Ready to challenge yourself with a new exercise routine? Here’s how to find one that works best for you.


Often times, people are intimidated by different exercise routines that stray from what they’re used to. From body insecurity to self-consciousness in crowds, to never being quite certain if you’re doing something ‘right’ –

All fitness settings are intimidating in some way.

When it comes to finding the right type of exercise for you, the most important thing to remember is to be patient with yourself and realize you will change over time. What serves your body now may not serve your body forever. What is most important is that you enjoy the activity you choose because that is what keeps you going.

No judgement or guilt should come from the type of exercise you choose to do – or not do!

If you have been curious about a new fitness setting, are feeling intimidated by the gym, or feel nervous to try that new studio near you, here are a few tips to ease your apprehension and help you find your new ‘thing’.

1. Contact them.

Call or email the studio or gym you want to check out ahead of time to let them know you want to try out their space, especially if you’re anxious. If it is a boutique studio setting, ask about the best beginner’s classes and what you need to bring (such as socks, mat, towel). If it is a gym setting, ask about the best time to go in and when someone will be there to show you around. The staff is there to help you – it is their job!

2. Take advantage of deals.

Take advantage of new member packages, trials, and freebies. Most gyms and studios offer a free first class, day, or week. Be sure to explore these offers in a variety of settings. The more opportunities you give yourself to check out something new, the greater chance you will find your place, and know it is the right match!

3. Arrive early.

Trying out a group fitness class? Arrive early. Give yourself time to get checked in and oriented to the space. Claim your ideal space in the room, such as the back where it can be helpful to observe the form of more experienced attendees. Make small talk with the person next to you to get a sense of the community vibe. It can be a great way to get insight into the instructors, the typical flow of the classes, and having a friendly face to make you feel more comfortable the next time you make it in. You may just make a new friend in your area!

4. Take the pressure off!

Putting money into the equation can be motivating, or stressful. A year-long gym membership or unlimited monthly class pass can add pressure to get your money’s worth. Be sure to find out all of your options before signing up for something more long term. At boutique studios, it’s helpful to purchase a package or punchcard of several classes that you can use at your leisure. This allows you to alternate days to go for a walk, exercise at home, or just take a rest day, without feeling like you must go to class to avoid wasting money.  Remember, when exercise is forced, it is not enjoyable.

5. Look good, feel good.

Wear your favorite workout gear, or invest in workout gear that makes you feel awesome. A proper fitting tank can often be more inspiring than an old T-shirt from high school. But remember, you don’t need to spend a fortune!

Workout gear doesn’t need to be expensive to look nice. While we can all appreciate investing in pricier items from time to time, check out bargains from Target, Old Navy, T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and other bargain-hunting stores.

6. Conquer your fear.

If it feels scary – that’s all the more reason to do it. Remember, breaking through the fear allows you to grow. You may just surprise yourself and do something you never thought you would or could! It is empowering, and that energy will translate positively to other areas of your life.

Once you find a fitness routine you enjoy, you’ll find yourself craving it!

Adapted from the original article.

Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.

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