10 Important Reminders When Choosing a Fitness Class

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If you have the mentality: “why should I exercise or I am too busy, I don’t have time,” then you have to read this article.

Physical exercise is essential for maintaining physical fitness which includes healthy weight, psychological wellbeing, healthy muscles, bones, and joints, reduced surgical risks and strengthenedimmune system.

According to a research review summarizingthe significant findings of 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010,regular exercise may reduce around two dozen physical and mental health conditions. They include some diseases such as cancer, dementia, stroke,depression, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Exercise also slows down the aging process.

Benefits of Group Exercise

Group exercise offers a broad range of advantages that you might miss on if you work out on your own. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that a new exercise companion increased the amount of exercising time. The researchers found that people exercised more when their partners offered emotional support and encouragement. Some of the benefits of group exercise include

Exposure to a Safe and Fun Work Environment

Boredom is the common reason for quitting an exercise program. Varied class formats will keep you motivated and interested. You’ll feel much more empowered in a class with an encouraging instructor and supportive people all working hard together.

An hour long workout goes by very quickly when there is music, and you’re trying various new exercises. The factors such as social atmosphere, camaraderie, accountability among participants and instructor keep you motivated.

A Safe and Efficiently Designed Workout

If you have limited knowledge about safe and effective exercise programming then an exercise class structured with purpose will be beneficial. A properly designed workout includes warm-up, cool down and flexibility in addition to the conditioning section. The fitness professionals develop not only the components of the exercise but also the intensity so your class may be designed to improve cardio respiratory and muscular fitness.

A Consistent Exercise Schedule

If time constraint is your main reason for not exercising then participating in group exercise may overcome this obstacle. Some fitness class facilities offer 30-45 minute classes for people with time limitations. The group exercise programs allow you to choose a time and schedule it in your planner as you do your other daily activities.

Accountability Factor for Participating in Training

Facilities advise members to sign up in advance. It is an excellent way to keep you responsible for the exercise routines. If you’ve joined a fitness class and it’s on your schedule, then there’s a good chance that you won’t skip it. To increase your accountability invite a friend for the classes or pencil it on your calendar.

Group Exercise Offers Variety

Traditionally group exercise was provided in a fitness facility. Nowadays many non-traditional group exercise formats are emerging. There is yoga on the beach, boot camps at your local park, trekking on the bike trails, ski conditioning at the soccer field, Latin dance at the local recreation facility and stroller-walking classes in your neighborhood.

Important Reminders When Choosing a Fitness Class

If you’re new to the fitness universe, you have plenty of choices to decide such as spinning, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, power pump, step classes, super circuit, Tae Bo the options are numerous. If you’re confused to find out which suits you the best, here are some pointers that’ll help you to make healthy choices.

Instructor’s Qualification and Training

Find out whether the fitness instructor has a nationally accredited agency certification. Standard eligibility qualifications include those from Can-Fit-Pro, ACE, ACSM, NASM and NSCA. The fitness instructor should be an expert in exercise programming, music selection, class design, teaching strategies and engagement and motivation techniques. See whether the instructor explains the benefit of each exercise and demonstrates how to do them correctly in a controlled manner.

The teachers should be willing to share their experience, training, and credentials with you. A well trained physical instructor will adapt the movements and exercises to your fitness level and medical needs. So the chances of you developing and aggravating an injury are significantly reduced.

A certified instructor should be able to tailor your fitness program to achieve your fitness goals which may be strength building, weight loss or increasing flexibility and endurance. The instructor will also be able to detail a personalized workout program suitable for your body type whether you’re an ectomorph, endomorph or a mesomorph and help you to outsmart your genes.

Location and Timing of the Class

Make a list of courses in your area and choose the one that is near to your home or work. Check out whether the facility has ample parking spaces. If the location is not convenient, you may find it hard to attend the classes. Likewise, if you schedule the classes according to your time table, then there is a high chance of you attending those classes regularly. So choose a timing that fits your schedule.

Choose the Best Fitness Workout

Melissa Baumgartner, certified fitness instructor and spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise says “One of the biggest changes in group fitness is the variety of classes that are offered,” Nowadays fitness classes are developed to cover a range of fitness interests and levels. Some are even solely devoted to specific muscle groups.

Pilates. This exercise workout improves flexibility, develops endurance and control of the body and builds strength.It is good for people rehabbing after surgery or an accident or who experience chronic back pain.

Yoga. Yoga reduces your stress levels, and it helps you to focus aligning your heart and mind. The instructor guides you through poses and will lead you through guided meditation.

Zumba. Zumba has a blend of Latin dance moves and a vigorous cardio workout. The choreography includes hip hop, samba, soca, merengue, squats, lunges, and mambo.

Belly Dancing. Belly dancing helps you to tone your abs and get a good workout. Belly dancing classes are available in surprising variations some of which include props and strong dance beats. It provides a full-blown abdominal workout in addition to cardiovascular exercise.

Batuka. Batuka is a mix of aerobics and dance moves set to similar Latin beats. The word Batuka comes from the word Batucada: a festive Brazilian style of music. The trainers teach choreographed routines that involve a full body workout.

Spinning. Spinning is a form of cycling. The instructor coaches you on specialized exercise bikes. The activities give you a thorough cardio workout.

Water Aerobics. In these classes, you perform aerobic routines in shallow or deep waters. Water aerobics is perfect for anyone with arthritis, injuries or who desire a no-impact cardio workout.

Apart from these, there are other classes such as step aerobics, strength training, kickboxing, trekking, ballet fitness, body sculpting and low impact aerobics.

Current Fitness Level and Specific Fitness Goals

Do you belong to the beginner, intermediate or advanced category? Do you train for a particular athletic event? If you’re a beginner or an occasional exerciser, then you need to do less strenuous exercise or modify your movements. Try to find a fitness class that moves at your pace and skill level. If it’s not easy to decipher,then ask a membership representative or the instructors for help.

Be specific in your fitness goals. Are you looking for more core strength but without mind-body stuff of yoga? Maybe Pilates is more your speed or a more specific abdominal or core building class?You’re not an athlete but still able to do full pushups and run reasonable distances? Try something rigorous like kickboxing. If you’re new to the exercise game, experiment with gentle yoga or a basic aerobics class. If you want something unusual, think about joining the water aerobics.

Do You Have Special Considerations?

Are you coming back from surgery? Are you nursing torn ligaments or a worn cartilage? Are you past physical therapy but not willing to go it alone?

If you have particular issues and need specific help, then sign up for classes that embrace special exercise needs such as classes for active older adult, for pre-and postnatal women and specific medical issues.

 Meet with your personal trainer and talk about your injuries or personal requirements. The instructor may modify the exercise routine and give guidelines that are specifically tailored for you.

If you have unique health concerns, then keep an eye for club cleanliness.Have a peak in the changing rooms and showers even if you’re not using it.

How Does Instructor Connect with Participants?

A good instructor should encourage the attainment of your personal goals and discourage competitive atmosphere in class.

A good instructor moves around the group to check for proper technique and to get to know the participants. See to that if you can hear the movement directions and safety instructions of the instructor above the music played in the background.

A well-organized fitness class improves your performance. Your instructor shouldn’t stop and think between sessions. There should be a smooth transition from one activity to the other. A friendly instructor should encourage you to go at your pace and to stop and rest if you feel pain or fatigue.

An instructor should never focus on his or her workout before helping you have a safe, efficientand enjoyable class. A good instructor will concentrate on what you’re doing and not in his or her movements.

A qualified instructor will explain the moves that you don’t understand. The instructor should be eager to share the fitness and wellness knowledge with you and try to enhance your fitness level in class. An instructor’s cheerful personality and manner should help you enjoy the fitness program.

Costs of the Fitness Class

Classes offered in community centers and YMCA are often significantly cheaper than the private health clubs. Check whether there are any additional fees beyond the membership fees for individual classes. Ensure whether there are any cancellation fees or penalties if the classes or program isn’t suitable for you.

Be cautious about any policies that require you to lock yourself in a long contract. Check out if they provide childcare facilities and the cost associated with it. Enquire about the working hours, child to staff ratio and the condition of the child care facility.

Maintenance

Find out whether the machines and equipment are cleaned and well maintained and in good shape. The fitness facility should be clean, airy and well lighted.

The mats, seats, benches,pads and cardio consoles must be wiped with a water-based disinfectant.  Clean equipment prevents the spread of communicabledisease through viruses and bacteria. The machines should be well oiled and taken care according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Walk in through the facility to check for worn or broken equipment. If you can’t find all the details, just have a word with the cleaning personnel to know about the standards of cleaning and maintenance.

Can You Try Out Before You Join?

Before joining the gym ask whether you can try out the classes for free. Most fitness studios will allow you to try their facility before signing up and paying the bills. This procedure will help you to finalize whether the fitness studio meets your preferences such as fitness goals, the staff, and the general cleanliness.

Variety and Number of Participants in the Class

Check out whether you can join a variety of courses. Experts believe that the secret to effective workout is to vary your routine. This action programs your body for constant challenges so that your body doesn’t get adapted when you’ve hit a plateau. When you mix different exercises, you’ll also workout your muscles in a different way which is perfect for your body.

Large well-ventilated classrooms with limited participants ensure efficient and peaceful workouts. Some facilities allow unlimited members in cramped quarters which will result in a stressful and hectic environment. Make sure of the class size and come early to catch the best comfortable spot for your workout.

Conclusion

Think of your fitness class membership as a long-term lifestyle investment. Experiment and don’t be afraid to try something new. Talk to your instructor and don’t’ be afraid of asking questions. Have an open mind if something doesn’t work, then try a different approach.

Keep all these reminders in your mind when choosing a fitness class. If needed try different places, types of classes and different instructors until you find the right fit for you.

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