Have a Fitness Resolution? Here Are the Classes You Should Take to Make It a Success

When it comes time to set New Year’s resolutions, more than half of us turn to weight loss and fitness goals. This may be the result of the binge-inducing holiday season, where sugary beverages and deliciously fatty foods reign supreme, but it may also be because it’s the beginning of a completely new year where you can clean your slate and become a happier, healthier person. Whatever your fitness resolutions may be, we’ve come up with the best classes to help you reach your goals.

If your fitness resolution is to tone up…

Try: Barre, Pilates, Vinyasa Yoga

Look for refined workouts that focus closely on strengthening and lengthening your body parts at the same time, such as pilates, barre, and vinyasa yoga. Though each type of class will give you a very different workout, all three incorporate small, controlled movements in patterns that work your center core and overall body positioning and mechanics. Pilates, for example, works your whole body and is definitely not an easy workout when done right, explains Chris Ryan, CSCS, NSCA-CPT. “It also offers little pounding or pressure on the joints or ligaments so it’s a great option for beginners as well as seasoned athletes looking for an alternative to the weight room.”

If your fitness resolution is to be more disciplined…

Try: Bootcamps, HIIT, Sprinting

Committing to going to classes or signing up for gym time on a frequent basis is great and all, but if you find that you’re having trouble sticking to the right kinds of workouts upon arrival or truly giving it your all, you might want to consider classes that are a bit more regimented, such as bootcamp, HIIT, or sprinting classes. These classes are designed to provide a total-body workout, but must be performed accurately in order to be effective. Having an instructor on hand to correct your positioning and motivate you to keep up your performance can really come in handy if you’re craving more discipline in your workouts.

If your fitness resolution is to get off the treadmill and elliptical…

Try: Cardio dance, Zumba, HIIT

Sick of the same old workouts? If you’re craving something new and exciting that’s less monotonous than the treadmill or elliptical, consider stepping outside your comfort zone and trying an upbeat class like cardio dance or Zumba. Though some people are intimidated by “dance classes,” for fear that they haven’t got the rhythm to keep up with the class, know that most of the folks who sign up for these classes are not professional dancers either—they’re simply people looking to have a bit of fun while they exercise, like you!

If your fitness resolution is to relieve stress…

Try: Restorative yoga, Hot yoga, Kickboxing

Who couldn’t use an excuse to relax and de-stress a little? Especially if you live in a city and work a 9-5, you’re probably craving some TLC at the beginning or end of your day. Good news: Not all fitness classes require you to muster up all your energy. Some are specifically designed to relax and soothe you and recenter you so you’re better prepared to face challenges. Consider restorative yoga, which incorporates a series of poses that allow you to relax and rest, or hot yoga, which is a similar exercise that is performed in a room set to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (this will feel particularly amazing during the cold winter months).

If your fitness resolution is to train for an exercise event…

Try: Run Club, Treadmill Workouts, Indoor Cycling, Indoor Rowing

Whether or not you’re already signed up for an exercise event like a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon or another sporting race like Tough Mudder, a great fitness resolution is committing to proper training. Fitness gurus agree that sprinting is the best way to prepare. “Sprint workouts rip up your core like no other and work on your whole body from your lungs to your arms, abs and legs,” says Ryan. If you don’t have access to a track or soccer field, simply sign up for a running club or indoor treadmill workout. The fitness instructors in these classes are trained to effectively help you increase your speed and endurance and will help you get in top shape for your big race.

Jenn Sinrich is an editor in New York City, a self-proclaimed foodie always looking for the healthier version of all recipes, a passionate lover of all things cheese, a friendly New Yorker, Bostonian at heart and proud Red Sox fan. Love cats? Cheese? Mac n' Cheese? Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.