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

Exercise Classes to Gym Buddies: 5 Weekend Tips to Stay on Track

Sick of spoiling all that hard work with a Friday night on the town and a lazy Saturday in bed? From socialising at the gym to drinking plenty of water, here are five tips to help you have a healthy weekend.

We’ve all been there; working super hard during the week, planning and prepping all your meals, attending exercise classes regularly and making serious progress. Then Friday night comes along and, before you know it, you’re drinking alcohol and eating greasy kebabs, followed by a hungover day eating pizza and watching Netflix in bed.

So, how do you stay motivated at the weekend? Here’s five tips to help keep you on track.

1. Meet friends at the gym
tips for exercise classes

 

Instead of catching up with friends at the pub, why not book on an exercise class and do a fun workout together?

Research shows that having a gym buddy helps you enjoy your workouts and keeps you accountable. What’s more, you can avoid all the empty calories from the alcohol you would consume at the pub while having a laugh with your friend and getting fit at the same time – winner!

2. Plan your meals

In the same way that booking on an exercise class means you’re more committed to your workout, having your meals planned means that you’re less likely to reach for the takeaway menus on a Saturday night.

3. Get back into it

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks IF you still get up the next day and work out. Instead of staying in bed, get up and get moving! This means setting your alarm and going for a run, attending that exercise class or doing an at-home workout. Whichever activity you decide on, make sure you do it!

4. Stay hydrated

Drink lots of water. It can be easy to see the weekend as a ‘treat’ time to drink sugar-laden, carbonated drinks, alcohol and high fructose juices. However, the best thing to nourish your body and aid your weight-loss is to drink lots of H20. It might sound boring, but if you’re serious about reaching your goals, it’s worth it.

5. Get eight hours sleep

Rest is essential for muscle rehabilitation, so use the weekend as a time to recuperate. However, avoid sleeping in for too long, otherwise you will be left feeling groggy and lethargic. Eight hours is the optimum amount of time that most adults need to recharge their exhausted batteries.

Why not find an exercise class near you and sign up this weekend?