Home Health & Fitness Fitness tips: how to get the most out of exercise classes

Fitness tips: how to get the most out of exercise classes

Have a plan and stick to it, says trainer Kate Maxey

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Go steady If you’re a beginner, don’t do too much, too soon – start with two sessions a week. After a month of attending two or three classes a week, add another. For intermediate to advanced exercisers, aim for four to five higher-intensity classes a week.

Mix it up Choosea variety ofclasses that you enjoy, so you’re more likely to stick at them. A good mix would be two or three strength workouts, two or three conditioning workouts and then one or two recovery sessions such as yoga, stretching, a swim or a long walk. Every four to six weeks, change what you do. I use the Fitt principle – frequency, intensity, time and type. For example increase the weight you pick up in a strength class, add resistance on your indoor bike or change the tempo of your workouts.

Have a plan You need an end goal. If you want to lose weight, try a mixture of strength classes and cardio-focused conditioning classes. For more flexibility, add yoga or Pilates; any exercise will help reduce stress. Plan your ideal week and stick to it.

Never forget to restHave at least two days’ rest a week. Even Olympic athletes have rest days and weeks when they let their body reset.

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