Group Fitness Junkie

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Group fitness changed my life.

I know that sounds all day-time TV, but I’m serious. For someone who didn’t grow up playing sports or doing much of anything besides reading Nancy Drew novels, it taught me that exercise could actually be FUN and *gasp* something I could enjoy and look forward to. It also helped me to find myself again during a period of time I can legitimately call a “quarter-life crisis.” (cue John Mayer)

I was (yup) 25, and my life was falling to pieces. I was severely depressed, going through a divorce, moving back in with my parents, drowning in credit card debt, just going through the motions every day and trying to keep my shit together in front of other people.

I was unhappy with what I saw in the mirror, and unable to recognize who I saw in the mirror. And then one day, one of my girl friends invited me to try a class with her at the gym. “It’s amazing!” she said. “Just dancing and partying and having a good time.” This was before Zumba was the next big thing, and I thought, well, why the hell not?

With a class like this, who WOULDN’T want to shake a little something?

When I say group fitness changed my life, I mean it changed my life! I started going to classes regularly. I lost 35 pounds.

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My clarity returned, my outlook brightened, and I regained my sense of self. Group Groove, Group Power, Group Kick… all of the Mossa (formerly Body Training Systems) programs struck a chord with me, and one day I decided I’d give being on stage a try too.

I love to POWER UP with Group Power!

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SOOoooooooo long story short, the couch potato who never did much of anything got her groove back by falling in love with group exercise and becoming a group fitness instructor. Betcha didn’t see that one coming… I sure didn’t.

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There are a TON of group fitness classes available at various facilities in Columbus. If you like a full-service fitness club facility where you get access to:

-free weights & weight machines

-cardio equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, arc trainers, stationary bikes, etc.)

-cardio theatre (a.k.a. distract yourself with movies while you train in the dark)

-personal training

-shake bar

-childcare

-tanning

-steam room

-and the BEST group fitness team around (…so I might be biased…)

then check out Max Fitness Elite off N. Veterans Parkway (Tower Road to be exact)! Click here to see the Group Fitness schedule, or check out their Facebook page for updates.

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There are other GREAT options in town too. If you’re looking for a family-friendly environment with lots of traditional training equipment AND a plethora of activities outside of the group fitness room, then the YMCA of Metropolitan Columbus might be a good fit. The Y utilizes Les Mills programs, as well as a variety of others like Yoga, Pilates, Silver Sneakers, and of course Zumba. Out of the three locations (D.A. Turner, John P. Thayer, and A.J. McClung), two have pools! So you can totally get your swim on…or your Aqua Fit!

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One option you may not think of right away is the Columbus State University Student Recreation Center. Yeah, I know it says student rec center, right there in the name, but it is a FANTASTIC facility only a few years old that offers unique features at a VERY affordable price for community members – not just students. Some of the amenities include:

-lap pool and a “lazy river”

-saunas & steam rooms

-basketball & racquetball courts

-rock wall

massage therapy (yes!)

-free weights & weight machines

-brand new cardio machines

-indoor track

Sure wish we’d had this facility when I was an undergraduate!

AND you can also find Cougar-fied group fitness classes of all shapes and sizes. Interesting things like Spinyasa (half cycling, half yoga), Power Barre, and PiYo! Again, I’m biased…but PiYo is amazing. Especially because I get to teach it there. *sheepish grin* We also hope to be offering INSANITY classes there soon, now that three of us are certified to teach it.

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I’m the one with the GRRR face.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun ways to work up a sweat. I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to all of the little studios doing wonderful things to help clients meet their health and fitness goals. Someone like Pilar Cobb at BFit Studio has years of experience and education to offer, as well as more individualized training plans.

No matter what YOUR goals are, I encourage you to find SOMETHING that makes you want to move, and move regularly.

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Remember, any little bit of something you do for your health is better than doing NOTHING. So don’t beat yourself up over not doing it “right” – just do the best you can, every day. 80/20 rule, capisce? You may find that it’s best gift you’ll ever give yourself: self-confidence and self-worth. All it takes is the courage to start.

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Written by Kat Cannella. You can follow her adventures on FB here and website here.

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