Zumbathon 2012

20 Years of Teaching Fitness

It’s official. This month I have been teaching fitness for 20 years.

It feels like I was just teaching high impact and step classes while pitching the beat on my mixed tapes. As I think back, it’s amazing how far group fitness has come in 20 years, and I’m not just talking about the move to digital music or the rise and fall of step classes. Now there are so many types of workouts to choose from, and there really is a group exercise class for everyone.

I’ve been a fitness instructor for my entire adult life, and I’ve seen a lot of fitness trends come and go. It’s exciting to see more formats sticking around for longer periods of time. This means that we all benefit from the cross training that various class options provide. Back in the day, I used to teach 10+ step classes a week, and my knees got nice and tired of it. Now with many different classes to choose from, both participants and instructors can cross train to build strength and reduce injury.

I have specialized in fewer fitness formats over the years, and have given up trying to teach everything. This seems to work well as I have less time to spend learning new formats and putting together routines. It just feels right.

OK, so it’s been 20 years. What’s next?

I’ll continue teaching Zumba, of course, and I’m excited to try some new workouts this year. And I look forward to subbing some yoga classes here and there so I can flex my yoga teaching muscles before they completely atrophy.

And I’m going to continue to integrate exercise into playtime with my little one. Whether it’s dancing around the living room or enjoying some giggle burpees, playing definitely burns calories. Also, the jogging stroller is a great way to get a run in when we have a little extra time. She enjoys the fresh air and I get my heart rate up for 20 to 30 minutes. (30 minutes seems to be the top end of my little one’s current stroller tolerance.)

And I plan to stream my workouts again. When I used to take a lot of business trips, I absolutely LOVED streaming yoga classes on my computer in my hotel room. It was an inexpensive way to workout while traveling. Streaming fitness classes is becoming more and more popular, and I’m up for streaming more workouts when I am traveling or unable to make it to the gym.

And most of all, I’m looking forward to 20 more years of teaching fitness and the new fitness trends that are yet to be.

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