Group Fitness And Healthy Ageing

“Exercise is the miracle cure we have all been waiting for” according to the NHS. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of chronic diseases, stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity becomes even more important as we get older, improving self-esteem, energy, mood and sleep quality. Recent research has shown that having an exercise companion means you are more likely to exercise and that group fitness classes have benefits that go beyond weight loss and muscle gain. Here are a few popular classes to get you started.

Yoga

Over 5000 years old, yoga is a popular form of exercise which focuses on strength, flexibility, and breathing. Yoga increases joint flexibility, reducing muscle soreness, stiffness, and achiness and increases muscular strength. In turn, this improves balance and reduces the risk of falls as you get older. Yoga can also be effective in preventing or slowing bone density loss. Moreover, yoga has great benefits for the mind and relieves stress and the symptoms of depression.

Aquafit

Aquafit is a high energy aerobics class which takes place in the shallow end of a swimming pool. The movements are the same as in a normal aerobics class but with added benefits due to working out in water. Aquafit is a low impact activity where water supports your body putting less strength on joints and muscles. There is also less strain on the heart by being in the water which in turn moves blood around the body, improving cardio fitness. It builds muscular strength due to the added push of the water and the impact of gravity is reduced by the water allowing a greater range of motion and improving balance.

Zumba

Zumba is a relative newcomer to the fitness class circuit, being created in Columbia in 1990. Zumba combines Latin music with moves from Latin dances such as salsa, mambo, merengue, and samba. Zumba has been described as a workout in disguise as the dance moves mask an intense cardio workout with free flowing movements. It is a great way to alleviate stress, reduce symptoms of depression and improve self confidence. Zumba also improves strength, posture and flexibility as well as benefiting coordination and balance.

These group classes all have one common advantage; they offer the social and motivational benefits of exercising with like-minded people. Exercising in a group reduces stress and increases quality of life at the same time as improving fitness levels.

Written by Jane Sandwood

Trying to find more clients to fill up your health and fitness classes?

My Fitness Times is the answer as we can help get your classes in front of 1000’s of prospective clients.

We all know it’s a struggle for you to make time to find new clients for your bootcamps, pilates, yoga or zumba classes. In fact any exercise class.

You’re hopefully spending all your time with clients, so there’s just no time to search for more. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle – the more time you spend running classes, the less time you have to fill those last few spaces. And it’s those spaces that are your real profit.

My Fitness Times is here to help you. We’re a national class finder that also allows you to manage all your classes directly from our App on your phone.

By registering for FREE, you can add all your classes into your own dedicated Timetable page and then they can be quickly and easily found by thousands of people searching for the right exercise classes near to were they live. They can then find, message and book classes for Free.

Remember, if you don’t, your competitors might be already there.

Motivating Yourself to Go to the Gym

We’ve all been there – you’ve got all the best intentions of getting up and motivating yourself to go to the gym, sticking with it and becoming the toned god or goddess you’ve always known was inside you, but somehow it never quite seems to happen because life gets in the way. Check out some of our top tips for getting motivated:

Our Top Tips on Motivating Yourself to Go to the Gym

1. Fitness Classes Near Me!

Fitness classes are a great way to ease yourself gently into gym-going, but don’t expect them to be a walk in a park. The motivation of being in a class full of people can be very powerful; all but the least competitive people find it hard to stop for a breather when everyone around them seems to be doing fine.

Find fitness classes near you to maximise your chances of attending; even better, find some that are near your work. That way you’ll have no excuse not to swing by for a bit of cardio on your way home from work, or attend yoga classes in the morning before you start.

Once you’re attending a class regularly you’ll build a relationship with the instructor and feel bad about letting them down by not attending, which is always good motivation. Even better, add other members of your fitness class to your social circle for added accountability.

2. Buddy up

If you’ve got a friend who’s also looking to get fit, going to the gym together can be an excellent way to stay on track with fitness goals. Your friend will be able to give you a pep-talk when you can’t be bothered, and you can do the same for them.

Someone to talk to could also help to make the gym more interesting for you because you can help one another out and work towards common goals – you might even find yourself looking forward to your sessions on the treadmill.

3. Create a personal reward system

We all respond well to rewards, and it’s a good way to psychologically programme yourself to enjoy the gym if you’re looking forward to a treat at the end of it. Why not book yourself in for a facial or a massage after every 10 or 20 gym sessions?

You’ll find yourself working towards it with much more enthusiasm – just try to keep your treats healthy and don’t make them all about food – sabotaging your exercise with too many sweet treats could cause your progress to stall and may create an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for fitness classes near you to help you keep on top of your fitness goals, take a look at our yoga, pilates and zumba options, all of which will help you to burn calories in a fun environment.

Gym Hacks: Find The Right Personal Trainer To Get The Most Out Of You

Have you ever tried to commit to a regime with a personal trainer and it hasn’t stuck? A personal trainer can be a fantastic asset to changing your lifestyle for the better, or simply to hit a new fitness target, but if you don’t find the right person, it can actually do more harm than good.

Searching online can be overwhelming, so to help you on your journey, we’ve put together some of the most useful gym hacks to help you find the right personal trainer! After all, you have to be able to spend a lot of time and energy with a personal trainer – so you have to get it right!

With My Fitness Times, half the work is done. By cutting out the middle man, you can book in with the personal trainer that you choose, rather than blindly searching online or checking in with different gyms.

5 x Gym Hacks

1. Make Sure they are cert-ainly certified

Believe it or not, the term personal trainer isn’t protected. That means that anyone can call themselves a personal trainer and take money from prospective clients. A good, successful personal trainer should be able to show you their qualifications from reputable organisations, and should come with plenty of recommendations from others like you.

2. Know your own motivation

It’s no use lying to yourself or to your trainer. If you need someone to be quite hard on you, and push you, then that’s the type of trainer you should be working with. Some people respond better to positive reinforcement. Whatever works for you, start from there, and be very clear with your instructor.

3. See the results

You wouldn’t buy flat pack furniture without seeing what the end result looked like, and when you’re shopping around for a personal trainer, it’s fair to ask if you can see the before and after results of their work with clients, whether that’s photos or stats.

4. Choose someone with the right expertise

If you’re looking to become better at a particular discipline, like intense fitness classes, choose someone with relevant experience in that area. Similarly, if you want to bulk up, you’re going to be looking for that six foot two bodybuilder!

5. Develop a strong working relationship

If you can’t communicate effectively with your instructor, it may be time to find a personal trainer who is on your wavelength. To get the best from you, you need to gel – do you feel motivated or punished by their constructive criticism?

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself, and to be honest with your personal trainer. You need to feel challenged, but not pushed beyond your limits. Fitness is about getting healthy, and giving yourself a great quality of life, so your personal trainer needs to add, not detract from that!

Prepare for your Fitness Classes like a Pro

So you’ve taken up fitness classes and you’re looking forward to all the brilliant benefits of exercising, but what should you be doing before you exercise? Here is our ultimate guide to preparing for your fitness class.

Eat Right Before Your Fitness Classes

First up, you need to make sure you’re fuelling your workout. Unless you’re doing a fasted workout, you need to make sure your body has the food it needs to work properly.

Ideally, you should aim to eat a small meal or snack that includes both carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will give you the energy you need during your workout, whereas the protein will help keep you full and will also help with building muscle. Ideal snacks include yoghurt with a bit of honey, bananas with a teaspoon of peanut butter or a protein bar.

If you decide to use a personal trainer, they should also work with you to ensure that you are eating to complement your fitness programme.

Hydrate like an athlete

In order to be hydrated during exercise, you need to be drinking water throughout the day, not just knocking back a few litres in the hour or so before you exercise.

Hydration is really important, whether you’re doing cardio classes, such as Zumba, or weight training, as water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy.

Training the mind

One of the best ways to help you exercise well is to make sure you are in the right frame of mind and don’t see it as a chore. Ensuring you are doing something you enjoy, that you are well rested and that you are also wearing something you feel good in (as well as being comfortable for exercise) are all important things to master before you step foot in your fitness classes.

Some people may even find breathing exercises, positive visualisation or mindfulness techniques useful.

Stretch like a champion

If you want to maximise the effectiveness of your workout and reduce your chance of injury then you need to make sure you stretch properly. Having a set stretching routine of at least five to 10 minutes is essential for making sure that your muscles are well-prepared for the task at hand.

You should stretch every area that you are planning to work on and hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds. However, don’t stretch to the point of pain.

The most important thing is finding an activity that you enjoy and will stick at. Working out with a group of people can help you stay focused, so why not book an exercise class such as Zumba, yoga or Pilates? If you feel like you’d benefit from one-to-one sessions, we can help you find a great personal trainer in London.

Yoga for beginners – A guide to the different styles

Yoga may be an ancient art, but its popularity has been retained through a number of revisions and adaptations. New styles focusing on certain elements of yoga or teaching it in a specific manner mean that the simple term ‘yoga’ can cover a huge range of exercises and activities. Depending on your body, age, and the type of exercise you’re looking for, you’ll want to find a class that suits you and gives you exactly what you’re looking for from yoga. There are certainly some common features – all share the same ancestor from thousands of years ago, and all should help you find relaxation and peace. This guide will give a brief explanation of the different styles so that you can find the one that suits you best.

Iyengar yoga

One of the most common forms of yoga, Iyengar is a good style for beginners as props can help you make sure you get things perfect from the off, even if you’re not able to hold some of the more advanced poses. Emphasis is placed on alignment, precision and detail, especially with regards to posture and breathing.

Ashtanga yoga

This is a more energetic style of yoga, where poses are held for short periods of time and moved through more quickly. A variation of this style of yoga, Mysore, allows a traditional learning method of one-to-one tuition as students arrive within a certain time-frame to practise in the presence of their teacher.

Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga often includes some of the wider aspects of yoga and, as well as poses and physical exertion, includes meditation and special breathing techniques which can help to reduce stress and make the student feel more relaxed. This form of yoga is also known as the ‘yoga of awareness’.

Jivamukti yoga

Although this style of yoga was only founded relatively recently, it has a much wider scope of the ancient practices of yoga, including music. It teaches students to embrace the whole philosophy and apply it to their lives, as well as hold the poses.

Hatha yoga

The antithesis of Jivamukti yoga, this style focuses precisely on the physical activity of yoga, minimising the attention paid to the traditional and philosophical aspects of the art.

Bikram yoga

One of the more esoteric styles of yoga, this style focuses on a specific set of poses which are run through in a heated (usually around 40 °C) environment to give students a thorough physical workout.

While you may find that some styles suit your needs best, all types of yoga are open to absolute beginners, even the more physical styles, so it’s worth giving a few a try. Once you’ve decided which style you like, see if you can find yoga classes near you.