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Back to the barre…curbing your excuses

In spite of the well documented benefits of exercising, only 5% of adults in the U.S. exercise the prescribed 30 minutes a day, reports the CDC! And in the summertime, that number drops down to 0.5%!? Kidding about that last part, but seriously, we thought mid-way through the year would be the perfect time to give you a swift kick in the rear, to get yourself back into gear (after all we are experts in shaping the booty, and everything else). So here are the all time, top 5 excuses of why you’re not showing to class, and how kick them to the curb!

1) I don’t have time. The mother of all excuses. We know, we know, you are really busy. But guess what…so is everyone else (#toughlove). We always end up finding the time for the things we actually value. For us, we apparently really value Instagram, a lot (so says our weekly iPhone report, ouch). For others, it’s their nightly TV shows or weekend-binging netflix. 

So what’s the solution? Find a consistent time of day, or part of your week, where you’re typically free. Is that usually the nighttime for you? Or are you an early bird and usually up a couple hours before you actually head into work? Maybe it’s your lunch hour, or the late morning right after you drop the kids off. Or maybe there’s literally not an extra 30-straight minutes during your workday, but Saturday mornings, or Sunday afternoons are consistently open. Start with ONE DAY a week. That’s it. It takes the pressure off an unrealistic goal, and allows you to find a rhythm. And it should go without saying once you nail that workout at the same time and/or day for 4 straight weeks, keep growing girlfriend. Don’t forget that nb offer class formats that range from 30 minutes to 50 minutes, so you can accommodate your schedule based on class type, too! Don’t forget that workout buddies are an automatic accountability system. Grab a friend, neighbor or family member, and odds are you’ll stick with it longer (and get in some social time and connection to boot!).

2. I’m too tired.  Ever heard of the phrase burn out? We’re all pretty darn exhausted, given the overstimulation and non-stop pace of our daily lives nowadays (in other words, surviving not thriving). Exercise is a paradox – it should physically fatigue your muscles, but you’ll actually feel more energized from it.  Exercise increases your blood flow and gets your circulation going, increasing the production of your feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin and natural endorphins that will make you feel better and more energized.

If you’re the type of person that hits a wall after your morning coffee runs out, carve out the time to get it done first thing in the morning. Literally first thing – before you pick up your phone (make it your ‘reward’ to check your phone, or get your cup of coffee, after you’ve moved your body). If you can’t stand the thought of an exercise class before the sun is up, then choose a time when you feel your best (and not overly tired). Maybe for you that is after work – to destresss, and start to wind down from a long day. Remember too that of course exercise is never the reason why you are tired in the first place. Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time seven days a week to find a healthy circadian rhythm and optimize your rest.

3) I can’t afford a membership. Have you ever tried to reverse engineer a goal before? It almost feels like magic when you trick yourself into buying something that you assume you can’t afford, by simply taking the time to reverse engineer a solution. Remember rule #1 above of making time to workout? Let’s say you decide your lunch hour is your biggest chunk of ‘free time’ in the day. You usually get out of the office and gab with your work husband or cubicle neighbor about your annoying boss over a salad or tacos next door…4 out of 5 days a week. Well add up your lunch budget, and you’ve just paid for TWO gym memberships (nothing like motivating a friend to come with you to class, by paying for their class too!).

Head to Starbucks on the way into work every. single. day? Cozy up to the break room coffeemate, because putting that money back into your pocket just paid for an exercise class. Ok but seriously, you can actually brass tax your way into the barre studio, if you’re really serious about having a nice butt 😉 Looking for more ways to save? Ask your studio if there’s a discount for a longer commitment (like an annual membership), or other current specials to get the best rate. Between annual anniversary sales, Black Friday, Christmas in July and plenty of other holidays, there’s nearly always an option to find an affordable package that works for your lifestyle. Need a heftier discount? Ask your studio if they need help at the front desk, in child care, or have a barreter program!

4) I’m uncomfortable (also read: too old, out of shape, embarrassed, uncoordinated). One of the biggest mistakes we make, in particular in group fitness, is to make grossly inaccurate expectations of what our results should be, usually by comparing yourself to a totally unrealistic standard you have set – before you even get started. Just STOP. Comparison robs you of the ability to connect within your own body, and honestly judge your experience. If you had been in a private class with your best friend instead, would you have felt differently afterwards about the class? The great thing about Neighborhood Barre is that it’s a judgement free zone. (This is what we hear from client testimonials over and over again!)

There is no dress code here,  and it’s not a sorority house. You do not need to look a certain way, you do not need to be a certain age, nor a certain weight. You do not need to be flexible, to learn choreography or terms before you get here, or buy a certain outfit or even grippy socks to take class. Just bring your big girl pants (leggings preferred), and a can-do attitude. This is your time, your precious time, to honor your body, and do your personal best. Be kind, be humble, be patient, be realistic, and most of all – be proud – of yourself. 

5. I tried it and I didn’t like it. If you truly didn’t like the class, figure out why. Was it that you got sweaty? Was it that you felt lost or confused? Don’t prefer the music, or was it too crowded? First impressions are rarely 110% nailed every time. Getting started with nearly anything (fitness or otherwise) takes about three times on average to make a fair judgement if it’s for you. Try again, but maybe a different class style, class time or instructor. Consider bringing a friend to make it more enjoyable, or (gasp!) chat someone up that’s already a client before or after class. Talk about the best way to get candid feedback on the studio, the instructor, or any other questions you have!

If you were really lost or super uncomfortable as a new client, check out the website or social accounts to see if they offer a 101/intro class, or workshop. Or again, consider starting with an online workout (although keep in mind you won’t be getting the individualized attention you’ll likely need as a newbie to improve your experience).  Don’t wait until ‘the kids are back to school’ or next New Years, let’s get to work now!! Your health won’t wait. Do you even realize how much better you can start feeling, tomorrow!? Ok, so let’s put some pep back into your step (or pulse as we like to say), and get back to it! 

P.S. Mention this blog post, and your local nb studio will have a special offer to get back into to the barre, just for you!!