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Did you know 76% of Britons say they try to take care of themselves physically, yet two in five are afraid of change when it comes to exercise*? Considering these findings, we’ve created a tried and tested guide on what to expect if you’re signing up for five of MINDBODY’s most popular fitness classes for the first time**:
25% of MINDBODY app users schedule a yoga session—making it the most-booked class on the app. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on flexibility, strength, and breathing to encourage physical and mental well-being. Not only is yoga good for those who suffer from aches and pains, but it’s also been proven to help decrease levels of stress and depression.
Nahid de Belgeonne, founder and director of Good Vibes, gives a few tips on how to be prepared for your first yoga practice:
“It can be a bit daunting when you first enter a yoga class but do make sure that you choose a class that is the right level for you. Wear clothing you can move around in; most people opt for leggings, a vest, and a layer on top in case they need it.
Get there early to let the teacher know that you are either a beginner or new to the class and always let them know of any injuries. Place your mat where you have a good viewpoint of the teacher so that you can see as well as hear the instructions clearly. The teacher will show you a few poses that you can rest in, typically child’s pose, be sure to take it up whenever you need it.
Yoga is a practice that cultivates your skill in action, so take your time to learn the basics, and you will find a more nuanced practice sooner than those who throw themselves into a class that isn’t suitable for their level.”
A newly trending type of fitness, roughly 6% of MINDBODY app users book barre classes. Combining ballet-inspired dance movements with Pilates and other strength training methods, barre aims to make you stronger while improving balance and flexibility. Make sure to take it easy if you’re serious about signing up—this workout be quite challenging at first!
Nahid tells us what to expect with this full-body workout:
“So, you’ve decided to step up to the barre? It’s a great class for sculpting the whole body, but especially the legs and butt. Wear clothing that fits you well like leggings, a wrap-around top, and socks.
Get to class early, so you don’t miss the warm-up; where not only are you warming up the joints, but you will also go through some of the movements that you will do throughout the class. There are a lot of repetitions, which means that you have time to perfect your technique, plus it’s always to music, so you’ll feel energised and elegant afterward!”
Although only 6% of people prefer to book Pilates compared to its sibling, yoga, Pilates is definitely becoming more popular. Similar to yoga, Pilates is a form of exercise that practices flexibility and muscular strength to fortify the stomach, improve posture, and help to elongate the spine without bulking up.
Nahid advises using props for Pilates:
“Mat Pilates is a great class to help you to cultivate a connected core. You’ll need to wear clothes you can move around in and might need to wear socks with a grip depending on the studio guidelines.
You might also use props such as a Pilates ring, resistance bands, or weighted Pilates balls. Be on time to class because you spend the first ten minutes warming up the spine, and muscles and if you miss this you may not be let in. Over time, all of your workouts will benefit from a more switched-on core.”
Although a lot of cyclists may prefer to spend their time outdoors, 4% book indoor cycling through the MINDBODY app. With elements like weather, traffic, or the use of expensive equipment, indoor cycling is often a more convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy this cardio-driven workout.
Nahid reminds us that position is key to your cycling performance:
“The first thing you need to do is make sure you know whether the studio hires out cycling shoes or whether you can rock up in your trainers.
Get there early for help with setting up your bike. The position of the seat and the handlebars are crucial to enjoying your ride or not. You can expect to get pretty sweaty at this class, so make sure you take a small towel and a bottle of water to keep hydrated. The ride usually consists of a warm-up, a progressive endurance ride, and a little choreography from a standing to a seated position, before the cool down.”
The fifth most-booked class at 3%, bootcamp is perhaps the most strenuous of exercises we have featured. You can expect military-style group challenges using a variety of equipment and routines conducted by a hands-on trainer. Bootcamp is a full-body workout, so get ready for short bursts of intensive cardio and rigorous training which helps reduce body weight, improve endurance, and increase muscle mass.
Nahid has a couple of tricks for an outdoor bootcamp class:
“As well as taking your trainers, water, and layering up for a bootcamp session, be sure to take dry clothes to change into as you are going to sweat and the weather might not be ideal. Listen out for the techniques for each burst of exercise and remember to breathe!”
Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, is all about trying something new:
“It’s no secret that trying something new for the first time can be daunting, however not only will trying something new spruce up your routine and keep you on your toes, but it will also give you the chance to fall in love with a different kind of workout!
If you’re ever in doubt about what to expect before starting a new class, get in touch with the venue and someone will be able to advise you on what to bring, wear or answer any other questions you may have about attending a new class.”
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.