#TryItTuesday: Steppin' it Up
Recently my youngest daughter invited me to join her in a Step Class at Avera McKennan Fitness Center. I was a bit hesitant as I was afraid that I wasn’t in shape enough for this type of workout.
Well, it turns out that I had a good reason for the hesitation. Five minutes into the workout I was thinking “THERE IS NO WAY I CAN DO THIS FOR 30 MINUTES.” It was all I could do not to bolt out the nearest exit. Truth be told, if it weren’t for the fact that I didn’t want to disappoint my daughter, I probably would have left that class. It wasn’t that the class was too hard, it’s just that I sit most of the day, and this sitting has evidently caused some tightness around the hips. Those first few minutes of step class, oh man, everything was stretching and moving.
Ten minutes into the class, I was still experiencing a bit of “Oh, goodness, how much time is left??…” And, then. Everything changed. By the fifteen minute mark, my muscles had warmed up, and I found myself enjoying trying to keep up with the steps. The remainder of the class time flew by. When class was over, I left anticipating and eager for the next Step Class time.
I’m thankful that I pushed myself and completed the Steps Class, mainly because I loved the workout. A few members in the class were stepping pros, while a few of us barely could keep up with knowing the difference between our right foot and left foot. Our instructor did a fabulous job of making us all feel included and instructing us on the different moves and routine. One thing I love is that step aerobics intensity level is flexible--perfect for the beginner to the advanced. Plus it's FUN and ENERGIZING!
What is Step Aerobics?
Step aerobics typically consists of sets of choreographed movements performed on a raised platform. The movements are accompanied by music and are designed to work the lower body, upper body, core and cardiovascular system.
- The "step" is a 4-inch to 12-inch raised platform. You step up, around, and down from the platform in different patterns to boost your heart rate and breathing, and strengthen your muscles.
- Step aerobics moves range from simple to advanced. The most basic is a step-up, step-down. As you get more experienced, you can do moves that take you over the top and around the step forwards, sideways, and backwards.
- The intensity level depends on how high you make the step and what kinds of movements you do on it.
- At the beginning of our class, our instructor recommended that if step aerobics was new to us, putting the step flat on the floor lowers the intensity of the workout. If we wanted a more intense workout, we should add risers that raise the step's height.
- Step aerobics is not only a great aerobic workout, but it's also perfect for working out several areas of your body at the same time. You'll use your core muscles, legs, and glutes. With some of the moves, you can add additional arm movements, or add weights providing you a good arm workout.
- With using the various muscle groups, step class is perfect for increasing your flexibility and strengthening your muscles.
- Step Aerobics can be done in a gym or at home. If you are doing at home, you’ll need to buy a step and risers, and possibly a DVD to follow along with the moves.
- Step aerobics is an excellent class for beginners as you can start with the basics and work your way up to more difficult movements.
If you have hip, foot, ankle, or knee pain, step aerobics might not be for you. If you have any health concerns, or questions, please check with your health care provider before starting any exercise program.
If you are looking for an exercise that is aerobic and strengthening, plus a lot fun and uplifting, I'd recommend trying step aerobics.