What to Look For
There are many reasons to take a class, including expert instruction and the opportunity to meet new people. You’ll want to keep these things in mind when you register:
Age limits. Many areas offer a wide variety of classes specially designed for people 50 and over, or for people who want to participate with their children or grandchildren.
Class size. Smaller classes mean more personalized attention, which is especially important when you are mastering proper form and movement.
Drop-in or regular times. Drop-in classes offer the most flexibility and give you the chance to try new activities without a commitment. However, many classes are cumulative (that is they build on skills learned in the previous session) so you’ll want some continuity, and you may want a consistent instructor to monitor your progress.
Where the class is held. Look for classes held at local recreation centres, churches or schools — they’re often less expensive than specialized studios or spas.
Qualified instructors. Don’t be shy about asking for qualifications, especially where strength and flexibility are the focus. Many programs/methods such as yoga and Pilates have strict certification requirements. If you have special needs or concerns, see if your instructor has experience adapting or adjusting exercises.
Equipment. You may need a special mat, exercise ball or other equipment in addition to suitable garb. Find out what is provided and what you might need to bring with you. A water bottle is a must.
People of all ages are generally cautioned to check with their doctors before starting a new fitness routine, especially where certain medical conditions are concerned. Other than selecting a class that suits your abilities, the most important thing is to find an activity you’ll enjoy.