Monday, October 22, 2012

3 Steps To Keep Your Workouts Fresh

By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E.

It's tough to keep workouts fresh over time. After teaching aerobics for thirty years (Oh, my gosh, can it be that long!), I find this to be one of the greatest challenges. Familiar moves allow participants to relax mentally and improve body awareness. New moves ad diversity and fun to a workout.
Introducing new moves without overwhelming participants requires balance between familiar moves and fresh new moves. Here are three steps that have helped the instructors I train achieve this balance:

#1.) If you design three warm-up and cool-down sequences, you can alternate these sequences. This will provide both familiar moves for increased body awareness and diversity of moves for freshness. Body awareness is essential in the warm-up for participants to identify any areas that need pampering or extra work. In the cool-down participants have an opportunity to assess the workout they just did. Hindsight is 20/20. By noticing how they feel in the cool-down, class members can decide what want to do differently next time.

#2.) In the body of the workout, (the aerobics, muscle toning, and stretching) try introducing ONE new move per week. That way, at any given time, your participants have mostly familiar moves with a few newer moves. Keep a card catalogue of your moves on 3x5 cards with newer moves toward the front. Then after a year or so, you can bring back different variations of past moves you really liked. Introducing one new move a week is an achievable goal for you and comfortable for your class!

#3.) KEEP YOUR MUSIC FRESH AND NEW! Your blend of familiar and new fitness moves will be entertaining and exciting if your music changes regularly. I recommend adding one new music mix per month. That is enough for variety, without being too much stress for you. Ask class members what their favorite songs are. Then use these songs in some of your own mixes. It is thrilling for class members to hear their own music selections in the class! Open your mind. Don't just use your own music tastes. Get suggestions from other people. Class participants and other fitness professionals are great resources for music suggestions. Buy ready-made fitness music, then mix the songs up in fresh sequences. Use music that changes with the seasons or holidays.

When you use a combination of new and familiar moves with fresh music, your classes will be entertaining and comfortable for you and your class members!

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