What kind of workout do you want?
Experts say the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do. “One big benefit of taking a fitness class is it’s an appointment on your calendar, so you’re more likely to show up,” says Kristie Willhoit, fitness specialist at Gwinnett Medical Center. “Think about your goals, and be realistic about where you are right now, in terms of fitness. Choose a class that will help you to be successful.”
Confused by the classes available? Here is a guide to some of the latest and greatest ones.
With a combination of shallow-water and deep-water exercises, these classes combine cardiovascular endurance with core stabilization, strength, balance and flexibility. Aquatics are especially great for those new to exercise, people with arthritis, or people who fear falling during exercise.
Special gear: Swimsuit and water shoes.
Featuring a barre (dance bar) for balance, these classes include small range-of-motion movements inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates to improve posture and build strength. Classes may also include light weights or core exercises on a mat.
Special gear: Grip socks (or none— go barefoot!) and a yoga mat.
These indoor bicycling classes are spent on sturdy stationary bikes and use music to pace pedaling. The instructor will help set the equipment to a proper height, and during class he or she will tell participants when to switch gears and when to stand or sit while pedaling.
Special gear: None, although padded bicycle shorts and clip-on bike shoes are helpful.
High-Intensity Interval Training
HIIT is a fast-paced workout that uses body weight in intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods
to get heart rate up and keep it there. Typical HIIT exercises include burpees, pushups, jump squats and situps.
Special gear: None.
Incorporating a kickboxer’s high-energy moves, these fast-paced classes build power and cardiovascular fitness, as well as coordination.
Special gear: Boxing wraps for hands and boxing gloves (often provided by the gym).
Using weighted drumsticks and the driving beat of music, participants work their whole body and gain cardiovascular fitness.
Special gear: None (drumsticks provided by the gym).
With a Latin beat, these dance-based classes keep you moving. Instructors give low-impact and high-impact options, so it’s suitable for people of all fitness levels.
Special gear: None.
Gwinnett Medical Center offers fitness classes in Lawrenceville and Duluth. Personal fitness assessments— including running gait analysis and personal training—are also available.