What became popular in the 1980’s has now become so specialized it may take some time for the average person to figure out what is appropriate for them. When aerobics classes first took off they included a little bit of everything, even headbands. There was little choice aside from doing the class indoors, outdoors, or in a pool. Nowadays there are multiple levels of classes that involve weights, some classes that utilize steps, and even classes that use a surfboard indoors.

With so many options how does anyone know which class is appropriate for them? For many people just trying out a class isn’t going to cause a major problem. But what about the growing percentage of the population that is living with an injured joint and/or has chronic pain? This is when you should put your trust in the hands of your physical therapist. Unless they have a background in biomechanics, it isn’t a good idea to take what that certified instructor is telling you as gospel.

At the very least you should consult with your physical therapist as they can perform a quick screen to assess if you are at risk for injury from repetitive movements. Depending on your level of conditioning and your injury history, some classes may not be right for you. They may even cause more problems or accelerate a degenerative condition you are suffering from. Can you burn a whole lot of calories in a structured class? Of course you can, but it may come with a hefty price tag if you find yourself icing down and swallowing ibuprofen daily just to take part.

I would recommend everyone look into at least trying an exercise class. There is something out there for everyone. If you are in great health with no history of injury you can jump right in. But if you have any doubts about what you should or should not be doing, check with your physical therapist first. After all, it is their job to know.

Yours in health,

Keith Pacific