I love working out—but going to the gym by myself and doing the same old routine each time was starting to become boring. So I began to wonder to myself, how can I make exercise more fun? The answer was simple. Joining a fitness class!

It's time to ditch the iPod and headphones, and enjoy the loud music from the speakers as you get your Zumba on, or relax and indulge in the soothing sounds of the ocean during a Pilates class. Listed below are my five favorite fitness classes. From building core strength, to muscle toning, to cardio health, there's something in it for everyone.

5. Body Pump

What to expect: Body Pump is all about weights and toning. No matter which gym you are at, Body Pump classes should always follow the same structure: warm up, squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, abs and then a cool down.

My Tip: If you are doing Body Pump for the first time, my top tip for you is to attend the class 10 minutes early to familiarize yourself with all the equipment.

You will need to grab a pilates mat for push-ups, a bench top to lay when you work your chest muscles, and most importantly, you will need to pick up your bar and organize your set(s) of weights. Remember to attach clippers to each side of the bar so the weights don't fall off.

Why this is awesome: for gaining strength, building muscle, and toning. 

4. Pilates

What to expect: The feeling of tight muscles, a sore neck, an aching lower back, and rising stress levels are not uncommon in the average university student who find themselves sitting in front of their computers all day. What can be done to alleviate that pain? Pilates is the answer!

If you are walking into a pilates class for the first time, expect lots of stretching and ab work. You will also be working your gluteal muscles (ie. butt muscles), your legs and your hips. You may also need to do some planks, side planks, sit-ups and push-ups.

My Tip: Remember to tighten your core (ie. your stomach area) when doing the exercises so that you protect your lower back

Why this is awesome: I have been doing Pilates for nearly two years now and it has strengthened my core muscles, helped me with my posture, and helped me de-stress when exams are creeping up.

3. Zumba

What to expect: Zumba is so much fun! This is a fitness class that lets you release your inner wild child as you dance to music from around the world. From exotic tropical music, to cha-cha and salsa, to reggae, and to my all time favourite, American hip-hop—there's something in it for everyone.

My Tip: The first time you attend a Zumba class, you may feel uncoordinated—but it is all about practice and perseverance. Have fun, let it all out, and don't be shy as you hit the dance-floor

Why this is awesome: who doesn't love to have fun and be (a little) crazy every now and then?

2. Body Combat 

What to expect: This class is based around aerobics and martial arts. It's all about building your endurance and stamina, as well as toning those arms and legs. From upper cuts and upper body punches to front and back kicks, you will be feeling like a karate, boxing, and tai chi expert by the end.

My Tip: For newbies, this class may seem hard and tiring at first but try to persevere until the end because you will be rewarded with a healthier and stronger you.

Why this is awesome: Body Combat improves cardio health and builds strength.

1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

What to expect: Don't let the intimidating name put you off—High Intensity Interval Training is not as scary as it sounds. Many gyms may use different methods of HIIT, but my personal favourite is the Tabata Regime.

Tabata involves 20 seconds of intense training, followed by a 10 second rest period. This is repeated for 4 minutes. After the 4 minutes, the instructor will guide you through another exercise which will follow the same structure as above. Exercises can include sit-ups, push-ups, skipping, running, squats, lunges, weights, burpees and more.

My Tip: Challenge yourself during those 20 second bursts. If you managed to do 10 sit-ups during those 20 seconds, aim for 12 next week, then 15 the week after.

Why this is awesome: to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone.

The fitness classes on this list are just some of the MANY classes that exist. What are you waiting for? Ditch your regular gym routine and a find a new class to attend.