January is about new beginnings and trying new things. For many of us, that means New Year’s Resolutions and getting in shape after the holidays. Just getting started is the hardest part and a Group Fitness Class at the Eden Prairie Community Center is a great way to get going.
The class schedules let you try out many different types of work outs, be part of a group and find out what you really enjoy. There are many reasons to choose a group exercise class besides working out with new and old friends. If you are trying a new type of workout, group classes will have a trained instructor to lead you through the exercises, guiding and correcting form to make sure you have a safe and effective workout. Because group classes are typically taught at the same time every week, it is easy to plan for them in your weekly calendar.
As we all know, time flies and if you don’t schedule your work outs, it is easy for something else to take its place. When an exercise is hard, it can be easy to give up, but when you are in a group setting, you can pull strength from the other participants in class to get through just one more set. Even if you don’t know others in the class, you are all in it together and will get through it together.
Group classes is also great for trying something new. If you have been working out for a while, but it is getting boring or too easy, try a new class that takes you out of our comfort zone. Your body will thank you! Research has also proven that working out with a group leads to more enjoyment than exercising alone, making it easier to stick with the habit. You will also meet new friends along the way!
The Eden Prairie Community Center offers an average of 220 group exercise classes a week, so there is plenty to try out. Classes such as boot camp, Cage workout, Interval challenge, HIIT, Boxing Fusion, Mix it Up and Kettlebell includes elements of strength and cardio training. These typically will vary from instructor to instructor to keep your body guessing.
Mind and body classes include Yoga, Pilates, Barre and stretching classes and will focus on elongating your muscles and mindfulness. Cycling classes takes place on an indoor cycle and will build your cardio while building muscles in your legs. A variety of aqua classes take place in the pool where the water and equipment will give you resistance for a full body workout without the impact of land.
Silver Sneakers and Gold classes are offered to senior participants to increase muscular strength, balance and range of movement for daily living. BodyPump and CX Works are choregraphed classes from Les Mills that uses a barbell (BodyPump) or elastic tubes (CX Works). Choreography changes on a regular basis to continue to challenge you.
Step and tone use a raised platform where you step up, around and down in different patterns. The class ends with muscle toning. Gloves and Pads boxing is an hour sparring class that works your cardio and whole body. The community center also offers specialized classes for participants living with arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s. These classes are specifically designed to allow participants to train. (552 of 568)
If you dread working out, but love dancing, check out the Zumba classes at Eden Prairie Community Center. Zumba is a group fitness class combining high and low intensity moves for an interval style work out. The moves are simple and easy to follow which makes the class easy and fun. The music draws from Latin or Bollywood mostly with about 30% from other genres.
The base steps in Zumba comes from Merengue, salsa, cumbia and Reggie tone. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry. Megan Munoz, Recreational Supervisor for fitness, started at the community center as a Zumba instructor and advises, “No one is looking at you, they are all looking at the instructor, so don’t worry about the steps and just have fun.”
In any given week at the community center, you can choose from 16 Zumba classes given by 10 different instructors for a different dance party every night. To keep it fresh, instructors get new music from Zumba every other month and will research new moves to keep it fresh. “The second time is always easier, so make Zumba or other classes a regular in your fitness schedule”, says Megan Munoz.
If you are looking for friendly competition, consider joining a league sport. Not only is this a great way to get fit, it is also a wonderful way to get to know new friends. The Eden Prairie Community Center offers leagues for basketball, bocce ball, broomball, flag football, pickleball, racquet ball, soft ball, yard ball and volleyball (leagues are depending on time of year). You can sign up as a free agent and teams that need extra players will welcome you to their team – www.edenprairie.org/AdultAthletics.
We all know that working out is good for the body, but had you considered what it can do for your mind? Exercise has been shown to increase brain activity and smiling releases endorphins creating a feeling of wellbeing. The next time you are stressed, give your brain a break and join a group fitness class and make some new friends. Megan Munoz, Recreational Supervisor for fitness says it best, “Members come in to get fit but stays for the relationships they make”.
TRX is suspension training that uses body weight to develop strength, balance, flexibility and joint stability. It is appropriate for all levels of fitness and it easily adjust for higher or lower intensity. TRX will work your whole body.
Getting your aggression out safely is easy in a Gloves and Pads class. Participants are paired up for 3 minute “rounds” where one person is holding pads and one person is hitting the pads. You might think 3 minutes is easy, but boxing involves your whole body and quickly brings your heart rate up. All moves are rehearsed for a fun and safe workout
Water aerobics is another fun way to get your heart pumping. The water creates resistance to work your muscles while there is no hard impact on your joints. Participants are working in shallow or deep water while performing exercises.
Barre class is a hybrid class that has elements from ballet, Yoga, Pilates and strength training. Small moves target your whole body and it is not uncommon to hear people say things like, “I feel taller” and “I didn’t know I had that muscle”, after a class. There’s no requirement to be a ballerina to take this class.