by Heidi Salter, WELLAWARE Group Fitness Instructor
Boone Hospital Center WELLAWARE offers a variety of group exercise classes, including yoga and Zumba. Each class is adaptable to all levels of interest, age, ability and vocation.
One of our physicians, Kimberly Jamison, MD, recently started yoga and shared that the movements used during yoga are much like those learned in physical therapy, held longer for continued muscular endurance. Dr. Jamison says, “It’s silly not to take advantage of these classes and the WELLAWARE fitness center.”
To start and continue healthy habits, it’s important to enjoy them. Group exercise classes encourage you to become as healthy and fit as you are able. Shari Bullard, a Boone Hospital Center employee, really enjoyed taking our Zumba Gold class. She appreciates that the group laughs and has a good time together.
“The instructors are encouraging and don’t make you feel bad when you modify the exercise based on your personal abilities,” Bullard says.
The classes encourage physical activity, provide accountability, camaraderie and relaxation, and offer endless physiological benefits, including:
- Feeling more energized as a result of class participation on a regular basis. As your body adapts to the increased exercise, everyday activity becomes easier.
- Increased flexibility, coordination, posture and improved balance can lower your risk of injury and falls later in life.
- Strengthening bones and muscles reduces risk of injury and slows progression of osteoporosis.
- Increased metabolism leads to weight loss, leaner muscles and fitting into your clothes better.
- Improved cardiorespiratory fitness. As the body becomes more efficient with exercise, blood pressure and pulmonary function improve or can slow progression of heart and lung disease.
- Improved circulation from increased blood flow, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- More efficient use of naturally occurring insulin. As your body becomes more active, it is better able to utilize insulin to control blood glucose levels and decrease risk of type II diabetes.
- Improved immune system. Your body is strengthened systemically and is less likely to succumb to viruses. You also gain a boosted ability to recover from injury and illness.
- Mental benefits of exercise include improved concentration, decreased stress and increased feelings of wellbeing as a result of the chemical serotonin being released into the brain.
Although each class has a different style, all are appropriate for most anyone interested.
Yoga offers a low to moderate intensity that is appropriate for nearly everybody, including individuals living with chronic diseases or recovering from an injury or illness. A delightful member of WELLAWARE fitness center and yoga enthusiast Tammy Winfrey says, “You get to enjoy 60 minutes of your own quiet time during the class.” She encourages anyone to come and try it out — people of all different ages, shapes and sizes enjoy the class.
Zumba makes exercising to dance styles such as the merengue, salsa, cha-cha, cumbia, tango, hip-hop and rock easy to follow so that everyone, at any age, can have fun doing it. This is an excellent way to burn calories in a fun environment. The Zumba class gets you moving aerobically while strengthening key muscle groups including the core (abdominals).
Zumba Gold is less intense than Zumba. The instructor has experience working with beginning exercisers, active mature adults and special populations.
Body Conditioning helps to reduce stiffness and tension through focused stretching and core muscle toning.
Pilates is all about creating long, lean muscles through developing the core and improving balance. Modifications will be learned in order to feel progression throughout the course of these sessions.
Qigong is the Chinese practice of aligning body, breath and mind for health, relaxation, and martial arts training.
Classes are now accepting registrations for fall 2014 sessions. To register or see our schedule of current and upcoming classes, visit boone.org/wellaware/group today!