LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It’s that time of the year again where residents begin to make New Year’s resolutions; particularly pertaining to health and fitness.
Eating healthier is always a good place to start, but if you’re trying to begin the new year on the right foot, it’s best to have a plan for fitness. However, everyone doesn’t know where to start as it pertains to picking a class, where to go, how hard it is, or what the class entails.
Choosing a class that works for you can be difficult if you don’t know where to start or the right questions to ask. Each class can cater to particular target areas such as core, cardio, strength, and so on. Some classes are large and some are more intimate. Some classes are more difficult or expensive than others. Not to mention, sometimes you may need equipment.
There’s much to learn. Here are a few options to help make your decision a bit easier:
• Yoga - Yogaalliance.org describes Yoga as a comprehensive system for well-being on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. There are several different types of Yoga classes, such as Buti, Bikram, Hot Yoga, and so on, so you’ll need to try a few to see what works for you. If you’re new to Yoga, try a beginner level class first to learn the basics. Yoga can focus on a variety of areas, including core, strength, toning, and even meditation for mental and spiritual health. Sometimes, Yoga uses equipment, but most gyms provide what you need. We suggest getting a mat. Some Yoga classes are more intimate and others are large. Ask the gym owner for a smaller class if you prefer intimacy. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Yoga Center of Lake Charles, Yoga Y’all, Anytime Fitness, Her Body Fitness, LC Fitness, International Dance Company
• Pilates - Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a floor mat or a variety of equipment, according to pilates.com. The class focuses on lengthening and toning for creating a slender, almost ballet-like physique, but it’s not the only body form goal. There are classes to help tone abs, arms, glutes, and legs. It’s great for helping with flexibility, agility, and can even alleviate back pain. Again, be sure to try a beginner level class if you’re new. Most Pilates classes don’t require equipment, however some do, but don’t forget your mat! Many Pilates classes are smaller than most, but depending on the popularity of the gym, the classes may be larger. It’s best to ask for a small class if you would like one. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Pilates to Fit, Her Body Fitness, GiGi’s downtown, Christus
• Barre - Inspired from ballet, Barre uses a combination of ballet postures and other disciplines like Yoga and Pilates, says fitnessmagazine.com. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training, (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles), combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements. Similar to a dance class, many people take the class at once. Usually only the barre is needed, but don’t be surprised if you see weights here and there. Watch a class HERE.
• Orange Theory - Orangetheoryfitness.com describes it as a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside out. The science spikes metabolism, energy, and changes your body from the inside out. The equipment customizes your training and monitors your heart rate. The class encourages a community aspect, so you’ll be surrounded with others and a coach to motivate you. The equipment is provided for you. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Orangetheory Fitness
• Dancercise: Dancercise is defined as vigorous dancing done as an exercise for physical fitness, says dictionary.com. There are a variety of options such as Hip-Hop, Jazzercise, Ballroom dancing, Bollywood, and so on. Dancing is a full-body workout, and depending on what style you choose, you can work on cardio, core, strength, toning, sculpting, lengthening, posture, flexibility, and more. Whichever dance style appeals to you should be the most fun. You can pick an available class at any dance studio, but this class requires a bit more dedication long-term. The groups tend to be larger in dance classes. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Jazzercise, International Dance Company, Boogie Woogie Ballroom
• PiYo - PiYo merges Pilates and Yoga, hence the name “PiYo”. Beachbody.com says PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of Yoga. The speed is a bit higher compared to the classes separately. Instead of holding long poses, you’ll be moving nonstop. You can burn excess fat and sculpt and define your body. You can purchase DVD from the creator Push Chalene Johnson. You only need a mat. Watch a class HERE.
• Gymnastics - Gymnastics is an exciting activity and sport for its unique contribution to general fitness, coordination, agility, strength, balance, and speed, according to vic.gymnastics.org. It’s a great foundation for all sports and physical activity. Gymnastics is indeed a full-body workout, so you’ll work every muscle from the arms, to the calf muscles. There are plenty of classes to choose from, such as tumbling; which focuses on flipping across the floor or trampoline with no equipment, cheerleading, and gymnastics events including the bar, balance beam, and vault. In gymnastics, you start at a beginner level and work your way up after mastering skills. The class is often done with a large group, but personalized classes are available. Some classes are higher intensity than others. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Gymanstics Etc., The Little Gym, Lake Charles Cheer Training, Louisiana Rush LLC. (Suphur), Unique Fitness, Ray Gyms, Louisiana Power House (Iowa)
• Martial Arts - The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes martial arts as any of several arts of combat and self-defense that are widely practiced as sport. You may have to try a few because there are so many options, from karate, to judo, to jujitsu. Most martial arts classes start you off with the basics and progress you based on what skills you master. You will work on strength, balance, coordination, and learn to defend yourself at the same time. Classes tend to be large, but personal classes are offered. Some classes are higher intensity than others. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Performance Evolution, Lake Area Brazilian Jiu-Jtsu, Karate For Kids, Olympic Jiu Jitsu (Sulphur), master Choi’s Tae Kwon DO, Sulphur Martial Arts Academy (Sulphur), Daley’s MMA & Boxing, ATA Black Belt Academy, Gracie Barra, Moss Bluff Karate for Kids, Life Skills Though Martial, Lake Charles Martial Arts, International Dance Company
• H.I.I.T. - H.I.I.T. stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. Dailyburn.com describes the class as a training technique in which you give all-out, 100 percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. It’s great for burning fat quickly and it keeps your heart-rate up. If you’re not interested in a slower paced class, this may be for you. No equipment is necessary due to the use of your body weight, although some classes do like to use equipment. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Christus, GiGI’s Downtown, Project Fit
• Zumba - Zumba.com says Zumba is a Latin-dance infused workout that mixes low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Zumba has branched out to many different facets such as Aqua Zumba, Zumba Toning, and Zumba in the Circuit, depending on your target area or preferred difficulty or intensity level. You’ll be dancing and having fun and forget it’s a workout. The class is typically taught in larger groups, so it’s not as intimate as others. No equipment is required for the majority of Zumba classes, although Zumba toning and step may use equipment from time to time. There are lower intensity options, like Zumba Gold. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Anytime Fitness, LC Fitness, Ward 3 Recreation, International Dance Company
• CrossFit - Crossfit.com says the class is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. The workouts are different every day and modified to help each athlete achieve their goals. In this class, you will burn fat, strengthen, and lose weight. Class size can range from smaller to larger, depending on the location. Typically, the equipment is provided. There are lower intensity options. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: CrossFit Lake Charles, CrossFit Lafitte, CrossFit 171, CrossFit Accelerant (Westlake), Hurricane CrossFit, CrossFit Adino (Sulphur)
• Insanity - According to answerisfitness.com, Insanity is a revolutionary cardio-based total body conditioning program based on the principles of MAX Interval Training. It’s a cardio class that helps burn calories, help with metabolism, and get your heart-rate up. Insanity is sometimes taught with a group of people, but the creator, Shaun T., provides a purchasable DVD that can be used at home. Some say this workout is one of the hardest around, so prepare to in the comfort of your home. Watch a class HERE.
• Kickboxing - Kickboxing training tends to involve shorts bouts—two to three minutes long—of intense, repetitive movement; like hitting a punching bag over and over again and kicking and kneeing a pad someone else is holding, says time.com. It involves using H.I.I.T, training and improves fitness, power, flexibility, and agility on the upper and lower body. You’ll be kicking and punching with a few other folks. The exercise is vigorous and you will use the entire body. No equipment is necessary. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Project Fit
• Boot Camp - This fitness class combines a series of calisthenics, like push-ups, lunges, and squats, with running, jumps, and other high-intensity aerobic movements that are modeled loosely on military methods for whipping new recruits into shape, according to time.com. It’s designed to work the upper and lower body core. Most classes don’t use equipment, but some do, so it’s best to ask. These classes involve larger groups. Watch a class HERE.
Gym: Performance Evolution, Snap Fitness, Project Fit, Edge Fitness
• Spin - Spin is a high-intensity cycling workout that generally takes place on a stationary machine with a heavy, weighted flywheel that is linked to the pedals, says cyclingweekly.com. The bikes uses resistance to control the intensity and difficulty. The instructor will tell the class when to speed up or slow down, move, or change the resistance. It’s great for legs, and it burns calories and fat. Some spin classes now even offer a dance element to make it more fun, but that’s up to you. Let the instructor know you’re a beginner, and they’ll help you along the way for a workout that suits you. The class is more than likely taught in a large group setting. Bikes are provided by the gym. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Her Body Fitness, Christus, GiGI’s Downtown, Project Fit, LC Fitness, Roll Indoor Cycling, Christus
• Personal Training - If you like working alone, this workout is perfect for you. According to personaltraineredu.org, personal trainers are part-coach, part-mentor, part-friend, and even part-drill instructor at times. They will oversee an individual’s fitness program in a fitness facility or private setting. If you don’t like going to the gym, can’t get there, or are crunched on time, some trainers will come to your house and train you. The trainer will design a workout that will perfectly fit your needs and goals. Keep in mind, for this reason, it may be pricier and you may need to provide your own equipment, particularly if you want to be trained outside of a gym. Be sure to choose a trainer that is certified. Watch a class HERE.
Gyms: Project Fit, Snap Fitness, Just Fit Personal Training LLC., Edge Fitness, Unique Fitness