Is It {Ever} Okay to Walk Out of an Exercise Class?


As we all know I love a good (great) exercise class. It’s hard for me to just “go to the gym”. If I do, I put in about ten minutes on the tread mill before I get bored, wander over to the weight section and get in the way, take a stroll by the machines and start to get confused…then generally end up in the steam room having burned about 12 calories before heading home.

I would rather commit to a killer barre class at Iron & Grace, sweat and burn at Congruence, or head to the Y for a power yoga class.   That way I am guaranteed a solid workout.


I have been traveling a lot this month and taken a few workout classes out of town at various studios.   Not every class is “the best”.  Duh.  But seriously, I am always so hopeful and energized when I try a new gym and just know it’s going to be awesome.

But what if it isn’t?

In my travels I wondered if it’s ok to walk out or leave when a class (in my totally untrained opinion) just sucks.

Don’t we all have better things to do with our time? Like leave if the class seems to be disjointed, lead by someone you’re not connecting with, too easy for you (LOL), or you’re traveling so they will never see you again…who cares right?!

But the more I consider it, I have just one thing to say. STAY. For a number of reasons…

  1. Old fashion good manners. The instructor showed up. Others in the class showed up. YOU showed up. It would be rude to get up mid movement and just hit the road.
  2. How bad can it be? Ok I have taken some classes I would consider really bad. I am terrible at Zumba for example (but incredibly hilarious to watch) and don’t feel like it works for me but worst case scenario, I look like an idiot, laugh a lot, sweat (yay), and burn some calories. Not too bad.
  3. It may get better. This fortunate twist has happened a time or two for me. Some instructors I have found take a little while to get warmed up. The first few minutes of class I am going through the motions thinking about what I am going to make for dinner, what my weekend plans are, that birthday gift I need to buy and before you know it I am shaking and sweating and lost in the workout.
  4. Learn something NEW. Not to sound like an idiot but for real, when I took my first yoga class a few years ago I remember thinking a few fleeting thoughts: these people are weird, this is so boring, does this even work, thirty minutes left, two fifteen minute intervals left, three ten minute intervals left, OMG I am so bored. Pretty idiotic thoughts. But that was the reality for me at the time.  I kept going back and now yoga is the one thing in my day that always makes sense, never lets me down, allows me to feel like a part of something bigger, clears my head and makes me appreciate my body.

Am I wrong? Are we all so busy that we are entitled to get up and leave if we feel like a class is wasting our time?

Gotta go, off to try a new yoga instructor and really hope he’s a good one!

PS I have one exception to this rule…savasana.  If you have ever taught me yoga, you know, I can’t sit still in this pose for very long so sometimes I always hit the door before savasana! No disrespect fellow yogis!


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2 comments on Is It {Ever} Okay to Walk Out of an Exercise Class?

  1. Alaya
    03/24/2015 at 10:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Rachel, you are spot on all counts, with the exception of savasana….! Reference point 4….. So much of keeping a healthy lifestyle is following through with your commitment and showing up!

    • Rachel
      03/25/2015 at 10:42 am (4 years ago)

      Alaya! Thank you so much for the feedback…I love having your expert opinion! xo


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