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

Want a rewarding career as a Dance Fitness Instructor?

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If you’ve got a passion for disco, salsa or swing, pulsating beats can’t stop your toes from tapping and your enthusiasm is an inspiration to others, then it could be time to consider training to be a dance fitness instructor. The Exercise Movement and Dance (EMD) Academy offers high quality training to help fulfil your potential.

The benefits of becoming a dance fitness instructor through the EMD Academy means you can run your own successful business, pursue a passion for dance and teaching others, earn a competitive income and enjoy flexible working hours.

The EMD Academy provides a supportive community to nurture those that are passionate about dance fitness including in-house training grants, flexible payment options and certain courses even allow for additional funding, making training with them an affordable option. The Open Bursary gives financial support to teachers and instructors who want to expand their career by qualifying in a new dance fitness style or approach. You can apply for up to £100 of funding towards short courses and workshops and up to £150 towards recognised qualifications.

The EMD Academy’s unique Level 2 Dance Fitness Qualification is the only national qualification that provides the ideal transition for dance enthusiasts and professionals who want to become a Dance Fitness Instructor. The qualification combines Level 2 Exercise, Movement and Dance (EMD) and Level 2 Fitness Instructing Exercise to Music (ETM), covering both creative choreography and effective fitness training.

Training is delivered through a combination of enlightening training days and independent online-learning. The choice of courses include Level 2 Exercise to Music, Dance Fitness and Zumba Combo as well as Level 3 Exercise Movement and Dance. All EMD Academy training courses are quality assured by awarding organisation YMCA Awards as well as the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

If you are a fitness professional looking to widen your teaching repertoire and hold a Level 2 or 3 recognised teaching qualification, you can apply for recognised prior learning for EMD Academy courses. This reduces costs and you only need to attend the practical elements of the course.
Emma Forward, Chief Operating Officer, comments: “The EMD Academy offers nationally recognised qualifications that provide the essential knowledge, confidence and understanding to deliver fun and inspiring dance fitness classes.

“As the interest in dance fitness continues to grow, our high quality training is helping drive up standards within the sector and gives trainees a first-class learning experience. Over the last 12 months, we’ve received some fantastic feedback from graduates who’ve gone on to have flourishing teaching careers and are helping to encourage more people to join the dance fitness revolution.”

To find out more about a career in dance fitness or to develop your existing skill set, please visit www.emdacademy.org. Alternatively, follow them on Twitter @@EMDAcademy or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/teachEMD