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Best group fitness classes for heart health

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Get your heart pumpin'!

Regular exercise is a key component of long-term heart health, so the best form of exercise is the one you'll do consistently. There are certain group exercise classes that pump up the fun while pumping up your heart rate. Check out a few of our favorite group exercise classes that will do wonders for your ticker!
The Gun Show

The Gun Show

Cyclists are known for their legs, but when you attend The Gun Show class at the Evanston, Illinois-based Revolution Spin Studio,  you'll be known for your legs, arms and heart! This class combines high-intensity interval training with upper-body strength training, all set to weekly themed soundtracks like U2, The Beatles or hip hop. Because of the class's constantly changing workouts and high-intensity intervals, regular attendance will have you lookin' great both inside and out for years to come.

SkyRobics

SkyRobics

Don't let your kids have all the fun! If there's a Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in your area, sign up for a blast-tastic SkyRobics class to pump up the excitement on your cardiovascular training routine. You'll spend an hour on a trampoline in this class, doing everything from core work to strength training, all while giggling like a little kid. The best part? You could burn up to 1,000 calories per workout without even realizing how hard you've been training.

Punk Rope

Punk Rope

If you've picked up a jump rope since, well, elementary school, you've probably left all your memories of fun schoolyard games in the dust. Jumping rope is hard! Tim Haft, the president of Punk Rope, wanted to bring back the fun with his hard-hitting Punk Rope class. Part recess and part boot camp, participants run through high-intensity intervals that challenge the heart and lungs without killing the fun.

OrangeTheory

Orangetheory Fitness

For a more scientific approach to your cardiovascular health, consider Orangetheory. This class, offered at almost 50 studios around the country, uses heart-rate monitors to track bursts of interval training, and keep your heart rate in the correct training zone to maximize the "Orange Effect." The "Orange Effect" is the scientifically proven phenomenon of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) that can increase calorie burn for as much as 36 hours post-workout. Using equipment like treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension trainers and free weights, you'll never get bored, but you will get tired.

Jazzercise

Jazzercise

Long before Zumba, or even the Macarena, Jazzercise rocked the world as the original dance fitness craze. If Jazzercise brings to mind bodysuits and leg warmers, you're in for a treat. You can don your favorite Lululemon fitness apparel and dance to your heart's content (and your heart's health) in this hour-long class that brings your heart up to its target rate zone for a solid 30 minutes of work. If your heart lasts half as long as this class, you'll be enjoying life well into your Golden Years.

Dancers Shape

Dancers Shape

Dancers are hot, but the Rockettes? They're in a league of their own. So, you know a barre workout designed by a former Rockette is going to take your standard dance-inspired class and kick it up a notch. The Sport Class offered by Dancers Shape in Austin, Texas, does just that. It's a boot camp version of a barre workout designed to increase cardiovascular health, while still focusing on flexibility. Talk about a win-win!

CYC

CYC

Regular enjoyment can be just as much a part of heart health as cardiovascular exercise itself. And while your traditional spin class may (or may not) make you smile, there's no way you're getting through a CYC class without breaking out in a grin. These 45-minute spin sessions take place in a dimly lit studio, each workout peppered with dynamic exercises like dancing, boxing and even "swimming" on the bike, all while accompanied by engaging music and live drumming! This Austin, Texas-based studio boasts classes that feel more like a party than a workout, which is what the heart needs sometimes!

Cardio Jumpboard

Cardio Power Pilates

Pilates isn't usually known for it's heart-pumping pace, but when you attend a Cardio Power Pilates class at SoBe Fit Body in Miami Beach, Florida, you'll be amazed at the heart-healthy benefits reaped. By incorporating plyometric jumping on a Pilates Reformer, you'll quickly raise your heart rate and keep it elevated throughout this full-body workout, all while enjoying the toning and stretching elements traditionally included in a Pilates routine.

CROWBar

CROW

If your booty can't quite make it through an entire 60-minute spin class, CROW at the CROWBAR Cardio Studio in Dallas, Texas, might be the perfect cardiovascular workout for you. Combining 25 minutes of spinning with 25 minutes on the Indo-Row indoor rowing machine will keep your heart racing while taking advantage of the full-body toning workout. For another fun twist, try their Triple Threat class that includes a mash up of spinning, rowing and barre exercises for a truly well-rounded routine.

Surfset

SurfSET & Sand

Who doesn't like a little surf and sand? CRUNCH teamed up with SurfSET to provide a one-of-a-kind class that gives participants a beach-ready body, even when stuck in a landlocked state. You'll spend half the class performing weighted sandbag exercises and the other half of the class mimicking real surfing on the RipSurfer X. With the circuit-style format, you'll get your heart rate up and keep it pumping for the duration of the class. It'll be a wild ride, but trust us, it's no day at the beach!

More heart healthy information

Say "Om" and meditate for heart health
Best apps for monitoring your heart health
Yoga for a healthier heart

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