Our guide to fitness
Alistair Stafford

Our guide to fitness

First published date October 18 2013 Amended date January 06 2016

Are you one of the millions of Brits who doesn’t do the recommended amount of weekly physical activity? It’s two and a half hours a week if you weren’t sure. Or perhaps you’re already a self-motivated fitness guru? It doesn’t matter if you’re a health fanatic looking for an extra session to maintain your exercise regime or a gym novice who is trying to get back in shape, there will be a fitness course for you. 


What are my options?

There’s a lot more to a fitness course than running endlessly through the woods like the cross-country days you’d like to banish from your high-school memory, with classes taking place in a wide range of disciplines.

Traditional Asian martial arts such as Tai Chi are still a popular way to stay in shape, while numbers continue to grow in those attending Zumba classes, a programme that combines exercise with fast-paced music. You could be flexing your muscles in yoga, moving along to the beat in exercise dancing or taking out your frustrations out on a punch bag in kickboxing, the choice is yours.


What to expect...

If you’re worried that you may not ‘look the part’ to join a session then don’t, as the media portrayal of fitness classes being only full of toned, attractive people are thankfully a thing of the past (although we can’t rule out seeing at least a bit of eye candy!).  Sessions will usually last around an hour and contain people from a wide range of ages and physical states, with everybody there for the same reason – to improve their fitness.

Exercising alongside other people allows you to socialise while you improve your health. By making new friends with fellow members, it’s also more likely to make you determined to keep training, ensuring your hard work isn’t wasted.


But I don’t have the time...

You don’t have to be running as far as Mo Farah or cycling the length of the Tour De France to stay fit and healthy! Having just thirty minutes of exercise a day can bring huge benefits to both your physical and mental health.

Courses tend to be available throughout the day, so whether you’re looking for an energetic start to your morning, an active lunch break or a pulse-racing evening, there’ll be a session at a time to suit you.

If the idea of exercising alongside others makes you uncomfortable, then an online fitness course gives you the chance to keep fit in your own home whenever you like. That way, you get all the workout benefits without the need of anyone seeing you sweat!


The benefits of exercise

We all know all the good that keeping fit and healthy is for the body, but we at Hotcourses have three key reasons for you to maintain your fitness:

. Fewer health risks NHS research shows that regular exercise can cut the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by up to a half and lowers the chance of having heart disease by more than a third (so enrolling a fitness course could do you more good than you realised!).

. Improved mood – Exercise boosts your self-esteem, as you start feeling more positively about your well-being (which also reduces the risk of stress).

. Weight loss – Regular physical activity, combined with maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, can help you ditch those unwanted extra pounds!


Need some extra inspiration?

Feel like you wouldn’t be able to cope with fitness classes? If it’s confidence you’re lacking, then these well-known quotes should get you active:

 “Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind”- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, three-time Olympic gold medal winner.

“If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it” – Ronnie Lott, four-time Super Bowl champion and one of the NFL’s all-time greats.

“Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding” – Jim Valvano, former Basketball coach in America.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it” – Michael Jordan, Multi-NBA title winner (and star of the film Space Jam for you non-sporty types!)


If those sporting legends haven’t got you motivated, then our Pinterest page has more ways to get you active. Who knows, you may even enjoy a fitness course so much that you want to become a fitness instructor yourself! 

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