I must confess I have become a total Dallas junkie since watching the first two series of the all ‘NEW’ Dallas. Lots of wheeling and dealing and lots of eye popping candy too with the devilishly handsome Jon Ross (JR’s son) and the good looking Christopher (Bobby’s son).
Well since then I have discovered the good old Dallas on the CBS Drama Channel. I am now on episode 96 (sad I know) but that has got me thinking about Fitness and how it’s evolved.
You see the beautiful Pamela Ewing (Victoria Principle) has discovered ‘aerobics‘ in this episode and is parading around in her shiny lycra leotard and leggings doing this new Fitness craze called ‘Aerobics’ back in the 80’s. I bet the ratings of Dallas hit the roof!
Now the fashion made me chuckle as I used to wear all that gear back in the day but the actual ‘Aerobics‘ raised alarm bells. In this episode the group of Lycra clad ladies were doing all this bendy stretchy flat back stuff and then the Instructor said “Right ladies now we’re going to do some ‘Aerobics‘” and boom they all started doing jumping jacks, might I add not wearing any trainers. No proper warm up and then straight into jumping jacks, the high impact work. In one episode they simply stopped after doing jumping scissors and said “Right that’s it for today ladies, see you next week” By todays Fitness Industry Standards this would be classed as ‘contraindicated’ (dangerous) as research on the human body and fitness has evolved and thankfully the fitness fashion has improved too!.
Now the word ‘aerobic’ means working with oxygen, so going for a run or walking briskly is classed as ‘aerobic’ activity. Any activity where your heart has to pump harder to get the oxygenated blood flowing around your body, your breathing becomes more rapid so you are training your cardiovascular system.
In a class environment for any aerobic activity it’s important to warm up first so you mobilise your joints, warm you muscles and gradually increase your heart rate, preparing the body for the workout to come and to decrease the risk of any injury. Also at the end of your main ‘aerobic’ section of the class it’s equally important to gradually cool down to bring your heart rate down safely. Stopping suddenly can cause blood pooling. When exercising your heart is pumping vast amounts of blood around the body carrying oxygen & nutrients to the working muscles. If you stop without gradually cooling down so does the force that pushes the blood back to the heart. Cooling down keeps the circulation flowing which in turn helps prevent Blood Pooling and also helps remove waste products from the muscles.
With todays Fitness Industry Standards an Instructor should be qualified at Level 2 in either an ‘Exercise to Music’ course or ‘Gym Instructor’ course to deliver a form of an ‘Aerobics’ class or work in a gym environment. At level 2 you are taught the Anatomy & Physiology of the body and how to apply this on a practical level to ensure you warm up, workout and cool down safely.
So is the ‘Aerobics’ craze still with us??
It is indeed but it’s no longer called just ‘Aerobics’. New crazes & trends hit the fitness industry all the time. Take Zumba Fitness for instance. Now Zumba Fitness was founded by Beto Perez. He turned up to teach his regular class one day and forget his music and just used his tapes he had in the car and just danced he’s finely toned booty off in class. He had a light bulb ‘ping’ moment & with professional help developed the idea into a global fitness trend. A dance based fitness class or a dance based ‘aerobics’ class? People tend to shy away from the word aerobics so Zumba Fitness has marketed this class as exercise in disguise. It’s ‘aerobics’ all dressed up as dance with a fitness element using infectious latin inspired music. If you had called it Latin Aerobics would it have done so well, I am not so sure.
Fitness trends to come and go and the dance fitness world has exploded with Bokwa, Bookia and now Fit Steps and these are all forms of ‘aerobic’ exercise classes. So clever marketing sells it to you.
Les Mills also have a massive global following in the fitness world. Take Body Combat for instance, oh boy you are certainly getting a good ‘aerobics’ workout with this class. It’s a mixed martial arts class choreographed to pumping music and there you have it,a unique class using modified & adapted styles of martial arts.
There are a lot of different style classes out there that will get your heart pumping, your body sweating and you breathing harder taking you out of your comfort zone, challenging your fitness in more ways than you ever thought and yes these types of classes are ‘aerobic’ classes. Remember you are working with oxygen!
I hope you enjoyed reading this, I am not a regular blogger, I am a Freelance Fitness Instructor who loves fitness and also Dallas!