Aerobic Exercise Classes: What Are the Benefits?
Aerobics is the use of a large muscle group to exercise and get the lungs working harder, while increasing the heart rate. There are many different aerobic exercises including jogging, walking, bicycling, and swimming which all have great benefits for the body. Should you join a class?
What Is an Aerobic Exercise Class?
Aerobics classes involve various types of aerobic exercise with a group of people, often incorporated with music. It's led by an aerobics instructor who will start off with a series of stretching and warm-up routines and then focus on the core of the workout that can last about 25-30 minutes (for low-impact) and between 30-60 minutes (for high-impact). Aerobic classes may be offered at a community center, a fitness facility, or through a group of people within a company, school, or any other organization.
- Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise: Low-impact aerobic exercise is when one foot always remains on the ground while exercising. This form is utilized for elderly people, pregnant women, people who are overweight, and those who have a chronic disease. The difficulty of low-impact aerobic exercise should be the equivalent of a brisk walk.
- Medium-Intensity Aerobic Exercise: Medium-intensity exercise classes are a combination of low- and high- impact exercises and provide a wide range of motions. This can be a good transition for someone who wants to go from low to high-impact.
- High-Impact Aerobic Exercise: High-impact aerobic exercise is when both feet may leave the ground simultaneously during the workout. This is ideal for those who have already started an exercise routine and are in good physical shape.
Types of Aerobic Classes
These are some of the most common aerobics classes offered:
- Step Aerobics: Involves the use of a platform to step up and down. The platform helps burn more calories from the extra motion. This is not optimal for people with joint problems.
- Water/Aqua Aerobics: Best type of low-impact aerobics because it provides the least amount of resistance. Ideal for those with health conditions. Doesn't strain the muscles, but gives a sense of weightlessness and is helpful for those who want to continue to stay active, even with a medical condition.
- Belly Aerobics: Incorporated with basic aerobics, but focuses more on working the stomach region to remove excess weight around the mid-section. This can include motions where the arms are stretched upward while twisting the rest of the body such as crunches and belly dancing (taught by an instructor). The belly dancing technique works on specific muscles and areas of the stomach to tone.
There are many more types of aerobic exercise than those listed here of course, so we recommend you get literature from a workout facility on types of aerobics classes they offer and that you observe a class to determine if it's the right fit for you. If so, consult your doctor and/or an aerobic instructor before joining an aerobic exercise class.
Aerobic Exercise Class Benefits
- Motivation to Exercise: There are many benefits to joining an aerobic exercise class, the first being motivation. It may be a little intimidating to join a class at first, so be sure to start with a beginner's class. Chances are that the other people in the class are new too. Another benefit is that an instructor may be able to show you the most fat and calorie burning moves, and you can help maximize your weight loss (if that is you goal) or to maximize your physical fitness.
- Meeting People: Aerobic exercise classes are also a great way to meet new people who, like you, are motivated to workout and get in shape. You can also encourage your friends to join once you tell them how enjoyable they are.
- Improving Your Overall Health: Aerobics exercise classes also have great benefits to your overall health. They provide the same great benefits of a regular aerobic exercise routine in an upbeat, music pumping, classroom setting.