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September 27, 2011

Yoga, Step Aerobics, Water Aerobics, and Jazzercize

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Today we will look at yoga, step aerobics, water aerobics, and jazzercize. Remember the most important thing to do is find a class you enjoy,  a level that you can do and finally you do it. It is little to no value if you choose a class that is too hard, end up hating it, and you quit. It is equally bad if you choose a class that is so easy that it is not a challenge, you get little to no value from it. In most gyms, there are certified trainers who can assist you with your choices.

Bikram Yoga

This is a form of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury that became popular in the 1970s. The classes run for 90 minutes and involve 26 different positions and 2 breathing exercises. If that’s not enough the temperature in the room is set at 105 degrees with a humidity level of 40%.

The benefits of Bikram yoga are purported to be an increase in circulation to all parts of the body, decreasing heart disease and organ failure. There is also a huge caloric expenditure ranging from 500-1250 depending on the individual and intensity. This form of yoga has been made popular by celebrities including Lady Gaga, George Clooney, and Madonna to name a few.

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram yoga but not as strict on the 26 movements and at a lower temperature.

Step Aerobics

A typical aerobics class with a twist, a riser. The class is set to music and specific dance steps and the riser height can be tailored to the individual’s fitness level. The classes are set up to meet individuals’ fitness levels with one being the easiest and progressing on to higher-level classes with higher risers and more complex and strenuous routines.

The benefits are many including caloric consumption, increased endurance, balance, and cardiovascular benefits. A fun way to get into shape and drop a few pounds while toning up and increasing bone density.

Water Aerobics

Here is an exercise class for the individual that can’t quite do the typical class because of weight, arthritis, orthopedic impairments, or post-stroke. A fantastic way to get these individuals to start down the road to improved health. For many, this is the only way to exercise. There are many of these classes offered across the country, especially with so many of the new clubs installing pools.

If you fit into this class check with your doctor to find the closest facility offering water classes. It may be as close as your nearby the YMCA. The last one in the pool is a rotten egg.


An oldie but goodie, Jazzercise was invented in the late 1960s and has continued to remain popular today. There is even a celebrity spokesperson ” Dancing With the Stars” celebrity Cheryl Burke promoting this exercise program. I can honestly say that I have never participated in a Jazzercise class but have been aware of it for many years.

This was one of the first exercises classes set to music with an instructor leading the class. It remains very popular throughout the country and is open to all fitness levels. Fun with great weight loss benefits along with toning, agility, and cardiovascular benefits.


I have attempted to cover a variety of different forms of exercise that are currently available, the list is not meant to be complete. I would suggest taking the time to find a form that fits your fitness level and one you find enjoyable.

It is possible that you will elect a more traditional form, that being weight lifting with aerobics on off days. It really doesn’t matter, remember you must show up and then give it a 100%. There is a banner in one of the gyms I work out of,  “If you are not nervous before your workout, you’re not working out hard enough”

Good luck has fun, in 4-6 weeks you’ll see the changes and so will everyone else. Be prepared to buy new clothes and get a lot of compliments. Or, you can get a pizza and watch TV buy bigger clothes, and skip the compliments.

See related articles.

“Exercise Plans to Fight Aging”

“Staying Young with Tai Chi”

“Calisthenics for Fitness”



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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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