is part of a heath journey so don’t worry if someone else seems “better” than you.
Remember that this health journey you are on is for you. So keep your “why” in mind & keep pushing forward. Don’t give up on that new activity after one class. Keep going, keep putting it on your calendar & keep being proud of yourself for doing your best!