Have a beach body all year round with group fitness

Asleigh Feltham - personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Photo: In2Style.
With the Aussie summer approaching you might be now focused on getting that beach body. But there’s no reason you can’t have one all year round, if you follow these tips by personal trainer and group fitness instructor Ashleigh Feltham.

First thing you need to know is that commitment to exercising as part of your lifestyle is key. When you stop exercising, your body loses hard won fitness gains at 10% per week, and they can all vanish in a very short time. But if you make that commitment and follow my three principles below, you’ll have a summer body all year round just with group fitness classes. I’ve been a trainer and group fitness instructor for about 15 years now and it’s worked for me.

Ashleigh Feltham. Photo: Scott Ogilvie Photography

1. Fitness should be fun!

Yes, it’s possible for fitness and fun to be in the same sentence. Choosing and exploring different ways to move which suit your personality is important. This is why classes such as GRIT cardio, BodyAttack (or running sprints) can all be great ideas for cardio. Making fitness fun is about finding exercises that are both fun and challenging.

2. Change it up every now and then

Exercise can become boring if you do the same thing all the time. If your body becomes too used to doing the same workout your results will plateau. This is why I love doing group fitness classes, since every quarter there are new moves and ways of challenging my body.

3. Move with others

There’s evidence the communities you build in your life shape your health. A group fitness class is a community of like-minded people sharing health and wellness. It keeps you happy for long term health and I’ve no doubt it helps you live longer!

 4. Remember the important 3: cardio, weight and stretching

Cardio is vital for heart health. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in Australia and I am sure you don’t want to turn into a statistic. My favourite class is BodyAttack but you may also like BodyCombat, RPM, GRIT Cardio or Zumba. And while we’re on heart attacks, if you want to prevent that feeling that you’re dying of a heart attack every session because you’re lacking in fitness, try to train your body this way three times a week.

Number two is weights. Showing off your guns or beach body feels good but the benefits of muscle go beyond this. Muscle burns three times more energy than other tissues and can make it easier to maintain your results. Another reason to love muscle is that it helps to keep your bones strong; muscles pull on your bones and this stimulates the density of bone tissue, which means you’re less likely to develop osteoporosis. Finally, muscle helps your blood sugar to stay in a healthy range, working with insulin to allow glucose to be taken into your cells. Try doing a BodyPump or weights style class (or program) two to three times a week to get results.

Third is stretching. Taking the time to stretch gives your body a greater range of motion, which then allows you to train in a more difficult range in cardio and strength exercises. Stretching also helps lower your stress hormone cortisol, a fight or flight hormone which helps you train more effectively during strength workouts and especially cardio. But too much of this hormone can inhibit your results as it promotes fat storing in your body.

Take home message

Set yourself up for success for life rather than a season by enjoying moving your fantastic body. You deserve nothing less than your healthiest you!