My Journey to Inclusive Fitness: Finding Exercise Classes That Feel Right for You

My Journey to Inclusive Fitness: Finding Exercise Classes That Feel Right for You

Hey there, fellow fitness seeker!

We kicked off 2024 by partnering with an event called Beats and Bands pictured above and it was a great day of fitness and music and food. It felt more like a rave but without the hangover.

This experience got me thinking about our quest to find exercise classes that truly feel like home. You know, the kind of classes where you walk in and instantly feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to sweat it out, no matter your skin color, weight, or fitness level.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about the power of exercise to transform both body and mind. But let's face it, finding the right class can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. It's not just about finding a workout that fits your schedule or budget – it's about finding a community that celebrates diversity, embraces inclusivity, and makes you feel like you belong.

For me, this journey started with a few missteps. I'll admit, I've walked into my fair share of fitness classes where I immediately felt like the odd one out. Maybe it was the lack of diversity in the room, the subtle judgmental glances, or the instructor's assumptions about what my body could (or couldn't) do. Whatever the reason, it left me feeling disheartened and disconnected from the very thing I was hoping would lift me up.

But here's the thing: I refused to give up on my quest for a fitness community that celebrated me for me – curves, melanin, and all. And you know what? I'm so glad I didn't throw in the towel, because I eventually stumbled upon some truly incredible spaces that welcomed me with open arms.

So, what did I learn along the way? Well, first and foremost, it's all about doing your homework. Don't be afraid to ask questions, read reviews, and do a little reconnaissance before committing to a class. Look for studios and instructors who prioritize inclusivity and diversity, not just as buzzwords, but as core values that guide their practice.

And when you do find a class that piques your interest, don't hesitate to reach out and ask about their approach to inclusivity. Do they offer modifications for different fitness levels and abilities? Do they have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and microaggressions? These are the kinds of questions that can help you gauge whether a class is truly committed to creating a welcoming environment for all.

Of course, sometimes you just have to trust your gut. If a class feels off or unwelcoming, don't be afraid to walk away and keep searching. Your fitness journey is yours and yours alone, and you deserve to surround yourself with people who lift you up and cheer you on every step of the way.

In the end, I've come to realize that finding the right exercise class is about more than just breaking a sweat – it's about finding your tribe, your cheerleaders, your safe space in a world that too often tells us we don't belong. So keep searching, keep exploring, and never settle for anything less than the inclusive, welcoming community you deserve. You've got this!

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