RALEIGH (WTVD) --Barre-based fitness is one of the hottest fitness trends around right now. Gyms, private studios, and group fitness classes all across the country are starting to add this to their standard offers, including Rex Wellness Centers.
Instructors say it's become one of their most popular classes at each of their five locations, appealing to all ages and abilities. For one regular at the Rex Center of Raleigh, his decision to join wasn't a conscious one.
"I usually come to all the 10:30 classes, and whatever they have, I do at 10:30," Don Heppner admits with a laugh.
While the 85 year old didn't quite know what he was getting into at the time, he say he's come to really enjoy it.
"It's true, I tried it on a whim. But I think it's good, because at my age, my balance is not too good," he shares.
Through this class he's seen an improvement in his balance. It's one of the biggest benefits to barre classes, according to Rex instructor Melissa Pepper.
"It's going to be a lot of balance. So if you lose your balance skills or you haven't been practicing it a lot, then this is going to be something that's definitely for you," Pepper explains.
And Pepper says it's great for advanced fitness types, too, because it helps strengthen and tone, creating longer, leaner muscles. This particular class is a "Barre Fusion" class, meaning she uses several different formats, although the primary emphasis is still on barre-based exercises.
"We use the barre for balance, especially for some of the moves you might not feel comfortable doing on your own. And that allows you to get some deeper stretches in and pull in some of those fun elements of dance," Pepper says.
Pepper compares it to pilates done standing up, with additional moves on the mat. For Heppner, all of the stretching, strengthening, and core-based moves are helping him outside of class, too, continuing to enjoy other hobbies that keep him young at heart.
"I do a lot of dancing, I square dance, I round dance, I line dance... I have a good time!" he says with big grin.
For more information on Rex Wellness Centers and their exercise classes, including Barre-based workouts:
General info about Rex Wellness Centers: http://www.rexhealth.com/rh/wellness-centers/
Info about exercise classes: http://www.rexhealth.com/rh/wellness-centers/exercise-classes/
Link to a weekly schedule of classes (for all five Wellness Centers): http://www.rexhealthblog.com/wellness/index.php
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