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5 Kinds of Exercisers Who Just Might Love Healthy Hearts Classes

--by Bethany Kirk, Zumba® Fitness and Healthy Hearts instructor

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Healthy Hearts classes may just be the class you never knew you always wanted. When I joined the gym nine years ago, I found Healthy Hearts to be the perfect fit for my pregnant-self. Sure, I was 30 years younger than most of the people in the room, but starting there helped me establish a base level of fitness that revolutionized my relationship with exercise and with my body.

What are Healthy Hearts Classes?

Healthy Hearts Classes are three weekly fitness classes at North Cascades Athletic Club that aim to offer a well-rounded approach to fitness. Low-impact, with a gentle pace and tons of modifications and options, Healthy Hearts classes target all the key aspects of fitness: strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. All of this comes in a group setting, which always makes exercise better.

Here are five exercisers who just may find that Healthy Hearts classes are a fabulous fit:

1. Active older adults:

Want to . . .

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--keep killing it on the golf course or softball field?

--be limber and strong enough to tackle yard projects?

--be flexible enough to quickly scan your blind spot while driving?

--agile enough to romp with grand-kids?

When it comes to strength, range of motion, and fitness in general, "use it or lose it" is always in play. Healthy Hearts classes are designed with the needs of active older adults in mind--strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular health are all keys to living well in your body everyday and enjoying life.

2. Pregnant exercisers:

At 18 weeks into my second pregnancy, I found my doctor recommending gentle, but consistent exercise. The low impact moves and calm but steady pace of Healthy Hearts was perfect. Plus, the balance work helped me adjust to my shifting center of gravity, and the modifications needed for pregnancy--like avoiding lying flat on one's back--were already built into the class.

3. Injured (but recovering) exercisers:

Making a comeback after knee surgery? Rehabing a shoulder injury? If your doctor has cleared you to begin exercising again, finding the right activity can be tough. The pacing and modifications offered in a Healthy Hearts class can make a great stepping-stone toward returning to your former activities.

4. Exercisers with physical limitations:

Dealing with issues from a chronic ailment? If your doctor advises you that exercise may improve your quality of life, the pace and options built into Healthy Hearts may meet your needs and help you live better in your body.

5. People new to exercise:

When I started attending Healthy Hearts at age 29, not only was I twenty weeks pregnant, I had also been seriously sedentary for a solid decade. I was totally out of shape. Sure, I'd tried to exercise in the past, but it always followed the same pattern:

--Launch an ambitious exercise plan on Monday.

--Tuesday find myself so I sore that I must cling to the vanity to guide myself to the toilet.

--Wednesday curl up and decided to re-read Pride and Prejudice and start my exercise plan again on Monday.

--Wait 3-6 months.

--Repeat.

The exercise habit never stuck because I always started so aggressively that it was painful and miserable. The truth is, if I hadn't been pregnant, I would have been reluctant to be the only 20-something in the Healthy Hearts class. Rather than giving myself permission to ease into exercise, I would have forced myself to attend higher intensity classes, hated it, and bailed. Instead, I spent five months attending Healthy Hearts, fell in love with how moving regularly made me feel, and (after the baby came) found I'd built a base level of fitness that made it safe and fun (yes, fun!) to try more vigorous exercise.

If you're new to exercise, give yourself grace to ease in. If dramatic exercises plans haven't stuck in the past, try something moderate and gradual. Take advantage of the well-rounded Healthy Hearts offerings to launch your fitness journey.

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Whether you use Healthy Hearts as a stepping stone toward another goal, or it becomes your fitness home, these classes are gems that are worth checking out. Check out our online schedule for current times and drop in.

Hours

Monday5:00AM - 10:00PM
Tuesday5:00AM - 10:00PM
Wednesday5:00AM - 10:00PM
Thursday5:00AM - 10:00PM
Friday5:00AM - 8:00PM
Saturday8:00AM - 8:00PM
Sunday12:00PM - 5:00PM