Group fitness classes are a great way to break up your regular routine, try something new and get the physical and mental benefits of a good workout in a group setting. With the number of options that are out there – and the increasing number of class types and studios popping up all over the place, you really are only limited by the amount of time you have to commit to classes throughout the week.
There are three different types of classes you can find in most health clubs and gyms, as well as boutique studios:
- Cardiovascular Fitness: Spinning, Step, Kickboxing (BodyCombat, TurboKick, Tae Bo), Cardio Dance (Hip Hop, Body Jam, Zumba)
- Total Body Conditioning: Boot camp, Sculpting (BodyPump), TRX, Aqua, Barre
- Mind/Body Based: Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Fusion Classes (PiYo, BodyFlow, Yogilates, etc.)
Here are a few tips to get you started, once you have committed to trying something new or adding a group class to your workout schedule:
- As with any workout routine, always consult a physician prior to beginning a new fitness program.
- Start slow and allow for recovery days – you don’t want to overdo it and end up injured as a result of overtraining.
- Wear proper attire based on activity, and keep in mind that specific classes may require certain types of clothing (such as cycling shorts or fitted tanks).
- Monitor your heart rate and perceived exertion throughout class, making sure that you’re pushing yourself hard enough to get the benefits, but not so hard that you end up burnt out halfway through class.
- Bring water and a towel – many classes will get your heart pumping, which means you’re sweating. You’ll want to rehydrate throughout class, and if you’re like me, you’ll need a towel so you’re not swimming in a puddle of your own sweat.
- Find something you like – and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I always love when people come up to me after class to ask questions or provide suggestions. The bottom line is, it’s your class – and a good instructor should want to give you the kind of class you deserve!
With summer now underway, studios are probably a little less packed than at the beginning of the year, meaning that now is a good time to try something new and maybe even get a good deal on class packages at specialized studios. The best thing you can do for your workout routine is mix things up a little bit … and group fitness classes are a great option to help you do just that.
Finally, and most importantly … HAVE FUN! That’s really what it’s all about – finding something you enjoy and people you’ll look forward to seeing each week.