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Aerobics: exercise that is fun and works

What is aerobics?

Aerobics is a combination of strength/aerobic cardio and stretching. There are three types of aerobics class: standard, step and water/aqua. The standard  class is usually between 30-60 minutes long and set to music. More advanced classes may include equipment such as small weights or a barbell.

Step classes

Step is a form of high-intensity aerobics that uses a step platform; typically, 4-12 inches high and adjustable. It’s a low impact exercise so it won’t put stress on your joints, but your legs will feel it the next day!

Water aerobics

Commonly known as aqua aerobics, this form of aerobics is a great form of exercise if you are unsteady on your feet or experience joint pain. Since your bodyweight is supported by the water, less pressure is placed upon your muscles and joints. Water resistance increases calorie burning, in fact you can burn almost 300 calories burned per hour during an aqua class.

The benefits of joining an aerobics class?
  • Burns calories – you can burn up to 400 calories in 40 minutes
  • Have fun - the classes are usually set to fun pop music so it feels more like dancing than exercising
  • Raise heart rate - it’s great for your cardiovascular health
  • Get oxygen flowing - aerobic exercises are great for improving circulation
  • Coordination – practising moving arms and legs together
  • Strengthens your heart and lungs
  • Serotonin and endorphins – exercise can stimulate the release of mood boosting hormones

You may find your class tricky first as you get to grips with the different moves, but do not worry you will not be alone; everyone there will have been in the same position before. Just make sure you keep your feet moving and you will soon get the hang of it! If you struggle with your coordination, you may find it helpful to take part in an online class first so you can practise some of the basics. The NHS has a free aerobics for beginners videos to give you a taster.