By Janice McCurdy, Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer Specialist
Most of us know the importance of exercise to our health and well-being, whether it’s walking, running, swimming or just being active during the day. What you might not know is that Health Canada recommends 150 – 300 minutes of cardiovascular exercise over the course of a week just to maintain health. That’s a lot of minutes so it’s important to choose an activity that you enjoy so you will stick with it for the long term.
There are plenty of choices at the gym; endless pieces of equipment, free weights, ellipticals, bikes, resistance machines, so many choices, but I would like to call your attention to another choice and that is group fitness classes. Some people may be intimidated by the mere thought of exercising with complete strangers but there are many reasons to try a class. First, it takes the guesswork out of your workout. All you need to do is choose the class with your goal in mind and show up on time. The instructor will lead you through the rest. He or she will demonstrate or coach you with proper movement patterns and form so expect a very safe user-friendly workout.
Exercising to good music is very motivating and will keep your energy up. A good instructor will offer a variety of music with a positive uplifting vibe.
Group Fitness gives you a sense of community. You will get to exercise with a group of like-minded individuals working towards a common goal. There is potential to make long lasting friendships or at the very least a familiar greeting or a conversation about the weather. It’s a fantastic way to stay connected with people.
Group fitness also gives you an appreciation of the diversity of different body types which translates to a good body image for the participant. It’s good to love your own body and appreciate all that your body does for you.
There are many different types of group fitness classes. The best thing is to try the ones that appeal to you keeping your goals in mind and remembering that variety is the spice of life!
Here are a few choices:
Low impact Aerobics
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Zumba (and other dance- based classes)
And so many others. The one thing that all these have in common are fitness and fun all rolled into one!