Are you trying to get in shape this summer? If so, you may want to consider fitness classes, which may be offered at gyms or at specific activity studios. ,Perhaps you have not been very active in a while and you wish to return to it, or maybe you have never had much experience with fitness in your life. Either way, you can benefit from a fitness class. There are many different types of fitness classes. A few are noted below.  

  1. Martial Arts. Depending on the type of martial art, the intensity of the workout will vary. For example, American Kickboxing will give you more cardio exercise, while Aikido will focus more on practicing specific movements and developing flexibility. Repetitive movements can help develop muscle strength over time. The other benefit of martial arts is that you can learn some basic self-defense.  
  2. Yoga. Many people at first think yoga is just fancy stretching and not very intense, but this is mistaken thinking. Yoga can be extremely intense, working many parts of the body, and developing strength, flexibility, and physical stamina. In addition to being good exercise, yoga is said to promote spiritual well-being and peace of mind.  
  3. Pilates. Many gyms offer Pilates classes, which serve to develop the muscles of your core, toning your belly and abs. Classes are usually forty-five minutes to an hour and can be very intense. Lying on your back and doing leg lifts is an example of a simple Pilates move. Wall units (tall implements with springs attached) and special resistance rings are often used to aid various exercises.  
  4. Strength/Toning. With strength and toning classes, the goal is to target different muscles and body parts and make them strong, developing muscle mass over time. Exercises include lifting weights and doing bench presses. New participants should be careful to pace themselves and start small to avoid injuries and early exhaustion. Be sure to find a class that gives some attention to individuals and their levels, because people vary greatly in how much they can handle and when. 
  5. Dance. Just like with martial arts, there are many different types of dance. Any form of dance can be good for you since they all involve physical activity. Ballroom dance is ideal for lighter exercise. Others, like Zumba, require intense activity. Besides fitness benefits, dance can also help you with social skills, since you will often be with one or multiple partners.  
  6. Cardio. Cardiovascular workouts are those that serve to exercise the heart. As such, they can be intense. Since cardio is known to be so good for heart health, just about anyone can benefit from it. As with strength workouts, be sure to find the level that is right for you and gradually build up to more difficult workouts. Running and jogging are good examples of cardio exercises.