The first fitness to music class I ever attended was “Disco-Fit” in 1979. I thought I had died and landed in Exercise Heaven. How could anything be more wonderful than sweating to blasting music with a bunch of other people? Imagine my shock when the teacher asked me if I was interested becoming an Instructor. WHAT? You are going to PAY me to jump around to music and get fit and sweaty. Count me in! Of course there was a lot more to it, interesting stuff about energy systems and heart rates and balancing muscle groups.
You must be thinking I am in a care facility by now but NO, at almost 60 years old I am still teaching Fitness to Music classes. I am not alone, there are other people I work with even older than I am. Can you believe it? 60 really is the new 40 because in the early 80’s there were some “older ladies” that could not keep up to our fitness class so we “invented” a class for these aging almost seniors (in our minds) that did not include jumping. I thought these ladies were really old and out of shape. The class was called 40 plus. Can you believe it? We thought 40 was very old to be sweating to music.
Over the past 40 years I have seen a LOT of different types of exercise classes. In January we like to change up our Fitness Class Schedules. Yesterday we ran our first Zumba Strong class and I was having 1980’s flashbacks. This “new” class was interesting, challenging, sweaty and all to the beat of the music. Earlier in the week we introduced a “new” class we called Deep Muscle Cardio. The cardio portion was very much like those early days, athletic, free-style, easy to follow, all using the music to get sweaty and fit with other like-minded individuals in a friendly, social style.
I never want to see those giant 80’s shoulder pads back in fashion but just like I wish I had kept my acid-wash jean jacket, I am thrilled to see the use of music back “in style”. The latest CanFitPro magazine for Fitness Professionals states that choreographed “Step” is making a comeback! The Bootcamp and circuit classes that use music as background filler have their place but I have seen more smiling, happy, people this week bopping around to the music than I have seen in a while. We are social animals and I have seen the future. Attracted by the sound of music I recently peeked inside a community centre to see about 30 ladies, and one very smiley man, all over 65 years old, bopping around the room to an exercise to music class!
Music can be motivating, inspiring, fun and helpful in keeping you moving and you are never too old to participate. Long live Fitness to Music classes!
By Laurie B
BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders