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Fitting In Exercise At The Barre: A Novice's Guide To Getting Started

Let's face it, we all have busy schedules and not enough time in the day to get to it all. Adding one more thing to our list may seem completely overwhelming. We've all been there. And until about three years ago, I hadn't stepped foot into a place that remotely resembled a studio, gym or exercise facility (unless you count my kiddos' school gymnasium) in approximately 9 years. Taking that first step was probably the most challenging for me. What do I do, where do I go, how will I find the time? Four things were integral to getting me started on the right track.

  • convenience
  • flexibility
  • cost
  • accountability

I was new to the neighborhood and noticed a barre studio less than a mile from my home. For me, this was key. I've had gym memberships in the past but if the commute is greater than 5 minutes, the likelihood that it will happen is slim to none (exactly 0 commutes in 8 years). I'd heard about barre classes but didn't know much, other than it wasn't a gathering place for cocktails, so I went online to check it out. It looked doable. However, my ballet class as a 6 year old was the extent of my barre experience. And a semester of yoga class in college should count for something, but that was 20 years ago. Lucky for me, the studio had a monthly unlimited online option that cost less than a DVD . This meant I could brush up on my skills in the privacy of my own home without looking like a complete amateur (although now I know that no experience is needed to participate in a barre class). And I could do it anytime; anytime my schedule allowed, even if that meant my kiddos were 'helping' me through the workout, which at times looked more like a circus act.

A few months down the road I signed up for a 'free community' class in the studio and was hooked. It wasn't as intimidating as I'd feared and there were others in attendance who were new to the scene as well. I felt stronger. I felt accomplished and ready to prioritize this into my lifestyle-this also involved looking for new activewear that worked for me, but that's for another day. Initially I began scheduling one or two classes per week. Some weeks I made it and other weeks it was a struggle. I know this sounds cliche, but the the important thing for me was not giving up and just committing to starting over. There were periods of time that I went three months without taking a class. Life happens and we have to make a conscious decision to move forward. 

Scheduling fitness into my calendar has helped me stay committed and accountable. If it's documented, it has more priority for me, and oh how I love to check things off my list. Involving friends and family is also a great way to stay on track-whether you decide to have them join in on the fun, or just check in on your progress-it's another motivating factor. And let's be honest, there are some days when just getting out of bed seems like a chore, so any extra motivation is appreciated.

And there we have it. We all have varying levels of fitness, unique goals and lifestyles so there's not a one-size-fits-all equation to getting started, whether it is fitness, a new job or simply a fresh outlook. But I hope something I've shared from my experience has resonated with you, motivated you, or encouraged you to share your own experiences so that others may learn and benefit. Looking forward to the journey and hearing about yours!

Melissa Tuttle

Fit For Barre 





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