Beth Oldfield

I wrote this piece last year but it needs to be repeated.

I am very clear with all of my students that they are the boss when it comes to whether or not to perform certain exercises. “If something feels wrong or painful, do not do it.”

When I say this in my group fitness classes, it is a way for me to make sure that people understand how to be aware of their own limits.

People come to group classes for many different reasons. Some are there just to socialize, while others have serious fitness goals. For this reason, I make sure that my students learn to listen to their own bodies.

Exercise is meant to make you uncomfortable to a certain degree.  If you are there to try to lose weight or become more flexible, you will need to step out of your comfort zone to achieve your goal.  You may need to increase your heart rate to burn more calories or you may need assistance in reaching a bit further in stretch classes.

Ultimately though, no one should push you beyond what you deem to be your acceptable limit.  We all have to decide how far to push ourselves.  The good thing about group classes is that they give you an idea of what others are doing to step out of their comfort zone. Working with a personal trainer can help you establish what you need to do to meet your targets, based on your specific situation.

Just be aware that your current state of health is largely a result of you being comfortable to some degree.

To make positive changes to your current situation, you will need to spend time feeling uncomfortable. Soon you will establish a new normal for yourself. A new zone of healthier living and joy!

Have a great day.