Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

This content was published: February 12, 2019. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Fitness for Health – Work Out with PCC Community Ed

PCC Community Ed

Cheerful muscular blonde middle-aged fitness trainer holding balance on one leg with arms sideward while performing step aerobics dance exercise in gym.

Regular exercise is essential for good health. It not only provides physical benefits – like muscle strength, weight management and cardiovascular endurance – but it also reduces your risk of developing certain diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Overall, regular exercise improves your quality of life; however, it can be difficult to stick to a consistent routine.

One way to help you stay consistent is by having fun and varied workout options. Exercises like Zumba, cardio and Pilates can make it easy to stay motivated about your fitness goals. PCC Community Ed offers a variety of non-credit exercise classes each term at convenient locations across the metro area to help you get started.

1. Zumba

Zumba brings fun to the exercise experience by using dance set to energetic music. Both aerobic and anaerobic elements are present in these cardio routines. The program is aimed at everyone – from beginners to masters – and allows participants to move at their own pace. Despite this ease, participants can burn approximately 600 to 1,000 calories per one-hour session. And in addition to being fun, it’s also great for weight loss, stress management, body toning and heart health.

At PCC, we offer Zumba classes that will help you burn calories in a fun, party-like atmosphere. Participants will do aerobics while moving to the beats of Latin and international music, like salsa, merengue, reggaeton, flamenco and more.

2. Cardio

Despite the common practice of using “cardio” as a synonym for “aerobics,” there is actually an important distinction. Cardio is any exercise that helps to strengthen the cardiovascular system, while aerobics specifically involves exercises that increase the use of oxygen by your muscles. The two often overlap, but not always. Therefore, you’ll find a wide variety of exercises that qualify as cardio. These include dancing, running, sprinting, jumping jacks, and similar activities. Cardio supports weight loss, strengthens the heart, reduces your risk of disease, decreases stress and more.

Cardio classes often use a mix of exercises to keep things interesting and help you progress. Our Cardio Boot Camp, for example, provides a personalized exercise plan for your body shape, helps you set fitness goals, and teaches you how to stay motivated. It also offers strength training exercises as part of the program, so you gain a full set of benefits. In Cardio Dance Fusion, you’ll mix a variety of dance and music styles with simple fitness movements to get your body moving and your heart pumping.

3. Pilates

This well-established, extremely popular exercise program was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. With consistent practice, it helps muscle conditioning in healthy adults, and may help to improve balance. It’s also good for full-body endurance, control, flexibility, coordination, and core strengthening.

Notably, Pilates exercises are able to be easily modified to fit practitioners’ current skill levels and abilities. This avoids the need to switch programs as your fitness level improves. Overall, the program relies on nine specific principles, including proper breathing, control, concentration, and flow.

PCC offers a series of classes: Pilates Reformer + Tower, Levels 1, 2, and 3. Participants will have the opportunity to build core and full-body strength and flexibility using the Reformer and Tower machines. Class levels are based on the participant’s experience with Pilates and the equipment.

Our workout classes put fun into your exercise routines, which means that you’ll be far more motivated to complete your fitness goals. Along with these classes, we offer swim conditioning and an introduction to powerlifting, so be sure to check them out if those activities are more your style. We also offer personal training sessions for more one-on-one coaching. Stay tuned for our upcoming class list, then sign up for your favorites and get on the road to fun good health!