by Laura Blythe
Exercise classes can be a daunting thing. You are surrounded by a group of people, contorting your body and pushing yourself to your limits. It is only natural to be a bit nervous and self-conscious, right?
Well, you do not have to be. With a few tips from aerobics instructor Jaclyn Mora, you can calm any nerves you may have about exercise classes and get the most out of your work-out.
Mora teaches a variety of classes at the Recreation Center at the University of Missouri, and she understands that it can be nerve-wracking to work-out in front of other people. But through her time teaching, Mora has picked up some tips and tricks that will help you overcome your nerves in the gym.
1) Realize you are not alone
Mora points out that everyone is “just as nervous as you are.” You are not the only one is class who is worried what the other students are thinking. And guess what? Because they are all worried about themselves, they are not thinking about you! By keeping this in mind, you can keep your perspective about what others are thinking.
2) Be confident
Mora offers is that you “pretend you’re confident if you need to.” During your first or second class, you might have to fake a swagger. But just like faking a laugh can actually make you feel happy, faking confidence can be a good way to really pick yourself up—at first. However, Mora insists that faking it really is not necessary—she ultimately recommends that you just be “confident and try your best, and not worry about what others think of you.” By focusing on yourself rather than the thoughts of others, you can help to ensure that you are doing your best in the class.
3) Choose classes you like
Confidence in an exercise class is not just about being able to overcome nervousness in front of others. Mora also recommends that you “pick classes you like.” If you’re enjoying the class and are able to focus on the exercise, you will have no time left over to focus on being self-confident.
4) Switch it up
She also suggests that you do not just stick to one class.
“Try different ones out,” she said, “Pick your favorite ones and stick to them.”
After all, if you are not enjoying the class, you will not be reaping all the benefits. Choosing a class that you enjoy will help your confidence, as you will be too busy having fun to even notice the other people in the class.
Ultimately, what is important is that you try your best and have fun during your workout. Mora encourages you to remember that “workouts are supposed to be fun, relieve stress and make you feel…confident and happy,” so it is up to you to make sure that your workouts are working out for you.
by Rebecca Toback
Everyone has a different opinion on what time of the day is the best time to hit the gym. For me, that time is first thing in the morning. But there are times I’ve found that can provide you with the best work-out, the most motivation, and the drive to kick some butt on the cardio machines.
1) Use break ups as motivation
After a breakup you may have a high desire to get your body into shape. The gym can be your new partner and best friend. Whenever you are bored or longing for your ex, just hit the gym and get going on the treadmill. If you want to get back at the person who broke your heart, get revenge by getting into better shape than you ever were in when you were with that person.
Even better than using the gym to get revenge, use it to catch someone’s eye. When you have a guy in mind that you want to pursue, do an extra set to win him over. When you know that a guy spends every morning from 9-10 at the gym, you can start spending every morning there as well and hope he realizes you, or get on the machine next to him and start a conversation.
2) Tailoring to mood
If you go to the gym when you are happy, you will be more motivated than when you go depressed. The same goes for if you are tired, or completely awake. If you are a morning person, get out of bed and hit the gym. If you could stay up all night, go to the gym after dinner. Going too late is not good either because it may keep you up, but an early evening work-out session could be the thing for you if you would rather sleep in, and work-out later.
3) Set goals and rewards
I sometimes make goals for myself and when I accomplish them, I buy myself a new outfit. Last month I set a goal for myself to run three miles on the elliptical machine in under 30 minutes for three days that week. When I completed my week’s objective, I went to my favorite little boutique and bought new jeans and a trendy top.
4) Join the crowd
Another motivation to go work out is if you go to the gym when you know there will be a lot of people there. You won’t want to cut your work-out short if you’re surrounded by others who are working-out around you. You probably will want to work double time and impress the people on the surrounding machines.
5) Look at the past to inspire the future
If you have gained weight, look at pictures of your old sexier body before you leave to hit the gym. You will be inspired by the figure you used to have and want to work to ensure you get your old less flawed body back. Knowing that you will be healthier after you lose the extra pounds you put on, should get you in the mood to have a great work-out and encourage you to shed those pounds at the gym.
6) Workout where you’re comfortable
If you aren’t a gym person, you can use work out videos in your home. The people on the tape will encourage you to keep going, and work harder. If that works for you, that’s great too. Many cable television systems allow you to rent free work-out tapes from their services. One of my favorite is the Pilates workouts from IO on Demand.
Most importantly what should motivate you to go to the gym is how great you will feel after your work out is complete.
By Katelyn Stark
Every school year I convince myself that I will get in shape by that next summer. And then when the summer comes around I say the same thing just for that next school year. It’s a vicious cycle that my body – and self esteem- does not appriciate it. Through out the school year I’m at least getting some physical activity into my schedule; that’s the advantage of going to school up in the mountains- a promised workout by just walking to class.
But the summer is a completely different story. I have access to a car so even walking just up the road seems rediculous and besides that I work all the time. Maybe if my job involved excersise I would be okay, but I’m an office manager at a summer camp. That means I sit in the mornings when I check campers in, I sit in my office through out the day and get plently of ‘mental excersise,’ but I’m always sitting.
The other day my assistant director Amanda told me I was in danger of getting a ‘butt roll’- an indent a few inches under your butt from sitting that it looks like a roll. Now that sounds pretty. After that drascitic news I knew I had to do something to keep my body from getting rolls where rolls shouldn’t exist, and try to even get rid of some already existing ones. So I came up with these tips for all you hard working ladies that might not always get the physical exercise you need.
• Maximize your walks. If it’s a walk from your car or to the other side of your room, make it count. I sometimes get the privledge to leave the iron bars of my office walls to go into the cafeteria or gym of the elementary school I work at, and you better believe I’m speed walking, using my arms, and occasionally throwing in the random lunge action. I don’t always look like the most graceful lady but I’m burning more calories than I would with the quaint stroll.
• Car dance parties. I spend a lot of time driving in the summer. I drive to work, to my friends, to the movies, to church, to the gas station because I drive so much, and I drive others around me into a good laugh with my awesome car dance moves. Good music always maximizes my workout, and just because I’m sitting behind the wheel doesn’t change that. Moving back and fourth in the seat, twisting your hips, and just getting into the music will burn more calories than just sitting there. So next time you’re in your car put in a good Backstreet Boys cd and have your own personal dance party.
• Water, water, water. I understand that drinking eight glasses of water a day is a lot harder than it sounds, but staying hydrated really does help maintain your weight. Try keeping a water bottle with you. I force myself to drink atleast a glass of water in the morning and I keep my other bottle open on my desk during the day. I will drink as much as I can before I eat any meal because it helps me feel full faster and I stay full longer. Just remind yourself, and what was once an impossible task will become a healthy daily habit.
• Find a work-out buddy. ALERT: STAY AWAY FROM ASKING BOYFRIENDS/OTHER GUY FRIENDS. All that will lead to are hurt feelings and a slap across their faces. Bad idea. Ask a girlfriend, a co-work, or family member. It’s always easier if you have someone to go to the gym with, or get you to the gym for that matter, and it’s a lot more fun if you have someone to complain to about how awful the gym is.
Also, if you really hate working out don’t trust yourself with just doing it on your own. Find a fitness class with an instructer. They will lead you into a workout that will maximise your potential and won’t waste your time.
• Put effort into it. Nothing will be achieved half-heartedly. If you are serious about getting into shape or keeping your figure then
really work at it. It doesn’t have to take more then twenty minutes a day. Keep a journal of your work out schedule and a weekly average of your weight. Just keep going and keep pushing.
I just want to remind all of you ladies that these work-out tips will not get you to a size zero and nor should it. I want to make sure that you’re keeping a heathly weight but also respecting your body at the same time. Curves are beautiful, you’re beautiful; just use these tips to stay healthy- and to prevent an office manager butt roll.