Step Aerobics Is Back, and We Are Thrilled

Fads come in and out of fashion. That goes for everything in life. In the 2000s, people made fun of “mom jeans,” but high-waisted pants came back. In the realms of diet, foods go in and out of vogue, and you must have your finger on the pulse to know what the hot leafy green is.

Regarding workouts, some fads have more staying power than others. Hot yoga was decried for being dangerous. SoulCycle was called an expensive cult. Other things like yoga, dance and weight training don’t fall out of style.

Just like mom jeans came back, retro exercises are new again. People believe that the pandemic lockdowns partially led to the rise of older workouts being back in fashion. People stuck at home turned to home workout tapes. Rollerblading and the hula hoop are enjoying a resurgence! If you have a dusty hula hoop in a corner of your garage, you should try it out again. Just 10 minutes of hula hooping burns 100 calories! But we generally don’t recommend rollerblading for people who may be at high risk for a fall.

The exercise we’re most excited about that’s made a comeback is step aerobics. The workout is deceptively easy, as you literally step on and off a raised bench. But it strengthens knee muscles and can burn 600 calories in an hour. You can increase the intensity with wrist or ankle weights and add extra lifts to the bench.

The bench can be adjusted from four to 12 inches off the floor. Meaning it’s an inclusive workout good for beginners or people looking to “feel the burn” in the same class. Judson MacDonald, of Les Mills, explained that stepping is primarily a lower-body workout and can improve coordination, balance and joint strength. He said the new classes gyms offer have more movement added and are designed to be more modern.

Inclusivity through options is a key ingredient to keeping any type of exerciser moving along with the fun,” Mr. MacDonald says. “You can go with friends and do different levels from each other while enjoying the same experience together.”

Classes never entirely went away, although many gyms stopped offering them daily. They would still have weekly classes. Now, many gyms are back to providing multiple classes a day. And, what’s more, step benches are widely available for a wide range of prices from Amazon and other retailers. There are tons of stepping workouts on YouTube and Instagram, or you can sign up for an online gym course.

Stepping is back! We’re thrilled. It’s a deceptively easy workout that works for people with a broad range of fitness levels. You don’t have to be a gym guru. Grab your leggings and sweatbands, and get stepping today.      

Banner image: Kseniia Lopyreva via Pexels

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