Published: Aug 24, 2012 6:21 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 24, 2012 12:27 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Exercising in a group can be a great way to reach your fitness and weight loss goals and health clubs are continually looking for the next big thing, but finding the right class can sometimes be challenging. If the thought of lifting weights makes you cringe you might try dance aerobics like Zumba or Belly Dancing. If you want to tone or strengthen your muscles a Sculpt or BootCamp class will incorporate a full-body workout. For the ultimate indoor cardio class, check out spinning. Mind-body classes like yoga are also popular because people don't often have time in their busy lives to relax.

Accountability

Lack of accountability and procrastination are often the number one enemies for any person serious about committing to a workout regime. Classes always have a specific starting time and this helps to stop you from putting off your workout. It is always easier to get up for an early morning workout if you know the other 20 people in your class got up as well.

Expert Advice

Because teachers and instructors who run the group fitness classes are responsible for the well being and safety of their participants, they all come with the highest of qualifications. They spend a lot of time learning about the correct ways to perform the many workouts like a personal trainer and are willing to help you to make the most out of your time at the gym.

Having Fun

Many group fitness classes are set to great music which creates an energetic atmosphere for your workout and help you to forget how hard you are working. By setting the class to music, it can also assist in co-ordination and rhythm skills. Unlike a one-on-one session with a personal trainer, having a larger group takes the "spotlight" away from just you and this can help a lot of people feel more comfortable.
But sometimes it's easy to take the easy road when you're one of 40 people working out in the same room.Most Popular Fitness Class Right Now: Zumba
It's hard to keep your body from moving when Latin rhythms fill the room, and that's just one of the reasons Zumba has become such a popular exercise. This dance-based fitness class set to Latin beats is influenced by salsa, meringue, flamenco and other international dance styles, with some hip-hop and freestyle mixed in. I’d like to give a shout out to some great Zumba instructors, Leann, Sandra, Erika, Sheri, Lena, and lots of other fantastic ladies!

MIKE’S TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF CLASS:

-Enjoy yourself: Never go into a group fitness class with a bad attitude; it makes every minute feel more difficult. Before entering a class, commit to have fun.

-Introduce yourself to the teacher: It may feel a little awkward going up to a teacher before class, but if you're new, it's a great idea. Giving the instructor a heads up will allow them to give you a few pointers before class, and maybe some extra attention throughout the hour!

-Don't go halfway: When not working one on one with a trainer, it's easy to cheat a little by taking a break when the going gets tough.  Giving 100 percent during the entire class will leave you feeling proactive and without regrets.

-Take the challenge: Teachers will often offer harder variations of exercises. If you've been taking the class for a while, it's important to challenge yourself with advanced moves. It's the only way you'll push your limits and challenge your body to progress!

-Give Thanks: If you're too shy to go up before, a simple thank you at the end of class gives the instructor the opportunity to remember you next time