Aerobics classes: Getting fit has never been more fun

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Aerobics classes combine rhythmic exercise as well as stretching and strength training routines. Aerobics improves all elements of fitness. That means flexibility, muscular strength and cardio-vascular fitness.

History of aerobics

Jane Fonda popularised aerobics in the early 1980s. In 1982, the actress released her phenomenally popular exercise video and aerobics became a global trend.

Fonda may have introduced the world to aerobics, but the exercise routine is a bit older than that. For that we have to thank Dr Kenneth H. Cooper and Colonel Pauline Potts, both of the United States Air Force. Cooper was an exercise physiologist and Potts a physical therapist.  They developed the exercise programme in the late 1960s.

Aerobics classes

Aerobics classes are generally made up of two separate formats: step and floor. During step aerobics you use a step to rise and stretch the leg muscles. Floor aerobics includes sit-ups and push ups.

Aerobics classes are generally led by an instructor. They usually involve rapid stepping patterns performed to pop or dance music with cues. The most common structure begins with a warm-up which limbers up the muscles and lasts for around five minutes. Stretches are next, lengthening the muscles for later exertion. The tempo and intensity increases, and here is where you do the proper work! After about 30 minutes it’s time for you to cool down.

As a fantastic bonus, aerobics gives you the chance to get fit jumping around to the latest tunes. Like a Saturday night out, but virtuous!

Frank Bolger

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