Get The Most Out Of Your Dance Fitness Classes!
Yes, we can be healthy and active even when we are at home, whether it be snow, ice, or pandemic… However, navigating home life in an effort to integrate exercise successfully can be challenging with a variety of changing obstacles. As a past gym user and creator of www.mybodybydance.com, I have had to work through these challenges both from a participant perspective as well as from a provider’s viewpoint. Here are my best tips to making home fitness work successfully:
- Set up your workspace
Getting yourself organized for any new project helps to ensure its success. If you are baking you grab your recipe and ingredients. For crafting you organize your supplies on your workspace. To create a healthy new body, you need to prepare your space as well.
Just as you might do the dishes and clean off your counters before pulling out your baking ingredients, you may need to roll up a rug, move a table or declutter a space to help create the best environment for your fitness regimen.
The setup of the space may take a day or two, or even a week, but it still counts as progress. The fact is you are committing to a new routine and the preparations involved in making that routine happen do count as successful steps forward.
We never focus on the fact that it took some prep time when we grab those cookies out of the oven, so don’t stress about the time you take to get yourself set. What’s the saying? “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Do the opposite of that!
- Revise your plan
Once your space is set up, you have to consider that it may not work entirely as you hoped. You may begin your routine and realize that there are things you didn’t consider that end up being obstacles in the implementation phase. Many good plans need to be reworked and revised to be great plans. That doesn’t mean that your new healthy lifestyle won’t work, it just means that it will work better in a different way.
When I first set up my space for taking My Body By Dance’s online dance fitness classes, I set it in a room upstairs near my bedroom. I thought I could sneak there in the early mornings and quietly workout. The dog’s incessant barking told me otherwise.
Apparently, I was not as quiet as I thought I could be. Also, the space was a bit smaller than I had realized, AND it was awfully close to my bed which made it very difficult for me to get out of bed. Dance workouts especially require just a little more room to spread out.
After a week of choosing on most days to just cuddle back under the covers, I knew I needed to try something different.
After walking room to room, I realized that my daughter’s playroom was the next best option. This sounds more complicated than it was, but I moved my daughter’s toys to a smaller more enclosed space, which did require a bit of thinning out of her possessions – no real tears were shed.
And, once I got her reorganized her old playroom was perfect. It is a good size, away from everyone, AND it has a door that shuts which is so helpful if your family is home when you are trying to escape and workout!
- Be flexible and love yourself!
Let’s face it, it is really difficult to start new things and we don’t always get the support that we need to put ourselves first. Let your selfcare be an evolving project that stays joyful.
This is a one foot in front of the other kind of thing. Keep that mindset even when there is a step backward. You know the direction you are going, so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and adapt.
Maybe your plan is to work out at 6:00 a.m. daily, but you have a sick child or work deadline that derails your plans to get a good night’s rest, or you have an early morning conference call. Your healthy lifestyle is a forever plan.
These obstacles are temporary interruptions, don’t give them any more power than that! Use your flexibility to adjust for that one day, or if necessary, go back to tip #2 and revise.
- Early in the day
Statistics show that early morning home workouts are the most successful – 6:00 a.m. being the number one time to work out with 5:00 a.m. in second place and 9:00 a.m. in third place.
My personal experience supports these numbers. If I can get right out of bed and start my day with a workout, I am more likely to be successful. If I miss my morning workout, it takes more discipline for me to log onto the fitness program and get moving.
Once those early morning hours pass, my mind is filled with all of my “should dos” and “must dos”, and many times I lose myself to the agendas of others and all the obligations that need to be taken care of.
Starting your day before you get bogged down by your list of things to do is – at least statistically speaking – the best way to integrate a home exercise routine. For me, that morning routine increases my energy, improves how my body feels, and also helps to support more healthy decisions as the day goes on.
- Use an online resource
There are just way too many potential derailments when trying to workout at home. I find it so easy to get bored or distracted.
And, I can’t tell you how many times my child, dog and/or husband have come in during a 30 minute time frame with a question or need that required immediate attention, never mind the beeper on the washing machine that calls for someone to flip the laundry into the dryer.
Or the phone ringing. Funny how we silence our phones at the gym, but don’t give ourselves the same courtesy at home.
I may be a bit biased as the creator of www.mybodybydance.com, but I find that when I log onto a workout led by someone else, even if it is a prerecorded class, I am less likely to walk away and not finish. And, my family is less likely to interrupt. It is one thing when mom is laying on the floor by herself trying to stretch or plank, it is, for some reason, totally different when I am logging on to take a class.
The respect for that time will assist you in being successful. Additionally, I have to confess, I have given up on myself several times in my own workouts but never in a class led by someone else. Never mind how beneficial it is to be doing new things and pushing yourself because someone else has predetermined what your workout today will be. There are so many online professionals in the fitness industry, let’s tap into their knowledge and experience to help secure our own success.
- Use the LIVE class experiences
Let’s face it, working out requires self-discipline, and self-discipline can weaken and even become depleted. So, using tools that help to diminish how hard you have to work to be successful is an important practice.
One of the ways to do this is to participate in LIVE online offerings. You don’t have to make yourself visible by camera when you partake in LIVE Classes. The benefit that you will experience is that LIVE Classes are an appointment. They are a set time that you commit to working out.
You can’t put off a LIVE Class. If you want to attend it then you have to show up at the time it’s offered. Additionally, so many of these classes build communities. You may not find your next best friend at your online fitness class, but you will find like-minded individuals with similar goals who will help support you in achieving your fitness goals.
- Check your internet
Who knew we would all become aware of how good our internet at home is and needs to be. It is not an issue if you are up before everyone else to online stream your favorite class, but if you have kids doing remote learning and a spouse logging on to work from home, you will start to stretch your internet strength, which can make your online workout experience extremely frustrating.
It is the absolute worst to be in the middle of a class that starts buffering, freezing or just kicks you out, argh! Especially when you have used your self-discipline to get to your workout space ready to reap the benefits and instead you can feel your blood pressure rising as your video streaming locks you out of your experience.
If you have multiple parties in your house using the internet, it is another reason for you to schedule your online experience before work and school hours hog the internet bandwidth. If you still experience internet issues, it might be worth a call to your internet provider to see what your speeds are.
Some prerecorded videos allow you to downgrade the quality of the image right in the settings bar. This will help because it will use less of your internet power and in many cases, you won’t even notice that the picture might not be as sharp. The important thing is to keep your workout videos streaming fluidly.
- Modify the class material
Whether you are taking a prerecorded class or a LIVE online class, modify the experience so that it fits you. Hey, you just won’t love every move that is done in every class and there may be others that you can’t do.
If you have sore knees, a bad back or stiff neck, you have to listen to your body and keeping yourself uninjured is a huge part of your new healthy routine. Don’t push yourself to do something that you are uncomfortable with.
Here’s the thing, you are at home, no one is looking, so modify! Besides the idea of injury, there are other reasons to modify. I am not suggesting cutting corners, but when I love a move and can really feel it working, I don’t transition into the next thing just because the instructor does.
This experience is about you, so you do you, and enjoy it! If that cardio dance tempo is a little too intense, slow it down to match your ability. Eventually, you’ll get there!
- Avoid counter-productive habits
Slowly beginning to diminish or eliminate habits that challenge your ability to stay on track with your workout routine is an important part of this whole process. We are all working at changing our lifestyles, that means this new routine needs to become more permanent in nature. If your goal is to work out at 6:00 a.m., then binge watching that riveting new TV series until midnight is likely going to derail you.
Eating a heavy dinner or gigantic bowl of ice cream after 8:00 p.m. will also contribute challenges to your abilities of getting up early and giving it your all. As will drinking alcohol and or caffeine the night before.
Getting to bed by 10:00 p.m. and being able to sleep the whole night will support your ability to hop out of bed before everyone else gets up and work your full body. Start taking stock in the things that tend to work against you and one by one begin eliminating those behaviors so that nothing stands in the way of your success!
- Love Yourself
You are working out as a part of your positive plan for yourself. This is about improving and maybe reinventing yourself so there is no place for an internal negative script!
You are awesome for all of your efforts! Relish your successes and adapt around your missteps. Forward movement, baby! That’s all we need, little positive steps forward daily!
You got this!