Fitness Classes 101
Many dieters prefer to work out in the privacy of their own home, keeping those jiggling parts hidden from public and secretly hoping that when they emerge from their living room boot-camp that they’ll impress their friends with their weight loss results.
Unfortunately, when you surround yourself with a comfy couch, a big-screen TV, and delicious snacks from the kitchen every time you want to crack down on those crunches, then you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
The best method for ensuring that you’ll stick with your goals is to find a group for extra support, and you can start by signing up for a fitness class. Although at first you may feel awkward and slow when compared to the regulars, bringing your routine out into the open gives you extra motivation to keep going and a personal cheer squad whenever you slip up.
These fitness classes are a great way to get in shape, and with a personal instructor giving you advice, you’ll be less likely to experience injury while losing those extra pounds.
In your efforts to slim down and lose weight, you may have forgotten that the whole point of exercising and dieting isn’t to achieve the perfect body image. Instead, it’s about living a healthier life and making the most out of your everyday activities.
FUNctional Fitness classes focus on stretching, twisting, and bending motions that will imitate everyday activities such as lifting a heavy box off the top shelf in the closet or mowing the lawn.
According to Greg Roskopf, MS, “Conventional weight training isolates muscle groups, but it doesn’t teach the muscle groups you’re isolating to work with others. The key to functional exercise is integration. It’s about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently.”
By building core muscles and strengthening the heart, Functional Fitness is designed to make everyday activities even easier to perform, reducing your risk of throwing your back out or pulling a muscle.
BOSU Balance Training
Short for “BOth Sides Up”, BOSU training involves an exercise ball that looks as though it’s been cut in half. You can use either the flat side or the rounded side to work out, and BOSU classes involve a wide variety of aerobic, strength training, and flexibility exercises that can significantly improve your balance. Because these exercises are performed on the ball, you are constantly working your muscles to stay centered.
Many find that BOSU training is safer than a regular exercise ball (because you’re less likely to fall off), and it adds a nice challenge to your ordinary crunches, leg raises, and pushups.
“The best thing about the Balance Trainer, besides its versatility, is that it adds fun to your usual workouts, ” says Paige Waehner, personal trainer, “I’ve used it in place of my step for aerobic workouts (very tough) and while doing some traditional yoga poses, like warrior and triangle. It made the workouts challenging and interesting.”
Spinning classes are basically group cycling classes that involve stationary workout bikes. The instructor leads the class with a series of instructions that alter your speed and resistance level (often involving visualizing techniques to give the feeling of being outside).
David Fiedler an experienced cyclist explains, “spinning classes can be a great way to get in a vigorous workout – burning calories and keeping your muscles in shape –especially during the off-season.” Additionally, he points out that a “good instructor can certainly encourage and motivate you to push yourself.”
You can go at your own pace and set your own level, so you can adjust your workout to suit your individual needs. As an added bonus, it’s a low impact exercise, so it’s easier on bones and joints than most other exercises.
Most gyms offer a wide variety of classes, offering multiple opportunities for you to make the most out of your workouts. If you don’t like any of the above options, then simply find a fitness class that you’re interested in. Classes such as yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, circuit training, and swimming are becoming more of the norm, so don’t be afraid to try something new to switch up your routine.
The more you exercise and diet, the better your weight loss results (and your quality of life) will be, so what are you waiting for? Go find out what classes are offered in your local area and sign up!