If you are looking to add something new to your fitness routine, I got the perfect exercise class for you. Well, I actually have 8 of them I want to tell you about. Some that might be familiar and others that will allow you to completely step outside your comfort zone.

Cycling

Cycling is a classic aerobics class that you can always count on. I’m not going to lie to you, those seats can be super uncomfortable, especially for a full-hour class, but most instructors have an energetic playlist to keep everyone moving. I usually like to do cycling classes when I’m looking to incorporate something different into my exercise routine since I don’t do them often. It may just be me but I feel like all cycling classes are high intensity. Moderate level classes are also offered. You can control your own resistance and speed so no matter what the class level is you can go at your own pace and get a great workout in for your core and legs.

Hot Hula Fitness

If there is a hot hula class in your city, I advise you to take it because it will be unlike any other exercise class that you have experienced. Hot hula is all about core isolation, but it is also a total body workout. You’ll get the opportunity to participate in a fun and encouraging class while also learning how to do traditional and cultural moves from Hawai’i, Samoa, and other Southern Pacific islands. The dances are usually accompanied by Polynesian drum music. It’s a great class, that I love and miss. You’ll be at home practicing your routines in the mirror, showing off.

Boxing

Boxing is one of those workouts I can enjoy in a class or in a game. There’s a lot of variation in the different types of boxing classes you can choose to take. There’s kickboxing, body combat, HIIT, or your traditional boxing classes. Most gyms also have their own variation or a class that’s uniquely them. Sometimes they even bring it out of the gym and into your home with fitness games. EOS Fitness has a boxing game under their old Gold’s Gym branding that provides a great sweat while also being entertaining. Boxing allows you to strengthen your entire body and it’s very beneficial for your cardiovascular system and muscular system. There is also the self-defense angle and the benefits boxing can provide in that area.

Zumba

When you think of exercise classes and dancing, I bet you Zumba is the first thing that comes to mind. Zumba is another workout that is great as a class and a game. They both consist of choreographed routines featuring Latin American dances and music. I love the Zumba game for the Wii. It’s not the newest game on the market but the routines hold up really well. The energy coming from a high-intensity, fast-paced class with cool people and a good selection of music can’t be beaten though. I personally think the key to enjoying a Zumba class really depends on the type of instructor you prefer, so if you are looking for something a bit slower and easy-going, there’s an instructor that fits the bill. Zumba allows you to not only get fit but also helps with improving your balance, agility, and coordination.

Step Aerobics

Step aerobics is a great exercise class that’s reminiscent of those videos from the 90s complete with leotards and leg warmers. You start with a choreographed routine and your dance partner is a raised platform. Sometimes you can adjust the height of the platform, so it can provide a nice challenge when you need it. Different instructors create different routines to different music, so each class is something new to experience while burning fat and getting toned. I haven’t been to too many step exercise classes, but my personal fave is the hip hop ones. They are usually fast-paced, high intensity and you know the playlist will have you dancing the entire time.

Aerial Arts

If you haven’t tried aerial arts, you’re missing out. There are many types of aerial art classes that you can take whether it’s aerial silks, Lyra hoop or even trapeze. I’ve tried all three on my quest to find a hobby, and it was a one-of-a-kind experience that made me really consider doing Trapeze for real. Studios usually have classes available for people of all experience levels. An Intro to Aerial Arts class gives beginners the opportunity to try out both silks and hoops so you can see which one speaks to you more. Even as a beginner, you really get to witness your strength and how capable you are at doing things you didn’t think you could. Aerial arts definitely provide a great upper body workout, but they also allow you to improve your flexibility and core strength.

aerial arts exercise class
Photo by Taylor Monahan

Belly Dancing

We’ve got another dance class to talk about. Belly dancing is a Middle Eastern art form that can also be used as a form of exercise and a confidence booster. Dance studios and gyms offer belly dancing classes. It’s one exercise class that will allow you to strengthen your core, tone your body and improve your posture through muscle isolation. Attending a belly dancing class will really have you feeling yourself. Add a hip shaker skirt to that, the ones with the little coins, and it’s a wrap. Nobody will be able to tell you anything as you hip roll and shimmy throughout your house. Don’t let the low impact-ness of belly dance fool you, your core muscles will definitely feel it the next morning, but you’ll have fun so it’s all good.

Pole Dancing

Pole dancing is an art form that is starting to get the respect it deserves. You will have no idea how much work and upper body strength it takes to lift yourself up and support your body weight until you take a class. Pole dancers make it look so effortless and graceful, but the reality is it’s hard. It’s also exciting. You get to tap into your sensuality while being very athletic. During my first pole dancing class, I thought I knew what to expect. Some of the moves were definitely easier to pick up than others, but it was also very evident that my upper body strength was lacking. My whole entire body was sore the next day so if you take a class as a beginner, maybe try not to plan anything too strenuous afterward. Pole dancing combines resistance training and cardio so it’s no wonder why it kicked my butt. I would 100% do it again though.


Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

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