Have you joined a health club only to discover that you don’t really belong there? Indeed, fitness programs named Cross Fit, Insanity, Boot Camp, and Zumba can sound intimidating to some people and may not even be appropriate for your age or fitness level.

So what to do? Your options might include staying with it, hitting the treadmill, or perhaps spending more money on a personal trainer.

Actually, staying with your current class might not be such a bad option, if you take steps to modify your (or the class) routine. (And who wants to throw away good money, right?) With a little tweaking, the class you’re already attending might still provide the challenge and muscle-toning you’re looking for.

Check out my 10 Tips for customizing your club or class workouts

1. The warm-up is designed to prepare you mentally and physically for the workout. Warming up increases overall body and muscle temperature resulting in increased blood flow to active muscles.

2. Aerobic exercise is best saved for the treadmill, or the outdoors.

3. Use weights that are challenging, but do not cause you to compromise correct form.

4. Pace your movements with weights so that you can contract and expand your muscles through a complete range of motion.

5. Modify deep lunges, or any movement that causes joint pain. Exercise should cause muscle fatigue, but NEVER pain.

6. When performing abdominal exercises, support your head with your hands keeping your head, neck and chest in alignment. Always maintain contact with your lower back and the floor.

7. Use a cushioned mat for floor exercises, to protect your back, hips and knees.

8. Use a belt or towel to extend your reach during flexibility/stretching exercises.

9. Stretch after every workout to enhance your rate of recovery and reduce any residual muscle soreness.

10. Your goal is to have a safe, effective, and enjoyable workout. The instructor will respect your ability to customize the workout!

Take care!