Group fitness classes are a great way to stay fit and healthy. They are a lot of fun and can be a nice way to meet people with similar interests and goals. There is a huge variety of classes so chances are there’s one that will suit you. There’s boxing, dance, spin classes, weight training, high intensity, yoga and Pilates. Just to name a few.
Stepping into a new class for the first time can be daunting. Some classes may require unfamiliar equipment or unfamiliar terminology (did the instructor just say down dog? What on earth is that?). Often classes are done to music. Keeping up with the pace of the music as well as trying to get your head around strange new moves can all be scary.
A few things to remember when stepping into a class for the first time; get to class a little early, it will give you time to set up, get familiar with the surroundings and have a chat to the group fitness instructor. Explain to them that you are new and ask about options throughout the class. Most classes are structured to give options for beginners, intermediate and experienced. If even if you’ve been exercising for quite a while, its best to go with the beginner option, just to see how your body reacts. Group classes are often structured around a lot of everything. So you might be conditioned to three lots of twelve squats in the gym, but doing six minutes of continuous squatting might leave you sore and cursing the class for a few days!
If you have a pre-existing injury, there’s no need to shy away. However it is best to visit your Physiotherapist before starting a new class. They will offer guidance on how to minimise your risk of flaring up any old injuries and how to avoid any new injuries.
If you have been attending a class for some time but find there is just one movement that continues to give you discomfort or one niggling pain that just won’t go away, there’s no need to stop the class all together. Have a chat to your Physiotherapist and they may assess and correct your technique. Minor changes in movement patterns can quickly decrease pain and help you reach your strength and fitness goals faster. A short home exercise program from your Physiotherapist can also be a great adjunct to your group fitness workouts. This may include a stretching program or working on the strength of a specific muscle.
Article written by Healthfocus Physiotherapist Kellie Ladgrove. To book an appointment with Kellie, contact Healthfocus Physiotherapy Daintree.