Aerobic exercise has been a mainstay of the fitness industry and the emergence of the modern health club as we know it. Many varieties of aerobic health routines have been created to cater to a wide array of health-minded people.

Nowadays health clubs and fitness centres usually offer a range of 'aerobics' classes. The classes usually have different names, formats and descriptions and will vary from one venue to the next. 

Currently, popular 'aerobics' formats include Hi-Lo, Low Impact, Martial Arts-based Aerobics, Kickboxing, Latin, Hip-hop, Funk and Jazz. A variety of equipment-based workouts, such as Step Aerobics and Slide Aerobics, also fall within this category.

If you are interested in aerobics, be sure the fitness centre you belong to, or the one you are looking at offers quality aerobic instruction in the type of class you like. Purchase a guest pass and attend a class before committing to sign up for a membership. 

Quiz the instructor the same way you would shop for a car. Remember, once you sign your contract, you may be locked in for a while.

The typical aerobics class usually begins with a warm-up phase, which generally uses movements with a low to moderate speed and range of motion. This section is mainly designed to promote body awareness, raise the core temperature of the body and to increase blood flow to the muscles.

The aerobics phase follows the warm-up. The aerobics section is mainly aimed at improving cardiorespiratory endurance and body composition and uses large body movements performed continuously so that the heart rate remains elevated. 

Following the aerobic workout, a cool-down phase reduces the heart rate toward resting levels and prevents excessive pooling of blood in the lower extremities. 

An aerobics class always ends with stretching and relaxation exercises. The cool-down is designed to lower the heart rate, help prevent muscle soreness, enhance flexibility and re-establish homeostasis or equilibrium.