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Dance inspired fitness classes

Dance classes can be as calorie-burning and energizing as a high-intensity aerobic class. Dancing is upbeat and fun, and provides a thorough workout. The new phenomenum of Zumba™ fitness classes has highlighted how effective dancing can be in terms of fat-burning, and improving stamina and fitness.

The important thing about incorporating regular exercise into your life, as part of your weight-loss and fitness plan, is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing. If you have fun at a dance class you are far more likely to keep going. As with all fitness classes, dance workouts are motivational, and exercising in a group with an instructor choreographing you is often a lot easier, and enjoyable than working out on your own. Try a class to see if it's what you enjoy; many gyms and Health clubs offer taster classes. Beware though as you may find yourself hooked for life you enjoy it so much!

Ballet classBallet Fusion/Fitness

If you are looking for better flexibility, muscle toning and an improved posture, then a ballet style fitness class is ideal. As well as learning basic ballet steps you will work on your core strength and stability with abdominal and back exercises.

This class can also be a good cardio workout and the positions are generally more demanding than yoga. If you work hard expect muscle lengthening, a toned bottom and stomach, lean legs, great balance, improved posture and coordination. Be prepared though, it's a fairly intense muscle workout.

Ballroom

This class generally teaches you the steps to well known dances, such as: the Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-cha-cha, Quickstep and Jive. Some gyms will run fitness classes using these steps, without the traditional partnering, to upbeat music to provide a fun aerobic workout.

It depends how energetically you use these dances, as to how much of a cardio or fitness workout it gives you. Any exercise is better for you than watching tv, and it will certainly improve your cordination.

Belly Dancing

Belly dancing classThis exotic Oriental dance class can be great fun, as with any dancing it will burn calories, and the belly movements help shape and tone your waist - a bit like hula hooping does! Your core strength and posture should also improve.

Belly-dancing is a good low-impact exercise but can also be a heart-pumping workout, depending on the intensity of the class. It is possible to burn around 300 calories per class, depending on your weight and effort.

You can usually work barefoot or wear ballet pump style shoes, and you are generally given the option to buy a hip scarf to make your dancing more fun, (they have coins and sequins attached which jangle as you dance!)


Flamenco

This is a high-intensity aerobic class that works the abs, thigh muscles, glutes and hips. This fast-paced dance style is also a good form of cardiovascular exercise, as you twist and perform small jumps, among other vibrant and exciting flamenco steps. You generally don't need to dress specially for classes, but take water as it can be quite a physical workout.

Jazzercise

This is a dance-based fat-burning cardio class which incorporates strength training and stretching, to tone muscles. This class doesn't just teach you dance steps, it mixes Pilates, Yoga and Kickboxing moves to a great music track which gives you a full body workout as you're having fun.

Linedancing

This is a gentle dance workout, where you move in lines to country and western music tracks. Casual clothing is fine for line-dancing and many wear a cowboy hat!

Pole Dancing

This exercise may have some eyebrows raised, as it is generally connected more with its entertainment value than recognised as a serious fitness class. However, pole-dancing can be a form of skilled acrobatic exercise which strengthens and tones upper body muscles and provides a powerful workout for the abs. Some gyms are now running pole fitness classes.

Salsa

Dancing is great way to lose weight, and most upbeat Latin American dances are going to help you burn calories. Your cordination and posture should also improve and you could burn around 400 calories an hour, depending on your weight and effort.

Zumba™

This is hitting gyms everywhere and is one of the fastest-growing, dance-based fitness classes. It's roots are Latin American and you can expect a dynamic, fast-moving class to pulsating Latin rhythms, incorporating exciting dance steps, including salsa, tango, rock and roll and samba.

This is a great way to lose weight and really have fun at the same time! It's a total body workout and will fat-burn and tone your body. It has been reported that you can burn around 700 calories per class, but this is dependent on your weight and the intensity you work at. Remember to take a bottle of water with you to avoid dehydration. Don't think exercise think party!

Fitness classes

Fitness classes - Holistic

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