Moment of truth: I always used to be one of those group exercise skeptics. My mom’s “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” with Richard Simmons and Denise Austin workout videos from years back severely distorted my view of working out to upbeat music with other people. On top of that, the leg warmers, short shorts, leotards, and sweat bands put me right over the edge. It has only been throughout the last three years or so that I have truly learned to appreciate the benefits of the group fitness classes that I have grown to love, not to mention the results that I love as well!
It was easy to stay in shape as a teenager: volleyball or basketball practice everyday; summer weights training; workouts with the team. I never had to manage my time in order to prioritize my fitness with cardiovascular or resistance training because it was already in my schedule. Once I began college, it was hard to find the motivation to exercise. I would go to the weights area and be surrounded by sweaty, grunting, macho men, or I would head over to the elliptical machine and end up next to the girls that like to sweat in their barely-there workout attire–REALLY? No, thanks! After experimenting at that fitness center, I found my place at the rec center that was part of the corporate wellness program where my dad still works. The trainers and instructors were great and encouraged me to try out some of the fitness classes. There were some great experiences and some learning experiences (such as having no coordination for Step Class, or no rhythm for Dance…I shouldn’t have been surprised). Tough, rewarding workouts and good laughs were only a couple of the outcomes that occurred for me! Let me tell you about the other benefits of attending a group fitness class:
- Fitness classes are very helpful with providing accountability. When you regularly attend or say you’ll be back, the instructor and other participants are trusting that you will follow through…so do it!
- It is easy to gain friendships and a support system in the environment of a fitness class. You’re not the only one who is getting his or her tush kicked! There are people there to encourage you and people that you can encourage too. You never know who has the same goals as you or who can relate to your situation, no matter what it may be. There are opportunities all around us to make new friends and build relationships, and this is one of them!
- Fitness classes most often take place according to a specific schedule, which allows you to have structure with your workouts. A set schedule is more likely to motivate you to prioritize your attendance.
- Anyone can participate at any level! Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you can adapt the workout to what your needs are. Instructors can give options for different fitness levels, work around injuries, or modify for health issues. (And yes, guys, this includes you!)
- I can guarantee that if you would be a first-timer, the challenge that fitness classes bring will knock your socks off. Even as you become a regular, they will still challenge you! Instructors are able to see the effort you are putting forth and will directly and immediately motivate you to keep pushing through the increasing intensity! The routines are switched up every so often to keep your muscles guessing and help you to continue improving your health and fitness.
- They are fun! I promise I’m not even biased…I think. Either way, the music, the positive, high energy atmosphere, and the people will make it enjoyable. Even if it takes you a time or two (or three) to get used to the routine, you still get all the benefits of the cardio or strength moves you perform. Trust me, you’ll get the hang of it, and you’ll love it! If not, my e-mail address is around here somewhere.
I also want to take a minute and post a reminder that Faith Community Center is offering four different classes right now! Total Body, Yoga, Stroller Blast, and Boot Camp are highlighted on the webpage. Check out the information and challenge yourself to try one. You won’t regret it!