Guest Author - Terri Johansen
So youíve decided to attend a group fitness class and want to know the guidelines. Fitness classes are popular for their liveliness and companionship. People enjoy them as a good way to make new friends, and working out in a group can be motivating. They are located in gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, YMCAís and many other locations. Classes are held for a specific period of time by instructors who demonstrate the correct performance of the movements and have the required fitness expertise to teach knowledgeably.
Here are some guidelines on what to expect from the instructor and yourself in your group fitness class, but above all remember you are there to have fun, get fit, and be safe.
Standards of a trained, certified group fitness instructor:
*Credentials. You will want to know if the instructor is trained and certified by an endorsed association. When inquiring about your instructorís credentials look for some of these recommended organizations: National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); the American Council on Exercise (ACE); and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). Donít be afraid to ask the facility management or the instructor about her credentials.
*The instructor will make sure the physical environment is satisfactory in regard to health issues as well as making the classroom comfortable.
*An instructor will set the tone of the class and make you feel at ease by arriving early and welcoming you as you come. If you are new she will ask your name and introduce herself.
*The instructor will ask about your physical history and monitor you in the class. Some instructors move around the room during class. Donít be alarmed, she is not judging you, her priority is to keep you safe.
*The instructor will give easy to follow instructions and make verbal adjustments that are simple to understand. Some instructors may want to do a hand-on adjustment, however they will always ask you before touching your body.
*The fitness instructor is aware of your personal fitness abilities and provides modifications as needed. She will be well versed in the physical components of the exercises and will share these with you as you workout.
*The instructor will make herself available at the end of the class, for your questions. Remember the fitness instructor is not a medical specialist and can only offer advice.
Your responsibilities as a class participant:
*Talk to other class participants and find out what to expect in your first class. Get information on how the class is formatted, particular teaching styles, and protocols.
*Find out ahead of time what to wear and if equipment is required.
*Respect your teacher and classmates by being on time. Late comers are disturbing.
*Always give a class at least two tries before you decide it is not for you. You may have shown up when the instructor is having a bad day.
*Ask questions and give feedback. Most instructors consider student feedback valuable.
*It is your responsibility to determine if you are getting a comprehensive workout and if this is the right class for you.
You will know when you have found the right class for you because you will leave feeling invigorated and happy. Your class should be fun, motivating and challenging.
Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or adding new exercises to a current routine. Following instructions and stay safe. Be healthy, be happy!
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