Hi Hayley,

I've never been a terribly active person, but I'm trying really hard to change. Unfortunately, having been sedentary for many years means that I'm terribly out of shape. I've started doing all the standard things: taking the stairs more, walking where I would normally take the bus, etc., and I've noticed that it's made a bit of a difference (for example, I can now make it up a long flight of stairs without feeling like I'm about to die).

For the first time in my life, I'm really motivated and really interested in taking fitness classes. I signed up for ClassPass and have started taking some beginner level classes. However, I'm finding that I'm a fair bit more beginner than even the beginner level; my body just doesn't move how it needs to yet.

I'm definitely someone who needs to make the commitment of signing up for a class to ensure that I actually go, and I really like the group atmosphere... I'd just really like to find something that's better suited to my current fitness level until I'm up to a beginner level.

Any suggestions...?



Let’s take you back to the moment when you decided you were going to take the stairs or walk when you would normally take the bus. Was that easy for you at the beginning? Or was it a physical struggle that required effort? I am assuming since you said you can now walk an entire flight of stairs without feeling like you are going to die, it wasn’t easy to start. And I am sure that when you first made it to the top of those stairs without gasping for air you had a moment where you were proud of yourself.

Now that you have signed up for classes you have upped the ante, which is EXACTLY what you need to do to continue to see improvements in your fitness. If it was always easy for you, you would never become stronger. So, once something gets easy you need to step away from that comfort zone and get yourself comfortable at being uncomfortable again.

There is only one option for you which is keep going to class and keep doing what you can do. Each class set an expectation for yourself and then follow through with it. Maybe your first class you are going to set a goal of starting and finishing the class with the rest of the group no matter how many breaks you are going to need to take to get there. There is NO shame in resting if you need it; however as you become stronger you need to push through those mental struggles. Maybe your second week of classes you set the intention of at least one time you push through when you want to stop, and then the next week you push through two moments and then one day you do the entire class from start to finish.

You have to keep finding ways continue to get out of your comfort zone. Just because my comfort zone is trying to run a personal best 10km does not make you pushing yourself in a beginner class any less of a feat. It is all relative and we are all working just as hard. Do not stop going to classes and continue to work hard on your own time so that you can one day keep up. If you keep taking baby steps forward and making small changes each week who knows where you will be in a year. But if you give up now and already feel as though you can’t do it, then you have a much longer road ahead of you. Keep me posted on your progress. I am excited for you!

Attached - Minka Kelly leaving the gym the other day in Los Angeles.