Tacos, Tunes, and Island Time: Is gentle fitness a good workout?

As a fitness professional, I think of my classes as low impact, moderate intensity, and safe for knees and hips.  All true but all fit-biz terminology.  Then I stopped and listened to my participants, they call my classes “gentle.”  According to Oxford, “gentle” is moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe.  So, my participants are right, my classes are gentle. 

But why do they think that? Is it because they don’t hurt the next day?  So, this then begs the question, can “gentle” still be a good workout?

In my 50-minute class, I burn an average of 363 calories (7.3/minute).  Based on known activity benchmarks, this rate is halfway between low impact aerobics and running.  That’s a good workout. 

I usually spend 11 minutes in the peak/cardio heart rate zone, 37 minutes in fat burn, and 3 minutes in warm-up.  That’s 20% of my workout classified as vigorous and 68% classified as moderate.  That’s a good workout.

So, while my participants say it’s a gentle workout, they are actually getting a good workout; they just don’t know it. 

Published April 29, 2023

Published by sfransila

Peer fitness for active seniors. Helping seniors stay active and independent. I am 60+ with a total knee replacement. I believe fitness should be safe and accessible to everyone. I became a certified and licensed fitness instructor in my mid 50s, after the knee replacement. It's all about turning what other people see as a weakness into a strength.

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