Make Your Exercise Class a Better Experience
Walking out of the middle of an exercise class is more common than you might think. Do you walk out from sheer frustration, pain or both? My review is based on my own experience and those of my friends.
At 60+ years of age, I accept I have osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, chronic conditions that can limit my activity. I treat each condition differently. As a trainer, I know how to focus my energies and where to go to take the best classes. I strengthen my bones, exercise major muscle groups that move my joints, stretch often and eat well. All along avoiding pain at all costs! Going to a gym with quality instructors makes all the difference. Effective classes are taught by instructors who follow industry guidelines, studied kinesiology or are trained by nationally accredited agencies as personal trainers or physical therapists.
I asked a few friends if they ever left a class in the middle of a program (not including spinning). Their reactions were mixed. Some told me they had a difficult time keeping up and felt embarrassed, the music was not to their liking because of style or volume, the instructor’s exercise cues were not clearly timed (a cue to change patterns is supposed to be seconds before you are expected to move), and others had nagging pain that threw their timing off.
Take responsibility for a good workout
If you are a novice, returning to exercise after an extended absence, suffer with a chronic condition that limits you or you’re fed up with soreness after class – there are solutions. It starts with observing a class to see if how interesting it is to you. Perhaps, have a conversation with the instructor beforehand and talk about your situation. Be brief, there is not enough time for a lengthy conversation before class. If not, be sure to catch the instructor next time. Keep in mind, if you have a medical condition that has not been diagnosed by your doctor, do not expect a diagnosis from the instructor because it is beyond their scope of practice. However, they may be able to make suggestions how to adapt and modify your exercises.
A few times a week I take aerobics – spin or step. One of my favorite instructors was teaching step, so I went to her class, knowing my hip pain might flair up. I positioned myself in the front with only one riser (versa the two I usually use), until my hip began to hurt. I was frustrated because I wasn’t keeping up with the rhythm of the class. I didn’t want to distract the others so instead, I went in the back of the room and stretched, then returned. Leaving the floor had nothing to do with the instructor, it was my way of coping.
The instructor should demonstrate warm-up routines that mimic moves your body will be doing during class. Warm-ups also help flush blood and oxygen to your muscles. This will prepare your body when you get into the meat of the class. Position yourself in the room where you can see and hear the instructor well. If you stand in the back, others in front of you can be a distraction.
Is the instructor yelling at the top of their lungs and playing music so loud you need earplugs, or worse you can’t hear at all? Is the music even appropriate? It’s all worthy of consideration so you can have a fun, pain-free experience.
Learn to feel your movements (proprioception) from the inside out. When you do, your brain will transfer the information through the nervous system, thus making it easier to move your body properly and self-correct. It takes practice.
Find a quiet moment, lie down on a flat surface with your eyes closed. Relax as you scan your body from head to toe, paying close attention to which parts feel tight, uneven, etc. It takes practice and maybe another set of eyes to guide you because our everyday positions become habit and we won’t necessarily feel the difference between corrective form and not. Watch your refection in a mirror or when you walk alongside a store window. Do you walk straight, or do you slump with your shoulders rounded and protruding forward? Think of it as a scientific experiment.
Your cool-down is just as important as your warm-up. It prepares your body for homeostasis, when your body returns to normal temperature. If the instructor does little to cool you down, be sure to do so on your own. You want to feel invigorated rather than wiped out when you’re finished.
Practice working your plan
If your fitness plan includes remaining active, getting stronger, reducing inflammation and stiffness, it can be tricky to say the least if you don’t know how. By learning practical ways, you can stay in class longer and enjoy the experience.
Group class not right for you? Consider having a Lori Michiel Fitness certified personal trainer come to your home. Whether it’s for a jumpstart on your exercise routine, or a regular weekly or monthly visit, we’ll develop a custom “class” just right for you!
Kind Words from our Clients
My struggle area right now, Lori!
You are such a blessing and like your sign in the video in the background, I do 'give thanks' for you and your dedication to all of us who are trying to do the best we can with our bodies...no matter where we are and at what stage of health we are in!
Love your heart to serve, my friend!
- Deb M.
Steven A. Vasilev
- Steven A. Vasilev MD MBA FACOG FACS FACN ABIHM ABOIM
Lori and her team provide personal training for my elderly mother who has Alzheimer's and dementia, as part of her overall care. They customized a program addressing her needs, including balance and mobility. She really likes her two trainers and looks forward to her sessions. I highly recommend Lori Michiel Fitness!
- Judi G.
- Judi G.
Blessings, Fabiola, Personal Trainer
I am very thankful for finding you and for your willingness to work with me! You are a wonderful person and I appreciate you very much.
Lori, I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have found you. What a gift your work is to the senior community.
- Ms. Dailey
Your fitness program has really helped my mom!! I saw her this week and she is stronger and her balance has really improved. She got up from her chair so much easier!!!
Best news, she's very happy that she started working out and she adores Sam and Rita.She actually looks forward to it.
It's great to have a job that makes a difference in people’s lives. What a blessing you have been to all of us. Thank you so so much for all you do.
Best wishes to you for a beautiful new year.
Rene Russo, Actor
Rene Russo, Actor
– Barb Weitzberg
Cameron Edward Benton
- Cameron Edward Benton
As a Personal Trainer, I appreciate that you trust my skills and give me the freedom to create the best personalized training programs for our clients. Since you too are an excellent Personal Trainer, and stay up-to-date with current trends and fitness education, we're able to collaborate to determine the best approach for our clients. It's a great working team! Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.
Sam Strain – Trainer
Customer care is of the utmost concern to her. She is very knowledgeable about personal training and the workings of the functional human body from a bio-mechanical point of view. She is compassionate about all her clients as they all get her personal touch.
I would feel most comfortable recommending her to anyone that is in need of her services.
Samuel Strain II NASM/CES
I am not an athlete, although I’d say that I am more athletic than most of the men my age (I’m 65). It’s been at least four years since I signed up with Lori Michiel Fitness and have two different personal trainers come to my house and lead me through exercise routines twice a week. I have Parkinson’s disease and they’ve tailored the exercises with that in mind.
Each week, I am subjected to exercising different muscle groups, balance and aerobics. My trainers utilize equipment that they bring, along with some of my own. They run me through drills where I have to do two things at once, like walking sideways while tossing and catching a golf ball one in each hand, or balancing on one leg while lifting a dumbbell. They include stretching throughout my routines and for 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the hour. Recently, I have been experiencing a soreness in my neck while playing golf. Not only do my personal trainers have me do special neck stretches at some point in each regular session, I am using these stretches in my regular warm-up when I play golf or whenever my neck becomes stiff or achy to great positive effect.
They know that I play golf so they have me do strengthening that is geared toward that. I swing in both directions using resistance in the form of a gripped rubber hose while twisting my body and pivoting on one of my feet, depending on which way the exercise is going (left or right).They also know that I box as part of a Parkinson’s routine (although this has been curtailed in the age of COVID-19) and run my through punching exercises regularly.
In all of the years and with every session, I have been pleased with the workouts. Lori’s instructors are friendly, confident, while being encouraging throughout each session.
I’ve had some minor injuries such as a sore knee. Lori’s instructors have adjusted to accommodate the injury and promote recovery by avoiding impact exercises until my knee feels better. Lori is kept informed of my progress, including injuries and communicates with me periodically to see how I am doing. Lori stays in touch whether or not I am injured.
Most of the time when something conflicts with the regular schedule, Lori and her instructors make arrangements to make sure that I don’t miss a day of workouts.
I have regular sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each session lasts an hour. Each instructor arrives on time to start my session. They lead me through some preliminary warm-ups that get my heart rate up. Then we go into that day’s theme, such as working on hip flexor muscles, to running in place and around the buildings in my Condo complex to doing jumping-jacks and the like. On most days, they run me through weight training that can range from doing isometrics like planks and some yoga-like exercises to working out with weights either standing or on the mat. We do crunches to full sit-ups, bridges with one leg in the air, squats some with extra weights some not. I could go on and on.
I haven’t participated in Lori’s group classes, but I know that she does them because my mother attends. My mom tells me that she is very happy with her workout that she gets during the classes that take place in the retirement community that she lives in.
The reason I took Lori’s approach to keeping in shape is that I knew that if I had to go to a gym two or three times a week, I simply wouldn’t. When the personal trainers come to you, it’s more likely that I will attend than not. So, my instructors come rain or shine, cold or hot, and I wholeheartedly participate, accept their challenges and make no excuses.
Way to go Lori Michiel Fitness!
My mom is doing very well. She’s getting back into her ceramics studio and making more stuff and seeing her friends.
After my mom’s strokes, we knew we needed to help her become active and improve her balance. She didn’t have a good habit of any exercise and none of the local senior classes were appropriate for her.
I’m so glad we called Lori Michiel Fitness. Lori came to the house, met with my mom, listened to her needs, took a careful medical history and matched her with Daniel. Daniel is a wonderful trainer who comes to the house three times a week to help support mom’s recovery. Daniel really understands senior fitness. He gives the whole family peace of mind that we are doing what we can to prevent another fall and keep mom active. Lori checks in with us regularly to make sure the therapy continues to be appropriate for mom. We’re very grateful to her.
- Rebecca, San Marino
- Charles Savinar
- Julia Nelson, CA Licensed Professional Fiduciary
Jill M. Brink
- Debbi, Trainer with Lori Michiel Fitness
- Sheri L.
- Sheri L.
Thank you so much for your patience, persistence and passion in serving clients like my mother. You and Kim are amazing.
- Elena, Teacher
Lori's principles of dynamic stretching revolutionized the way I approach stretching. I've seen a great increase in flexibility and have even built additional strength using her techniques.
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