You’re right, challenging classes ARE fun! Energetic instructors, heart-pumping music, high fives, and a workout you would not normally do on your own. However, is the risk worth the reward?
When it comes to group exercise classes, it is important to do your homework and know what you’re getting into instead of just showing up. Here are some steps to take before signing up:
1. Call the studio itself to ask about specifics of what to expect in the class.
2. If you have any injuries, inform the instructor. They should be able to scale the exercises down or up for you.
3. Know your limits. Pain is never a good thing, and remember: It is not something to push through.
4. If it’s your first time doing a class, don’t do your run on the same day.
5. Always cool down, stretch, and rehydrate. Most classes will not allot the adequate amount of time to do this. Take an extra 10 minutes before going to bed to make sure you’re actively recovering from the workout.
Most of all, have fun with your training. If you like to be challenged, do it in a smart way. You know your body the best. Remember that pain is never a good thing and recovery is key!
Kara Federowicz is a certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning coach at the Tisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. Kara has a degree from Penn State University in Kinesiology.