Fitness Classes for Beginners

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Fitness classes aren't always meant for beginners. Many of the most popular fitness classes are a bit too intense for first timers. Going to SoulCycle or CrossFit might be your dream, but starting there could turn you off the entire group fitness experience. Today, we'll break down some of the best classes for beginners and give you some examples. This information will help you find the best fitness classes for beginners, no matter where you're going to class.

Types of Fitness Classes for Beginners

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Before you can even think about where to find the best fitness classes for beginners, you'll need to know more about the most popular group fitness classes offered. If you're looking for toning, you'll want a different type of class than you would for weight loss.

Toning Fitness Classes

If you're interested in gaining sleek muscle and losing weight, toning classes will be your best bet. You're more likely to lose weight if you're a complete beginner to working out -- if you've been running or doing other limited exercise for the last few months, weight loss will be limited. Classes like Pilates, yoga, and barre are the best for this. These classes typically target the muscle groups that make us look longer and leaner (abs, arms, legs). Most locations offer a beginner level classes. Take one of these to find out which of the three you're most intrigued by -- and remember, there are more specific classes for each of these three class types.

Cardio Fitness Classes

These classes are a bit more engaged -- you'll burn more calories and typically work with many parts of your body. A great beginner cardio fitness class is a Zumba or dance class. These classes don't involve weights but do include moves that target abs and arms while giving you a cardio workout. Of course, if you have trouble learning or following dance routines, Zumba may not be the best choice for you. Spinning classes, SoulCycle, and Flywheel can be tough fitness classes for beginners, but if you've been running or doing another form of cardio for at least a few weeks, you should be able to make it through a class.

Low Impact Fitness Classes

Need something simpler to start off? Try water aerobics or Zumba, a yoga basics class or Tai Chi. All are a little bit easier than the classes described above, but still get your heart pumping!

How to Make It Through Your First Fitness Class

"It can be super overwhelming to be a beginner in a group fitness class, but, don't worry, everyone there was a beginner at some point," says Kayla Kleinman, certified personal trainer and author of Kayla in the City. She also suggests introducing yourself to the instructor whenever you begin a new fitness class to help you feel more comfortable.

What To Wear To Your Fitness Class

Figuring out what to wear for your first fitness class can be tough too. Generally, lightweight and nonrestrictive clothing is your best bet. For classes like barre or Zumba, you might want to try more closely fitting clothing -- extra cloth can get in the way of your moves. If your class involves spinning, you shouldn't wear long or baggy pants. Spin classes typically include special shoes for the machine, but if they don't, wear your usual sneakers.

What to Do Before

Don't forget to hydrate before your class! Bringing a water bottle to class isn't enough. You'll want to make sure that you're not dehydrated before beginning. If you don't, you could risk feeling lightheaded or even passing out. Eat a snack an hour before a challenging class to keep yourself full enough without risking feeling ill.

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