If you are a member of a gym, you will most likely find group fitness classes offered through the fitness center. If you have never tried a group fitness class before, now might be the time. When the colder months hit and it gets darker earlier, not only do we want to eat more to pack on the pounds for winter, but we also want to curl up and go to bed early or stay in a warm bed later in the morning rather than hitting the gym before or after our daily activities. By adding a group fitness class, you will be enticed to get out in the cold and get to the gym, and you might even make some friends while you’re at it.
Group Fitness for Cardio
Some of the most popular group fitness classes out there revolve around getting you the cardio you need to keep that heart healthy and burn a lot of calories quickly. Step aerobics classes are probably the most popular because they combine high-intensity cardio with some strength training if you use weights during the class. They are also great classes for anyone who wants to work on shaping up their core. Spinning classes are also incredibly popular for cardio. In a spinning class, an instructor will guide you through intense routines on a stationary bike. You’ll get your blood flowing in a spinning class, for sure. Many gyms also offer cardio dance classes like hip hop or Zumba. Zumba is a Latin dance-infused cardio class that helps people learn confidence and posture as it melts those pounds away.
Group Fitness for Strength
Depending on your gym, you may also be able to find classes that help you build strength. These classes are often combination of weight and interval training classes in which you will do some work with equipment - free weights, medicine balls, Bosu balls, resistance cords, etc. - and some work with intervals across the room. These intervals may include jumps, lunges, or other instructor-led activities. These classes are great for work with your core, and great for toning your muscles.
Group Fitness for Flexibility
Yoga and Pilates are the most popular group fitness classes for flexibility. In both yoga and Pilates, different movements are combined together to flow from pose to pose to increase both strength and flexibility. As you are moving through the poses, you will focus on breathing through any muscle pain and working deeper into your stretches to help build flexibility. Stretching is often overlooked in total body fitness, but it cannot only help you workout more by relaxing tense and overworked muscles, but it can also help prevent injury as you workout. Adding a yoga or Pilates class to your workout routine even once a week can have a huge effect on your total fitness.
Aquatic Group Fitness
If your gym has a pool, you will probably find aquatic group fitness classes. These are great for cardio and for strength training, as you will get your heart rate up, but will also be able to use the water itself to add resistance to your workout. Water aerobics is surprisingly difficult, and also really fun. These classes are also easier on your joints, so if you have joint trouble, try a fitness class in the water.
Going to the gym alone can be really tough because it’s so easy to talk yourself out of going. If you are meeting someone there, it can be a lot easier to get there because someone else is depending on you to go. Group fitness classes add this same benefit, and can also change up your routine and help you shed those holiday pounds.