In spite of the well documented benefits of exercising, only 5% of adults in the U.S. exercise the prescribed 30 minutes a day, reports the CDC. And in the summertime, that number drops down to 0.5%! Kidding about that last part. But seriously, we thought mid-way through the year would be the perfect time to give you a swift kick in the rear, and get yourself back into gear (after all we are experts in shaping the booty, and everything else). So here are the all time, top 5 excuses of why you’re not showing up to class, and how kick them to the curb!
1) I don’t have time. The mother of all excuses. We know, we know, you are really busy. But guess what…so is everyone else (#toughlove). We always end up finding the time for the things we actually value. For us, we apparently really value Instagram, a lot (so says our weekly iPhone report, ouch). For others, it’s their nightly TV shows or weekend-binging Netflix.
So what’s the solution? Find a consistent time of day, or part of your week, where you’re typically free. Is that usually the nighttime for you? Or are you an early bird and are usually up a couple hours before you head into work? Maybe it’s your lunch hour, or the late morning right after you drop the kids off. Or maybe there’s literally not an extra 30-straight minutes during your workday, but Saturday mornings, or Sunday afternoons are consistently open. Start with ONE DAY a week. That’s it. It takes the pressure off an unrealistic goal, and allows you to find a rhythm. And it should go without saying once you nail that workout at the same time and/or day for 4 straight weeks, keep growing girlfriend.
2. I’m too tired. Ever heard of the phrase burn out? We’re all pretty darn exhausted, given the overstimulation and non-stop pace of our daily lives nowadays (in other words, surviving not thriving). Exercise is a paradox – it should physically fatigue your muscles, but you’ll actually feel more energized from it. Exercise increases the production of your feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin and natural endorphins that will make you feel better and more energized. Having a disciplined exercise routine is also the best way to maintain a consistently positive sleep experience because it helps your body establish a rhythm. Bonus: Mind-body exercises such as barre can also help lower cortisol levels and reduce blood pressure, which contributes to lower stress and better sleep.
If you’re the type of person that hits a wall after lunch time, carve out the time to get it done in the morning. Try exercising first thing in the morning – before you pick up your phone (make it your ‘reward’ to check your phone, or to get your coveted morning coffee, after you’ve moved your body). If you can’t stand the thought of an exercise class before the sun is up, then choose a time when you feel your best (and not overly tired). Maybe for you that is after work – to destress, and start to wind down from a long day. Remember too, that of course exercise is never the reason why you are tired in the first place. Going to bed and waking up at a consistent time seven days a week will also help you to set a healthy circadian rhythm and optimize your rest.
3) I can’t afford a membership. Have you ever tried to reverse engineer a goal before? It almost feels like magic when you trick yourself into buying something that you assume you can’t afford, by simply taking the time to reverse engineer a solution. Let’s say you land on lunch hour as the best time to day to dedicate to exercise. You used to head out to eat every day, but now that you’re going to work out on your lunch break, you’ll need to eat back at your desk. That means you’ll need to start making your lunch, which will put around $200 back into your wallet monthly, once you factor in the groceries to make lunch. That should pay for a membership, and maybe a pair of leggings each month (winning!). Head to Starbucks on the way into work every. single. day? Cozy up to the break room coffeemate, because putting that money back into your pocket just paid for an exercise class.
Ok but seriously, you can actually brass tacks your way into the barre studio, if you’re really serious about having a nice butt 😉 One of the biggest ways to save money is to examine what you’re spending on food, and/or socially, so start there if you’re looking to cut back on expense. Looking for more ways to save? Ask your studio if there’s a discount for a longer commitment (like an annual membership), or if they have tiered memberships or other current specials to make something work within your budget. Consider asking if they need help at the front desk, or have a barreter program! Or work out from home while you’re saving up, with a streaming subscription. (Grab the details of ours here.)
4) I’m uncomfortable (also read: too old, out of shape, embarrassed, uncoordinated). One of the biggest mistakes we make, in particular in group fitness, is to make grossly inaccurate expectations of what our results should be, usually by comparing yourself to a totally unrealistic standard you have set – before you even get started. Just STOP. Comparison robs you of the ability to connect within your own body, and honestly judge your experience. If you had been in a private class with your best friend instead, would you have felt differently afterwards about the class? The great thing about Neighborhood Barre is that it’s a judgement free zone.
There is no dress code here, and it’s not a sorority house. You do not need to look a certain way, you do not need to be a certain age, nor a certain weight. You do not need to be flexible, to learn choreography or terms before you get here, or buy a certain outfit or even grippy socks to take class. Just bring your big girl pants (leggings preferred), and a can-do attitude. This is your time, your precious time, to honor your body, and do your personal best. Be kind, be humble, be patient, be realistic, and most of all – be proud – of yourself.
5. I tried it and I didn’t like it. If you truly didn’t like the class, figure out why. Was it that you got sweaty? Was it that you felt lost or confused? Don’t prefer the music, or was it too crowded? First impressions are rarely 110% nailed every time. Getting started with nearly anything (fitness or otherwise) takes about three times on average to make a fair judgement if it’s for you. Try again, but maybe a different class style, class time or instructor. Consider bringing a friend to make it more enjoyable, or (gasp!) chat someone up that’s already a client before or after class. Talk about the best way to get candid feedback on the studio, the instructor, or any other questions you have!
If you were really lost or super uncomfortable as a new client, check out the studio website or social accounts to see if they offer a 101/intro class, or workshop. And to give both yourself and the studio a fair shot, have an honest conversation with the instructor, both before class (to set yourself up for success with any modifications you know you’ll likely need) and after class (for troubleshooting). If you didn’t like it, tell the instructor why after class. Don’t say it was great, and then duck out at lightning speed. She would much rather help you find a solution to a tough position or a move from class, than you never come back. If you couldn’t hear her instruction over the music, tell her! If you prefer more hands-on adjusting (or less hands-on), tell her! Pay it forward, and don’t waste your precious time.
Don’t wait until the kids are back to school or January 1, 2020, let’s get to work now!! Do you even realize how much better you can start feeling, tomorrow!? Ok, so let’s put some pep into your step (or pulse as we like to say), and get back to it!