Entering or re-entering the world of fitness can be a scary experience. The gym is full of people who look like they know what they are doing on intimidating looking equipment. Everyone’s clothes match, they can breathe while they are socializing with each other and they don’t have to ask anyone where the nearest water fountain, bathroom, garbage can or exit is, just in case we have one of “those moments.” Most of us have been there. This is why I enjoy group fitness. It can be a very social, friendly and forgiving environment, if we know where to start and go in with an open mind. All classes are not for all people and some classes are a little more intimidating for beginners than others. Here are my top five fitness classes to get you back in the game. You’ll be showing others where the water fountain is in no time. 🙂
1.) Zumba (R)
Zumba is absolutely a haven for those who just need to start moving. Even with the most complicated choreography (which, in Zumba, often times it’s not), you are encouraged to do what you can, enjoy the music and move to your own beat. Each class is different because the choreography is the instructor’s choice but if you want to start working on getting that heart rate up, learning some new
moves and meeting new friends, Zumba is definitely the place to be.
2.) Piloxing (R)
Piloxing is still fairly new on the fitness scene but is giving beginner and advanced exercisers a new challenge. A combination of boxing, standing Pilates and dance moves, Piloxing is an interval workout (with variety but a little more across the board structure than Zumba) that teaches balance, lengthening of the body, going all out and having fun in between. It gives beginners the opportunity to work on multiple levels of fitness in just one class. And we all like two for one deals. 🙂
3.) Body Pump (R)
Weight training is such a necessary component of a well rounded fitness program but the weight room can be intimidating and if you are not sure how to handle yourself in there, you could get hurt. This class (and there are other classes that are structured in this way like Group Power and Group RX) is pre-choreographed and instructors take time (before teaching it to participants) practicing not only the “steps” but for cueing as well so they know what to look for and how to correct your form while in the class. You can use no weight at all and then add on as you become stronger. The class starts out with a warm up, works the entire body and finishes up with abs and a cool down. If you decide to go into the weight room eventually, you will definitely have the confidence.
4.) Water Aerobics:
This is NOT just for seniors. There is about twelve times more resistance in the water than there is on land so when you work in the water, you work HARD without a lot of pressure on your joints. This is ideal for those who have a lot of weight to lose, coming back from surgery or just have pain in general.
You will burn quite a few calories and build muscle. This is a win win!
Yoga is no just for “bendy” people or just for “stretching. I actually think it is great for beginners because it puts you in touch with your body. Being disconnected is what keeps us from the gym, from taking care of ourselves, from not challenging ourselves and from knowing when we have pushed too hard. Yoga IS excellent for flexibility and core (which you will need both) as well as balance and coordination. It is an excellent supplement to any workout program.
There you have it. Now all you need is your gym’s fitness schedule. Let’s get started!
Tasha Edwards is a personal trainer, holistic health coach, group fitness instructor and person who has had to get back in the game a time or two. She lives in Madison, AL. You can find her at www.f7wellness.com, twitter.com/f7wellness or Facebook.com/f7wellness.