Get your heart rate up

Published 4:58 am Friday, May 16, 2003

By Staff
A member asked me about the importance of cardiovascular workouts and what the YMCA has to offer. Specifically the aerobic classes and what they are all about.
She said that she is not sure which aerobics class is right for her. She is new to aerobics and a little apprehensive to try a new class with new moves.
Benefits of cardiovascular fitness include the following:
Reduction in high blood pressure
Decreased total cholesterol
Decreased body fat stored
Increase in aerobic capacity
Fights against stress, depression, anxiety, anger, and tension
Increases the heart's function
Helps against cardiovascular disease
Lowers risk factors of obesity
Helps with diabetes
Sleep disorders
It conditions your heart, lungs, and blood vessels
It will generally help give you more stamina, which translates to less fatigue and fewer risks to certain injuries
What the YMCA has to offer:
We have a full cardiovascular workout room. You can choose from treadmills to stair climbers, a rowing machine, bikes and free runners. We have a track that is great for walking and running and two racquetball courts. You can even play Walleyball in the racquetball courts. We also have a gym that can be used for a game of basketball.
Aerobic classes are a great way to achieve cardiovascular benefits. Let's start in the early morning at 6 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The early risers can enjoy a class we have called Kick Combo. This entails Kickboxing moves incorporated with a step. This may sound a little intimidating but it can be really easy to catch on to. Step aerobics is one of the best forms of a cardiovascular workout.
At 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday we have a step aerobic class. You will definitely get your workout in if you come to this class. The moves are not hard and you will definitely get your heart rate up.
In the evening on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday there is a wonderful class called Fit For Life. This class gives you a variety of floor aerobics, toning and relaxation techniques. You will work hard in this class but it is suited for the beginner through the advanced person.
On Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. there is a low impact aerobic class. This class is a floor aerobic class with great music and moves. A beginner can take this class along with the advanced individual.
Do not leave out the popular Power Yoga class on Tuesday and Thursday from 9-10 a.m. and Monday and Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
There is also Toning, Power Pump and the newest member of fitness classes, Tai Chi. These are strength-training classes but you will get your heart rate up. All of these classes are great for cardiovascular exercise. The great thing about the aerobic classes is that any level person can take them.
For the water we have a number of aerobic classes. There is water aerobics on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7-8 a.m. This class is interesting because each day of the week gradually builds up from Monday being the easiest and then by Friday it gets harder.
There is another terrific water aerobic class on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and on Monday and Thursday evenings from 8-9 p.m. This incorporates many techniques in the water including resistance bells, water belts, and noodles.
There is also an arthritis class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8-9 a.m. where the instructor works the primary arthritic areas in the body. Water exercise is very beneficial especially if you have trouble exercising on land. The water is easier on your joints and often you are able to expend more energy.
Thought of the week: We eventually become what we cultivate in ourselves.
Amy McKean is the adult programs director at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA. She can be reached at