4 Elements of the Perfect Fitness Class

Even a foolproof workout routine won’t get you in shape if you don’t stick with it. But a good fitness

Even a foolproof workout routine won’t get you in shape if you don’t stick with it. But a good fitness class will get you motivated—and help you stay that way. To find the right fitness class for you, look for the following four elements:

A great teacher
An inspiring instructor can make a challenging workout feel achievable while ensuring you don’t push yourself beyond your body’s limitations. Whether it’s a yoga class or a boot camp work out, a good teacher will give you just the right amount of personal attention to let you know she’s tuned into your needs as an individual, rather than just one of the crowd.

Supportive classmates
A good instructor is a must, but an encouraging community of gym buddies can also transform a fitness class. On those days when it’s a struggle just to get yourself to the gym, there’s nothing like seeing the “regulars” to get you into the spirit. Having your classmates to commiserate with during a tough routine, cheer you on when you reach a new level, and just joke around and gossip with after class will make exercising something you look forward to rather than simply endure.

The right energy
Some call it a “feeling,” others say it’s a “vibe”—however you say it, you recognize it the instant you walk into the room. A class with the right level of positive energy will keep you going and help you focus on your body as you move through the workout. Generally it’s the instructor who sets the vibe, but equally important are the vibe of the gym itself and the energy projected by the others in the class.

The routine
Every Pilates class or Zumba workout is unique. Your best friend may swear by Bikram yoga, but intense heat might not be your thing. Some classes will be too strenuous, others too slow. Whatever the genre, a good workout pushes you beyond what you’d be able to do on your own, but not so hard that you leave vowing never to return. If you love an instructor but are less than thrilled by the routine, explain what didn’t work for you and find out if he teaches another class or can recommend a different teacher.

Source: Experience Life Magazine

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest