Trampoline fitness | it just makes exercising fun!

I love jumping! Jumping jacks, box jumps, squat jumps, split lunge jumps and even burpees (do you add the jump to yours?). I particularly love trampoline fitness!

Jumping on a trampoline just makes exercising fun!

When was the last time you jumped on a trampoline? Me? Way back in September during a trampoline class at Fitbloggin.

Today I’m over at the Gaiam Life blog sharing the results of recent scientific studies on the health benefits of trampoline fitness. Why don’t you jump on over and check it out?

I’d love to hear your thoughts (over there!) about trampoline fitness!

trampoline fitness

 

Reasons for going to group fitness classes | it’s not always just about fitness

This past weekend, I attended a Third Age Fitness certification course. Third Age being a euphemism for ‘senior citizen’ or ‘older adult’.

Given that (1) I train a number of ‘above average aged’ clients, (2) several of my regular group fitness participants suffer from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (3) my parents are on the cusp of 70

group fitness classes

and (4) my hubby and I will ourselves be classified as ‘third age’ sooner, rather than later, I thought that picking up some tricks and tips for teaching and training older adults would be a prudent thing to do.

We talked a lot about the physical infirmities associated with aging and how to keep older adults safe while exercising. We focused on important areas to stretch and strengthen aging bodies. We addressed the affects of many common medications on performance. And of course, we brainstormed about how to make our group fitness classes more welcoming to our older participants. (Check out this great guest post from AlexandraFunFit for specific tips for teaching seniors fitness classes)

For me, though, the most enlightening component of the course was a discussion about the reasons older adults attend group fitness classes.

Older adults are typically not there to get ‘abs of steel’ or ‘great guns’. Nor do they care about ‘personal bests’ or how they’ll look in their bathing suit next summer.

Seniors top reasons for participating in group fitness classes?

  1. to socialize with other same-aged adults
  2. to improve their ability to perform daily living tasks
  3. to have fun and learn something new

This discussion got me thinking about how older adults are really not that different from younger adults. When I returned to fitness after the birth of my first child, my reasons for attending group fitness classes were exactly the same. Of course, I also desired to see the reappearance of my pre-pregnancy body :) , but just getting baby and I out of the house and into the company of others seeking healthy lifestyle changes was paramount.

I too craved adult-interaction, laughter and information. Strengthening my body to prepare for the ever-increasing workload to come (babies grow and as such, are a great source of progressive resistance training).

In addition to informing me about teaching the older members of my classes, this workshop was a great reminder to me that my job as a group fitness instructor isn’t just about helping people transform their bodies.

It’s also about creating a community, fostering improvements in daily living, entertaining and education. In short, helping people to transform their lives!

Do you participate in group fitness classes?

What are your primary reasons for doing so?

Jane Fonda meet Linda Hamilton; group fitness classes build great guns!

Does getting in shape top your list of back to school resolutions? Know how important strength training is to changing your body but unsure of where to start? Intimidated by gyms and weight rooms?

Look no further; group fitness classes are a great place to begin your strength training journey.

strength training for women

No longer just a place to get a good, choreographed, cardiovascular workout, aerobic studios are THE place for women looking to learn about strength training in a supportive, non-judgmental, primarily female environment!

In addition to grape vines and step touches, today’s group fitness classes often include weight training, core conditioning and functional exercises. With names like Body Sculpt, Power Core and Athletic Training, these classes can help you get leaner, stronger, more defined and yes, build great guns!

Benefits of participating in group fitness classes over starting out in the weight room?

  • Groups have great energy
  • The music is uplifting and regulates the speed of the workout
  • Classes tend to be primarily female
  • You’ll learn to properly use a variety of strength training tools
  • Every class will be different (this is important; ‘muscle confusion’ leads to results)
  • You’ll meet like-minded people who will become your new friends and training buddies

Ultimately, the quality of the class (and the speed with which your guns will appear), depends on who’s teaching it.

Ideally, your group strength training instructor will;

  • Be knowledgable about weight training
  • Demonstrate a variety of levels or progressions for each exercise
  • Tell you how the workout will be structured, allowing you to choose the right weight for the number of repetitions and sets she expects you to perform
  • Be safety-conscious, with respect to both equipment and exercise form
  • Spend most of the class coaching and correcting participants’ form, rather than focusing on her own workout

And most important, when she sees that you’re ready to step into the weight room (I promise, you’ll get there), she’ll celebrate your decision to leave the comfort of the class and venture out on your own!

Do you participate in group fitness classes?

What are your favourite types of class?

NB. This essay originally appeared on the Skinny Ms. blog but was inadvertently left out of the archives during the website’s re-design. I’m re-posting it here because (1) I think it’s a good read :) and  (b) it needs a permanent home!

Two-guest-post-Friday

Lately, I’ve been given lots of great opportunities to write for websites other than my own. Thanks!

Yesterday was a double header. I spent the morning with SkinnyMs. talking about starting your strength training in group fitness classes.

Then I strolled over to FitFluential Inc. to help welcome new years resolution exercisers to the gym.

Take a peek and be sure to comment, here, there or anywhere!