The end of summer means busier schedules for everybody. Kids are going back to school, parents are remembering the lost art of packing lunches, and university students are bracing themselves for the impact of a full course-load.

It can get messy. There will be days you’ll be so tired you won’t even be able to take your shoes off before falling asleep.

However, for those who would like to keep up an exercise routine, or even get one started, there is hope. While exercising on your own can sometimes be un-motivating and boring, fitness classes are there to set you straight. Exercising in a group helps to motivate and, challenge you, and you’ll get to learn new exercises. Since each fitness centere offers a variety of different classes, I’m focusing on the two most popular options: yoga and Zumba.

Zoom into Zumba

Drop into dance any day of the week

Zumba was created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez in the 1990’s. Since then, it’s grown in popularity all around the world, and there are even some places that offer Aqua Zumba, which takes place in a swimming pool. Zumba is a high-energy dance class designed to make you sweat, but to have fun doing it.

Although it’s technically dancing, you don’t need to have good coordination. In fact, Zumba is not only good for cardio, but also provides many coordination benefits. The intensity of the classes varies depending on which instructor you have, but the instructors are all welcoming and ready to have fun.

At the beginning of each song, the instructor will give a quick run-down of the main moves you’ll be repeating. All you have to do is watch what they’re doing and follow along. It doesn’t take long before you get the hang of it. And, if you screw up, nobody will judge you. Chances are they won’t even notice, they’re too busy trying to follow along too. It’s a rewarding class that’s worth checking out at least once.

Zumba is offered at almost every fitness center. The ones mentioned here are just a couple of options to get you started.

MRC

3106 Clearbrook Rd. Abbotsford
(604-855-0500)

Mondays: 6:45-7:45 PM
Wednesdays: 7:30-8:30 PM
Thursdays: Aqua Zumba 8:00-8:45 AM
Fridays: 11:45-12:30 PM
Sundays: 10:00-11:00 AM

ARC

2499 McMillan Rd. Abbotsford
(604-853-4221)

Mondays: 9:15-10:15 AM
Tuesdays: 6:00-7:00 PM
Wednesdays: 10:30-11:30 AM
Thursdays: 10:30-11:30 AM & 6:00-7:00 PM
Fridays: 9:00-9:45 AM & 6:00-7:00 PM
Saturdays: 1:30-2:30 PM


Is yoga for you?

Goodbye stress, hello good posture

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t focus mainly on cardio, Yoga is a great option.

Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It’s said to do all kinds of things for your physical, mental, and spiritual health. If you stick to it, on top of being stress-free, you can also expect a healthier immune system, better sleep quality, improved flexibility, and toned muscles. Even if you just want better posture, Yoga is the choice for you. Over the years, many different types of Yoga have been developed. Some of the more common ones are Hatha, Bikram, and Kundalini. Hatha Yoga is a great beginner choice. It generally focuses on physical posture, and gives you an introduction to the most basic yoga poses. This class typically doesn’t leave you too sweaty, but you do feel looser and more relaxed. With Bikram Yoga, expect to sweat a lot more. The rooms are artificially heated, designed to make you sweat even if you feel like you’re not working too hard. Then you have Kundalini Yoga, also known as Laya Yoga, which focuses on your spiritual energy. It’s sometimes called “the yoga of awareness”. It aims to improve who you are as a person, and to bring positive energy to others.

MRC

3106 Clearbrook Rd. Abbotsford
(604-855-0500)

Tuesdays & Thursdays: 7:15-8:00 AM
& 1:00-2:00 PM
Wednesdays: Gentle Yoga 10:45-11:45 AM
(Suitable for beginners and seniors)

ARC

2499 McMillan Rd. Abbotsford
(604-853-4221)

Mondays & Wednesdays: Yoga 101
9:15-10:15 AM
& Kundalini Yoga 7:15-8:15 PM
Fridays: Hatha Yoga 10:30-11:30 AM

Mission Leisure Centre

7650 Grand Street, Mission
(604-820-5350)

Mondays & Wednesdays: 10:45-11:45 AM
& 5:30-6:30 PM
Fridays: 10:45-11:45 AM

Jubilee Hall

7989 Bradner Road, Abbotsford
*Bring your own yoga mat

Tuesdays: Hatha Beginner
Yoga 7:30-8:30 PM


MRC &ARC
Teen/Student: $4.20
Adult (18-60): $5.90
Senior (60+): $3.90
Mission Leisure Centre
Youth (13-18): $3.52
Adult (19-59): $5.62
Senior (60+): $4.67

These facilities also have monthly and annual passes available if you decide to become a frequent visitor.

It’s easy to get swept up in a busy lifestyle with the changing of seasons. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are options in your community to help ease the stress off your shoulders.

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Image by: Juan Luis Naranjo from Flickr