Group Exercise: The Way to Keep Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions on Track


YMCA group workout

Brought to you by  First Coast YMCA

Creating a workout schedule you can stick with is never easy, but it’s especially challenging for moms who juggle a full-time job and kids. Making time and maintaining your fitness routine without getting de-motivated or bored is a difficult task to do all on your own, so why not make it fun with friends and family?

Instead of planning your social meet-ups at happy hour or other food-related after-work activities, starting group exercise with your best friends can keep you away from those additional calories, as well as relieve stress in the healthiest way. Making exercise a family affair also helps build a strong, resilient bond. When people are joking, laughing and sharing, it creates trust and positive feelings for everyone.

To help local moms stay fit, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast offers a wide variety of group exercise classes free with membership. From yoga to cardio kickboxing, there is something for every interest and every fitness level. Before your next group workout, make sure to know the four components that will help you maximize your exercise results:


There are a few common principles behind the warm-up for any group exercise class including appropriate dynamic movement, a focus on rehearsal moves, utilization of all major muscle groups and clear verbal directions.

The beginning segment of the group exercise program includes slow dynamic movement using all major muscle groups. These muscle groups are stretched after the dynamic warm-up.

Cardiorespiratory Endurance

An efficiently functioning cardiorespiratory system is essential for physical activity, and the performance of regular, moderately intense aerobic exercise is the key to developing and maintaining that function. At First Coast YMCA, cardiorespiratory exercise programming for healthy adults is three to five sessions per week, at 40 percent/50 percent to 85 percent of maximum heart rate.

Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace while the instructor creates safe and appropriate exercise intensities, sequences and methods of monitoring cardiorespiratory levels.

Muscular Strength and Endurance

There are a few common principles in the muscular strength and endurance segment of most group exercise classes at the Y. They include:

  • The promotion of muscle balance, functional fitness and proper progression
  • Maintaining proper form, observing participants’ form, and suggest modifications for injuries and special needs
  • Verbal, visual and physical cues on posture/alignment and bodily mechanisms
  • Equipment safety and effectiveness
  • Motivational and instructional atmosphere

Muscular strength exercise programming for healthy adults is two to three sessions per week.

Flexibility and Relaxation

The common principles in the flexibility segment of group exercise include stretching of major muscle groups performed in a safe and effective manner, and relaxation and visualization at the conclusion of the flexibility segment. Flexibility programming for healthy adults is a minimum of two to three sessions every week.

In addition to traditional group exercise classes, the Y introduces the first-ever virtual Y membership, My Y On Demand, that’s coming soon to Jacksonville. As the first of its kind in the country, My Y On Demand will feature personalized fitness and nutrition plans, group exercise classes and volunteer opportunities. The platform also syncs with other fitness apps and devices including MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, and other wellness tools, making it easier for moms to track their personal goals. So stay tuned for more updates on the virtual Y!

To learn more about how to achieve your fitness goal this year with exercise meet-ups, visit  First Coast YMCA.

Thank you to First Coast YMCA for sponsoring this post.


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