As you get older, you may find that you feel weaker and tire more easily. And not only that, your energy and motivation may be waning, and you just don't get out and about like you used to. You have good intentions as far as exercising and getting involved with your friends and family, but they often fall by the wayside. One great method of combining both your health goals and your social life is to join a group exercise class. Attending these sessions will get you moving and networking before you know it.
Many individuals shy away from trying something new. Some may have never had any athletic abilities their entire lives and are resistant to trying a new exercise class now. Flashbacks of gym class and being chosen last for basketball and volleyball teams may flood your mind. Remember, your confidence levels have increased over time and giving this new pastime a chance may be a big surprise to you when, over time, you begin to excel at these new moves and routines.
The Benefits of Group Exercise
There are so many great benefits to group exercise. Following are some of the main advantages of beginning this activity:
You can improve your flexibility, increase your bone density, and give your heart a good work-out. You may be able to add years to your life and increase the quality of this life just by taking on this one activity.
Opportunities for Socialization
You will have the opportunities to socialize with other like-minded individuals. Having a set activity on your calendar will give you an event to anticipate and prepare for. Just think about all the new and trendy exercise clothes you can invest in! After meeting new people in your own age group, you may even find yourself with invitations to get-togethers and parties. You can even take the first step to friendship by inviting someone to join you for coffee or lunch after your class.
As you can see, taking these courses will have you well on your way to a fuller and more satisfying life.
What You Need to Get Started
Equipment and apparel needs are usually not extensive. They are usually not expensive items and are readily available at any sporting goods store or outlet:
The most important item you can buy when you begin exercises of any type is comfortable and supportive shoes. Shoes of poor quality that don't fit correctly will give you more problems than you are solving by exercising. Visit a reputable sports shoe store and ask for their advice. Have them fit the shoe for you, so you will know you will not suffer from blisters and other foot issues.
Your work-out apparel can be as simple as shorts or leggings and an old tee shirt. But you are going to want to look and feel your best, as well as motivate yourself to attend. Spring for some comfortable and colorful clothing that will make you feel attractive and approachable. Purchasing new outfits will also motivate you to attend these classes, as you will not want your dollars to go to waste.
The equipment needed will depend on the class. Some will not require anything but a willing body and spirit, while others may require you to bring resistance bands, an exercise ball, a yoga or exercise mat, or hand weights.
A Good Attitude
Don't take on these classes because you feel that it is something you have to do. Go because you want to open your life to new people, new possibilities, and a healthier (and longer) future.
You may believe that you are too old to try a new activity, but you are definitely not. Taking on group exercise classes may propel you on to bigger and better things, so take that first step and register today. You will find that you will feel younger and more alive than you have in years.
Questions and Answers
You may still be a little concerned about taking on this new activity. Following are a few questions with answers that may assist in making you feel a little more comfortable about taking this big step:
Q: I am in my seventies; is it too late to begin an exercise routine?
A: No one is ever too old to start exercising. Your routines may need to be modified to your age and stamina level until you regain some of your past strength.
Q: Should I check with my doctor before attending exercise classes?
A: It is always a good idea to check with your physician before taking up any type of strenuous activity.
Q: I am embarrassed at my level of flexibility and lack of coordination. How can I get past this so I can attend these classes?
A: Everyone feels a little awkward when they begin a new activity. Instead of being shy and self-conscious, let everyone know that you are a novice, and they will inundate you with words of advice and assistance. It is also a great way to start conversations with people whom you do not know.
Q: What if I do not like the exercise group I am in?
A: Simple. Just change to a new one. There are so many different types of exercise - yoga, Pilates, strength training, weightlifting, and more. You may need to shop around and try out a few classes before you find that one that is perfect for you, your abilities, and your interests.