Group Exercises Classes: A Great Way to Stay Motivated!

Maintaining a regular workout routine is a no easy task. It’s even more challenging when you take on a new job and schedule, which is exactly what I did.

After 5 years of opening the JCC at 5am Monday through Friday, I took a new position as the Fitness Administrative Assistant. So while you may not see me as soon as you walk into the fitness center, I’m still around – a lot!

While I’m happy to have a more normal sleep schedule, taking this new job meant I had to completely throw my old routine out the window. And as a creature of habit, this was hard. I not only had to adjust to a new schedule, but also figure out a way to sustain a workout regimen.

First I tried exercising before work, then after work, seeing what would be better. As it turns out, neither are easy. Since I’ve become more accustomed to sleeping later, it’s tough getting out of bed early, and sometimes I’m too worn out to workout after. So lately, I’ve been working out during my break, which I find is a really nice way to break up my day, and it leaves my mornings and evenings open. By exercising on my break, it’s already scheduled into my day and I don’t have to plan for it elsewhere.

However, I can’t maintain this every day. Of course, there are some days where I just lack the motivation, or forget to plan. And in order for me to exercise, I need to have my workout planned in advance. If I don’t, I end up pedaling on the elliptical for an hour. While that can be a great workout, it gets stale when doing it on repeat.

So in these instances, I find that one of the best ways to stay on track is by taking classes. The instructors and group setting are motivational and it’s so much easier to workout when someone is telling me what to do. No thought required – I just need to put in the work. And there are so many different classes – from indoor cycling to core to Pilates – to choose from that it’s easy to switch it up.

Fitness 450 logoOne of my favorite exercise classes recently has been Fitness 450. Like the instructors themselves, the equipment in the studio is so versatile that I never know what I’m in for when I walk in. I can be rowing and running, getting a fast-paced cardio workout in one class, and then be doing weight training with bicep curls and lat pulldowns in the next.

I’ve never been one to count my steps or track my progress, but I actually enjoy wearing the Scosche heart rate monitor in 450 classes because not only do I get to see my heart rate, but I get to see how many moves I’ve earned from the workout in my JCC Rockland app. I use those stats to compete against myself and see if I can beat the amount of moves I get in my next 450 class.

I’ve never really been into sports, but I also began playing Pickleball when we brought it to our JCC back in January, and it’s become one of my favorite forms of cardio. I learned how to play at our demos and kept at it in my spare time. So not only did I find a fun new workout, but I picked up a new skill as well. And taking classes here can do that. You get motivation from the instructor while picking up new exercises that you can put into your own routines or discovering a new sport.

The most important thing I’ve learned in my quest to maintain a healthy workout routine during this transitional period is to not stick to just one routine and try new things. So switch up your routine by breaking out of your comfort zone. Take the class you’ve been eyeing on the schedule or try a new sport you’ve always wanted to play, because you never know what might stick until you try it.

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