I recently joined a group fitness class at the local fitness center.
The class meets twice per week for an hour and a half. The professional trainer guides us through a session of strenuous exercises. We start with a slow warmup and then move into strength training. The strength training switches between dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, weighted poles and using our own body weight. Although we single out the shoulders, biceps, triceps and all the different leg muscles, we mainly concentrate mainly on core strength. The trainer often adds in static holds, including planks and yoga-style poses that incorporate the abdominal muscles and also require balance and concentration. It’s surprising how quickly even a basic pose, sustained for a lengthy duration, becomes challenging! Just holding up my leg, parallel to the floor for even just a minute is taxing. I have seen a definite improvement in my balance, coordination and strength over the last couple of weeks. After we complete the strength training portion with some lunges and squats, we get our heart rate up with jumps. After the first class, the soreness in my legs the next morning was awful, and I blame those jumps. I could hardly walk up and down the stairs to our front door. Fortunately, I’ve improved at these exercises. For the aerobic section of the class, our trainer likes to mix things up. Sometimes we jump rope for short bursts. Sometimes we do even more jumps. She makes sure we end up sweaty, out of breath, with our hearts pounding. It’s exhausting but I feel great afterwards. We end the class with various types of deep stretches that increase our flexibility. The instructor continually reminds us to breathe and maintain each position for several counts.