How to Choose the Right Fitness Class

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Written By MartinCorbett

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Taking up a fitness class can be a great way to achieve your fitness goals; and with host of classes available at most gyms and leisure centres, there is a fitness class for everyone.  The following article explains some of the most popular fitness classes in greater detail, and the various benefits these entail.

What are your goals?

The first stage in choosing the right fitness class is to establish what it is exactly that you are looking to achieve. The following are just some of the common goals of fitness classes and the right activity to choose in order to achieve them

Do you want to lose weight? 

Step aerobics fitness classes are a great way to get in shape and shed any extra pounds.  Most classes centre on an aerobics step, from which almost all of the class exercises are based. Participants can increase the intensity of their workout by adding lifts under the step, making it higher from the ground and thus more difficult to jump or step onto and over.  The moves are generally quite basic, making this type of fitness class great for beginners.

Do you want to increase cardiovascular fitness and endurance?

Kickboxing and other martial arts are a great form of intense cardiovascular exercise and also helps to define muscles. Martial arts fitness classes are generally non-stop, high intensity cardio exercise. Participants are kicking their legs, punching and jabbing their arms, whilst at the same time, working the abs and buttocks without even realising it.  The combination of arms and legs constantly moving creates an effective high intensity cardiovascular workout. Going to a marital arts fitness class like kickboxing once or twice a week will, no doubt, increase your cardiovascular endurance and help you to lose weight.

Do you want to increase flexibility and core strength? 

In order to increase flexibility and core strength, fitness classes such as yoga and pilates are highly recommended.  Yoga is a practice which concerns breathing and stretching into and holding poses, increasing flexibility and muscle strength.  Most classes offer a variety of levels to accommodate first-timers through to advanced participants.

Pilates is a practice that focuses again on breathing (though the breathing is different from that of yoga) and core strengthening.  Pilates fitness classes generally focus on strengthening the abdominal, back, buttock and arm muscles using only the weight of the body.

Do you want to tone and define muscles? 

Circuit fitness classes, where cardio exercise and weight lifting are combined, are a great way to tone and define muscles.  Most of these classes combine basic aerobic steps with the use of free weights to built up muscles while you work up a sweat.  Since free weights are used, participants can choose the level of development and toning they wish to achieve.  There is a limited amount of time spent performing each exercise, before moving onto the next one, so this a great way of burning lots of calories, and getting fit relatively quickly.