Word of mouth will find you a good teacher, and do ask if you can join a class as a “taster” to check it is what you want. Every local council sports centre will offer a good range of classes too.
1.Holoistic exercise is a gentler option, and classes cater for every range of fitness level. For example:
- Tai-chi offers slow meditational movements which reduce stress and tension, boost energy and tone muscles.
- Yoga stimulates and revitalizes you, whilst maintaining a relaxed aura – at least until you get home! Yoga offers something for everyone, whatever your age or level of fitness, whether you want to get fit, simply relax or build flexibility and strength. It will improve stamina and muscle tone, balance and posture, and the combination of breathing techniques, physical postures and relaxation is ideal for physical and mental wellbeing. It can also lift mood and energy levels, and nowadays there is a wide range of styles to suit everyone – from gymnastic Ashtanga to gentle Hatha, so being supple enough to contort your legs into a reef knot is absolutely not necessary.If you would like to get a head start , Go To Learn offers a wide variety of Yoga holidays.
- Pilates improves posture and toning using stretching and strengthening exercises. Great for keeping your body flexible, and for easing rheumatic stiffness.Gymbox – a really energetic mix of pilates and thai boxing wearing weighted gloveTenPilates – described as a ”turbo-charged version of the original” it works every muscle & involves intensive resistance work using a sort of exercise mat on wheels
Available in most local gyms the 8 types of classes are delivered to an internationally standardised routine and range from the very energetic aerobic Bodyattack to the low impact Bodyvive for the older person.
3.Cardio Tennis is a high intensity workout on a tennis court to music, but it requires no ball skills, although even if you have never played before you may well get the confidence to play tennis after a few sessions. Go to cardiotennis.com or lta.org.uk using ‘find a court’ and then ‘cardio tennis’.
If you want to do something a bit different and challenging, and you feel a bit masochistic, try out a British Military Fitness (BMF) class. You need to love fresh air, be prepared for some mud, and commit to regular attendance to reap the benefits– a bit “Private Benjamin” style except you don’t have to sign up! It’s a sort of circuit training outdoors. You wear a coloured numbered bib according to your level of fitness – so you get put in the appropriate group and don’t get unfairly shouted at. The team spirit is fantastic, and burning off 500 calories an hour really gets the endorphins going.
There are groups springing up all over the country – daytime ones obviously tend to have more women (who account for 50% of the members) and retired people, so the overall pace will probably be slower. At the weekends the green bibbed younger brigade are more in evidence.
Your nearest group can be found at the BMF site and they offer a free trial session.
Adventure Bootcamp is conducted in parks nationwide to a programme developed by Olympic Gold winner Daley Thompson & Commonwealth Champion Kate Staples
The cheaper Army Fit programme offers motivational audio downloads & podcasts.