A variety of class formats provides a recipe for fun fitness.
IDEA member Ann Daxberger co-teaches Run Strong at the Pilates studio within the Greenwood Athletic Club in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The class combines intervals on the treadmill for 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes of Pilates in the studio, and is run in 6-week sessions. Members do anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes of hard effort followed by a recovery period, and runners of any ability—or walkers—are welcome. Maureen Custy-Roben leads the treadmill section, while Daxberger teaches the Pilates. “The Pilates is an excellent complement to running. We also include a very nice stretch with the reformers at the end,” says Daxberger.
Elle Nash focuses on strength training for older adults in her STRONG (Strength Training Results in Our Nation’s Elders Growing Stronger) program. The classes are for adults ages 65–95 and are sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging and Broward County Jewish Family Services in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. “One of the goals is to increase lower-body strength to prevent falls and fractures, so common among the elderly population,” says Nash, who is an IDEA member. “All the seniors are new to exercise. We started with just a handful of seniors at a low-income condominium complex. Within a month, we had almost 40 participating. After 2 months of exercise, the 80-year-olds and some [people] in their 90s were doing 2 sets of 20 chair squats and 20 modified lunges. At their doctor’s appointments, they’ve challenged their doctors to chair squats. The docs couldn’t [even] do 20 chair squats. Participants have told me things like ‘My aches and pains are gone’ and ‘I can bend down and pick something up off the floor now.’”
California Fitness has introduced Cap-oeira Fitness to its clubs in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Capoeira Fitness is a high-energy, noncontact cardiovascular workout that utilizes movements from traditional Capoeira. The class consists of a mix of Brazilian dance movements and kickboxing set to funky Brazilian music. Regional Group Ex Manager Michelle Dean created Capoeira Fitness, replacing the traditional acrobatic moves in Capoeira with cardio dance and aerobics to maintain the high-energy momentum. “The blend of graceful martial arts, cardio, dance and singing set to fantastic music creates a unique and brilliant party atmosphere that takes group exercise to new heights,” says Dean.
Performing Middle Eastern dancer and IDEA member Lissa Michalak combines cutting-edge exercise science with dance moves in her BellyCore classes in New York City. “BellyCore combines IM=X Pilates, a strengthening discipline designed to give you total control over your stomach and back, and Middle Eastern dance to give exercisers a new way of moving—plus a great workout,” says Michalak.