Physical fitness is one of the most important facets of your well-being, and many Americans understand how exercise plays a key role to maintaining it.
According to one survey, 72 percent of people in the United States expressed interest in exercising more often. Another survey even discovered that 90 percent of its respondents found that even working out at home is effective.
However, not everyone is a gym rat. Many people are only beginning their journey to greater physical health.
Below is a quick guide on fitness classes for beginners, covering some popular types of classes, basic rules of joining a class and what kind of things you should bring to your first fitness classes.
What are Popular Types of Fitness Classes?
You can join dozens of types of physical fitness classes. Some classes specialize in older adults and fitness classes for teens. Because of the pandemic, online exercise classes have also surged in popularity. But with more and more gyms opening up, you can finally safely sign up for face-to-face fitness classes.
Below are some of the most popular types of classes you can participate in to improve your health.
Yoga refers to a series of aerobic exercises that focus on muscle control and improving flexibility. There are many different kinds of yoga that shift this focus. Some are focused on improving your concentration and breathing while others take place in heated gyms to burn more calories. Yoga is an excellent way to stay fit and to work on your mental fitness at the same time.
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, a type of fitness class that revolves around bursts of intense exercises followed by preset times of rest. Gym rats are often the primary students of HIIT classes but they can be staggered for beginners.
Beginner HIIT classes usually involve calisthenics but advanced sessions include using powerlifting gear and weights. Expect HIIT classes to focus on muscle training and cardio exercises.
Lots of people want to take a bicycle across the countryside but not everyone has the time nor the equipment.
Cycling classes use cycling machines to improve your cardiovascular system and burn calories. These fitness classes usually involve a lot of high energy coaching and can range from leisurely sessions to intense, high-speed stationary races.
For people who want something a little more competitive and combative, there are many forms of martials arts fitness classes that you can choose from. Karate, aikido and jujitsu are popular martials arts form Japan. Other types of martial arts include taekwondo, wrestling and even boxing.
However, all martial arts carry the risk of physical injury, so you should expect to walk away with a few bruises and scrapes even in a teen’s fitness class.
What are the Basic Rules of Fitness Classes?
There are basic rules to showing up in a gym or fitness center that every potential gym rat should know. After spending a lot of time considering home gym ideas, even fitness enthusiasts may need a refresher on some of these rules.
Below are some of the essential rules that you should follow when signing up for fitness classes.
Show Up on Time
Although the gym instructor will no doubt begin without you if you don’t turn up on time, arriving late to a fitness class can distract the other students. The instructor may also have to repeat essential tips to you, especially if you are late to the first few sessions when they lay down the groundwork.
Be professional and mindful by always showing up on time, if not early to a class.
Fitness classes are there to help you get in shape. All other considerations are incidental. Although you can socialize and make new friends in a class, don’t distract everyone around you by having long conversations.
You should also not join a class to just flirt with other students as this is not only distracting, it’s also off-putting to others.
Practice Out of Class
Like any type of skill, you can’t expect to excel or improve by only attending a single weekly session. If you go to a cycling class, practice using these machines in your free time. If your child is taking fitness classes for teens, supervise them so they continue honing the skills they learned outside of class hours. Do yoga to relax, go jogging or do exercise on your own.
Take Care of Equipment
The various exercise equipment in a gym or fitness class needs to be maintained and cleaned. Using fitness gear weights and other equipment often leads to sweat, which can make these objects smell or slippery. It’s only proper that you clean up the equipment for the next user.
You can make this easier by wiping down all the equipment you use with alcohol or some other cleaning product.
If you have any doubts or are unclear with instructions given by the teachers of fitness classes, ask as many questions as you can.
Although this is especially true if you are enrolling in a class that uses powerlifting gear or in a martial arts class, you can injure yourself if you don’t have the right information. Don’t pretend to understand something and just flat out seek clarification to prevent potential accidents.
Go to a Doctor
If you have any chronic conditions or illnesses, you need to visit a doctor and get medically cleared to join fitness classes.
For example, half of adults in the United States aren’t getting enough physical activity which could lead to obesity. Although exercise can help reduce your weight, it can also pose a danger to your well-being.
Work with your doctors to find appropriate fitness activities you can join that can help ease your conditions without exacerbating their negative effects.
Don’t Be Creepy
Don’t stare at other people while they do their workouts because this can make them self-conscious. Don’t distract other people while they’re working out to flirt with them.
A staggering 71 percent of women revealed that they were sexually harassed in gyms. Don’t add to this problem and observe proper social etiquette in every class.
What Should You Bring to Fitness Class?
Just like there are dozens of kinds of fitness classes, there are also numerous things you may have to bring. The exact equipment you are expected to bring to class changes with every type of class.
For example, you should bring an exercise mat when you go to yoga class. Helmets and armor are expected if you are joining most types of martial arts classes.
However, there are some constants that are welcome in almost every type of class. Here are some of these items that you should always have in your gym bag.
Change of Clothes
Most exercises will get you sweaty and you do not want to walk around after class in soiled clothes. Always bring extra clothes with you when you go to a fitness class.
From yoga to jujutsu, most physical activities will make you feel thirsty thanks to the sweat you’ll probably exude. A bottle of water will keep you nice and hydrated through your class.
Another must-have to ensure your sweat doesn’t go everywhere and soak you completely. Towels are also useful if you want to take a shower afterwards to refresh yourself.
You may want to play music while you are working out or cycling. However, you must not blast music through speakers in a gym. Always carry a reliable pair of earphones so you can listen to your favorite music while using the fitness gear weights.
Fitness classes are just one way you can begin your journey to better physical health. These tips and guidelines can help you make the most out of every class you sign up for.