Four Fitness Classes That Will Leave You Strong and Smiling

by Fit After Fifty
Woman working out together in a dance class

Going to the gym may seem like an intimidating task, but as we age, keeping active becomes more and more important. Regular exercise reduces the chance of heart disease, builds healthy muscle mass, and is an essential contributor to bone strength and balance.

Instead of starting an exercise regimen alone, why not explore the many different types of group fitness classes available, meet new people with similar goals, and even have some fun! Here are four types of classes that prove exercising doesn’t have to be a boring obligation.

Zumba

This fitness program originated out of Colombia in the ‘90s and is made up of choreographed dance and aerobic moves set to upbeat Latin-inspired music. Joining a Zumba class might sound a little overwhelming to those of us who aren’t already avid dancers, but with over 2,000 locations nationwide, you can find Zumba classes for all ages and abilities.

See if you can find a Zumba Gold class, which is a subset of Zumba aimed at older adults, recreating the original energetic moves at a lower intensity. Zumba helps with balance, coordination, and building muscles. Paired with groovy tunes, this program feels more like dancing than exercising!

[Related: Best Exercises to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls]

Yoga

From experienced fitness gurus to those who just attend a few classes casually, everyone seems to love yoga — and for good reasons, too! Yoga can help increase your flexibility, balance, and muscle mass, and is an excellent way to speed along recovery after illness or injury.

Several types of classes are available for all levels of experience, from those that focus on meditation and deep breathing to more up-tempo aerobics-focused classes that really get your heart rate going. Find one that fits with your personal goals and abilities and sign up today!

CrossFit

CrossFit is a fitness program that combines aerobic workouts and strength training with elements of competitive sports and the idea of functional fitness. CrossFit benefits active older adults by focusing on performing muscle patterns that will improve everyday movement and increase strength, balance, and flexibility.

Talk with your CrossFit trainer before you begin and outline your specific goals, limitations, and comfort levels. Some gyms even have CrossFit classes specifically designed for older adults. This workout is ideal for individuals of all skill levels because it is highly adaptable and can be tailored to your particular needs.

Water Aerobics

If you’re looking for a cardio-focused exercise that’s also easy on your joints, search no further! Water aerobics classes are low-impact and provide resistance to help develop muscular strength, increase your range of motion and balance, and decrease stiffness. Some classes are set to music, involve dancing, or incorporate the use of helpful props such as pool noodles or kickboards.

[Related: Benefits of Water Aerobics for Retirees]

Have you tried any of these classes? Do you have a favorite fitness program that works for you? Let us know!

We also recommend checking this post on how to save money on gym memberships.

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