It’s a New Year and there’s a good chance your New Year’s resolution has something to do with leading a healthier lifestyle. We all like to believe that we can maintain a consistent fitness regimen and leaner diet longer than a month, but that’s easier said than done. Getting into the right workout routine may require a little bit of research on your part. It’s a quest of finding the right class that motivates, disciplines and clears the mind.
Most people like having a work out buddy for company and to help push them towards their ultimate fitness goals. Sometimes having a friend to pull you away from the Ben & Jerry’s and drag you to a treadmill is exactly what it takes to develop a long-term fitness routine. It’s exactly why group workout classes have become so popular in the last few years. Group fitness classes are a great way to make new friends and diversify your workout routine.
But what type of group fitness is the best option for you? Here are a few ideas:
1. Pilates and Yoga
Pilates and yoga both exercises help develop flexibility and muscle strength over time— not to mention helping you find inner peace. If you’re a beginner and feel that yoga or Pilates may be right for you, ditch the training DVD’s you got as a secret Santa present, and sign up for a class. This way, you can learn directly from a professional and have your classmates act as a support system for knowledge and motivation. And don’t worry; everyone looks awkward at the beginning!
Who doesn’t love to dance? Even if you’re not great, which is the case for most people, it’s a solid cardio work out and you’ll have an endlessly good time. Most cities will likely have several dance studios for beginners and advanced learners that teach anything from Hip Hop to ballet.
If you’re someone that fears humiliation in front of other dancers who may or may not be better than you, group dance classes may not be your best move. But if you dance unapologetically wherever you are, try channeling that energy in a dance class. You’ll make several friends and the “classroom setting” will help keep you motivated, not to mention you’ll learn a few new moves from the advanced classmates. Zumba is highly recommended for less serious dancers who still enjoy moving their bodies.
3. Spinning and Cycling
For some people, the moment they learned to ride a bike without training wheels was just the beginning of a lifetime full of cycling-related activities. Exercise bikes have been popular for decades because it allows people to enjoy the activity of biking without having to leave their homes. Others are more traditional and prefer taking a bike outdoors (in some cases, as their sole form of transportation).
Like most other activities in life, more is merrier when it comes to spinning and cycling. Spinning classes are great for people who find their exercise bike collecting dust in the darkest corner of their bedroom.
An instructor leads a medium-sized group through various speeds and difficulties until you reach your “destination.” There is something motivational about seeing dozens of other people sweating through their shirts and suffering just as much as you are. And if you hate being outdoors or exercising in colder weather, spinning is a great indoor activity. But, if you’re someone who doesn’t want people to see you as a melted version of yourself, yoga or Pilates might be a better route to take.
These are just a taste of the group fitness programs that Americans have come to love. If you want to venture out and try other types of classes not listed above, martial arts, aquatic exercises and CrossFit are other great and popular options. Remember, your fitness routine should match your needs, passions, and energy level. As long as you’re pushing your body and seeing results over time, your workout routine is working perfectly.
Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for Targeted Merchant Solutions. She has been published in a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Business Insider.