How to become a regular gym-goer if you struggle with stamina
I avoided the gym like the plague, until I discovered thirty minute exercise classes.
I’ve never been the kind of person who exercises regularly. My lack of stamina means that, about three minutes in, the pounding heart and aching muscles become so unbearable that the devilish temptation to stop creeps in. So… I do.
Desperate to find a form of exercise that doesn’t end in the same old disappointing cycle, I’ve tried boxing classes, barre classes and countless gym memberships. Each one promising – and then failing – to be the miracle cure for my hatred of exercise.
But all that changed six months ago, when I joined Virgin Active. Allured by the convenience of its location – exactly halfway between my office and the station – I convinced myself I wouldn’t be able to swerve a workout session if I literally had to walk right past the gym. And it worked; the accessibility of the gym got me there in the first place, which in turn allowed me to discover the holy grail on my path to enjoying exercise: 30 minute classes.
The thing with classes is, they’ve always made me feel suffocated. You can’t quit. It would be utterly mortifying in a spinning class, among a sea of red-faced cyclists, to simply stop pedalling, get off my bike and shamefully leave the room. But the thought of spinning for an hour? Not a chance. So, I never signed up.
When scrolling through the list of classes at my new gym, I discovered 30 minute options for all of the favourites – HIIT, spinning, core – and it suddenly felt doable. After five minutes of warming up, and then five minutes of stretching at the end, the actual exercise bit wouldn’t be such a hardship, surely? So I put my name down, and found that this time, I could physically and mentally do it.