Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Here come the resolution exercisers... Are you ready for 2016?

This post is from Melissa, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

As 2015 comes to a close shortly, many of us take time to reflect on the year that was. I am no different.

What’s struck me this year is the many goals I achieved and the changes that happened. For instance, in January, I ran in my first half marathon in Orlando at Walt Disney World and while I didn’t finish, the confidence that even competing in it gave me propelled me to do many other things throughout the year.

In the early part of 2015, I started cardio conditioning at a local gym dedicated to spinning and found that I loved it. So much so that beginning in 2016, I will not only be teaching Zumba there, I will be getting certified to become a spin instructor myself. Additionally, I left my full-time job of more than 10 years to pursue a career in the fitness industry. It has had many ups and downs but I am happy I made the decision I did to help others achieve their health and wellness goals.

There are so many others I could list but it’s time to look forward to 2016 and the influx of new people who will no doubt be in our classes after making New Year’s resolutions. Are you ready? Here’s a few tips on how to keep those folks coming back to you and make their New Year’s resolutions a lifestyle.

1 – Be patient. Remember, they are just starting out with something new and may need a little more TLC in the beginning. If possible, “pair” them with a veteran in your class until they get used to it but try to encourage them as much as possible without setting them apart too much.

2 – Be motivating. ALL students need to hear to “keep it up” and such but newbies especially need this. In my experience, those new to exercise tend to hit the wall quicker and want to give up. Taking a moment to give them a high five or telling them they’re doing great may help push them through.

3 – Be yourself. Not much to say here but just be you. People will come back to your class because they like the way you smile or move your hips or whatever it is you do. Don’t change just because new people are in the room.

4 – Be “spontaneous.” What I mean here is that in order to put everyone on a level playing field, throw in a new song no-one knows the routine to yet or maybe a new exercise no-one has done before. Nothing will alienate someone trying out group classes more than when it seems like everyone already knows what to do and they don’t.

5 – Be prepared. Unfortunately, people who have been exercising and going to group classes for a while tend to be a little impatient when January rolls around so be prepared to hear a little complaining from your regulars about classes being more full and their “spot” on the floor being taken or the parking lot being full or whatever it may be. Just remind those folks that they were new once too and think about how they would’ve felt if some of the things they were saying were said about them in the beginning. Perspective usually helps calm them down.

6 – Be understanding. Sadly, not everyone will come back or stick to that resolution. Reach out to them once or twice if you haven’t seen them after a class or two but don’t take it personal if you don’t hear back or see them again. Everyone has their season and when they’re ready, you can always be there for them when they are.

I want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2016. Be kind to each other and stay healthy!


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