We often feel stressed when we are under pressure to perform. Perhaps to pass exams or to get somewhere on time. It can be stressfull when we’re stuck in traffic or the car breaks down, causing us to be late. Possible family situations can delay us from our work, these are things that are out of our control.
We may feel stressed in new situations, perhaps meeting new people or attending a class for the first time. Unresolved stress can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Conversely, having mental or physical issues can be a cause of stress, such as worrying about medical results from a test, or a painful back affecting your posture and daily life. Sleep and eating patterns can also be affected. Stress is managed by understanding what causes you anxiety in the first place and by taking small, manageable steps to alleviate it.
Common worries, which may cause stress in an exercise class situation, may be:
What do I wear?
Wear what you feel comfortable in, such as non-restrictive clothing and soft shoes, or bare feet. Feeling self-conscious about your body is common, wanting to cover-up, but being in a friendly group and sharing your worries with someone else goes a long way to alleviate stress.
Will I fit in?
All of our classes are taught by friendly and fully trained fitness professionals. A simple smile may feel daunting, but having someone smile back helps you to feel welcome and included.
What will people think of me?’
Try not to worry about this. You will be welcomed and your presence valued. They will be pleased to see you, and the sense of being part of a group that is led by a caring teacher helps you to feel welcomed.
Will everyone be looking at me?
Everyone will be looking at the teacher. Place yourself in the exercise hall where you feel most comfortable. You might like to be near the front so you can see the teacher easily, or maybe at the back, to follow other people, or the side of the room incase you feel you need a quick exit!
Will I be able to do the exercises?
If you have any concerns about a physical issue, for example, worrying if a painful knee, will affect your ability to exercise, have a chat with your teacher. FLexercise teachers have the expertise to modify movements for you.
Body confidence comes through learning to enjoy movement
Exercise goes a long way to alleviate stress, giving an outlet for tension, and teaching you to relax and stretch too. Stress triggers the body’s fight, flight or freeze response, releasing the hormones adrenalin and cortisol. Breathing techniques, and learning how to co-ordinate your body and mind, with which movement and dance can really help, releases the ‘happy hormones’, oxytocin and dopamine, giving you a sense of calm, alleviating stress.
FLexercise classes provide an opportunity to understand your body. The teachers focus on enjoyment and not to worry about ‘getting it right’, but to coach and encourage good posture and breathing. You’ll have the freedom to exercise and move as a group. There’s no doubt you’ll have fun and you’ll feel included in the ‘FLexercise family’.