We all know the traditional gym routine can be a drag. Hopping on the treadmill or hitting weights just isn’t everyone’s forte. For those who are looking to work on their 2019 summer body, without pounding the treadmill pavement, just know that there are a plethora of fun and interactive ways, with even better benefits.
For instance, having an instructor guide you through a workout takes the pressure off of you and puts more focus on the activity itself. Not to mention, various forms of exercise have several health benefits— some reaching beyond traditional gym visits.
Now, by no means is this a gym bashing session. The gym is still a great place for those looking to reach their fitness goals. But for those looking to spice up their gym routine, or try a new workout regimen, here are a few suggestions to help get you started:
Hot Yoga: Bikram or hot yoga is one of the best practices that incorporates cardio, as well as the release of toxins. Hot yoga also tackles endurance, balance, and strengthening. Some people may find hot yoga intimidating, because of the heat and the simple fear of the unknown. However, there are typically classes that cater to beginners or those who want to focus more on stretching, breathing or strengthening. In addition, hot yoga is a catalyst for mental, physical, and even emotional growth. Be encouraged to explore the wide world of yoga, yet remember to always take things at your own pace. Yoga reminds us to never feel as though you have to push yourself to pain, just push yourself to be the best you.
Cycling: Cycling classes can be a blast, if you’re looking for a low-impact workout. While it still can be challenging, a great instructor with some upbeat music can turn that class into a party. Though you can cycle on your own at the gym, there’s nothing like an energetic instructor, and a great playlist that makes it a much more interactive experience than cycling by yourself. Of course there are large brands such as Soul Cyle in most major cities, but there are also local options such as Spiked Spin (New York City), if you’re looking for a more intimate, or even black-owned cycle experience.
Barre: Barre is a combination of ballet movements, yoga, and pilates. While this is not a primary source of conditioning workout, if at all, this is a great way to work on your strength without becoming Hulk Hogan. Barre is usually conducted in group classes with upbeat music and an intense instructor. This is an activity that one should do in addition to some form of cardio to get a well rounded exercise experience. If you are interested in connecting with your ballerina roots, look into your local barre studio and try it out.
Boxing: Boxing is another way to get your heart rate up, while also improving your balance, hand eye coordination, resistance, and strength. Boxing is a total body workout because there are many components to it, such as running, jump roping, and conditioning. It’s also a great way to relieve stress. By putting your energy towards a punching bag, you might even save yourself from a few arguments. Take a visit to your local boxing studio for more information on classes and training.
Twerk it out: This is a great way to stay in shape in a non-traditional way. Twerking is for those that want to target the hips and thighs, but still get a total body workout in. These classes are typically held in groups, while the instructor teaches a choreographed dance for the class to follow. Expect to hear some of your favorite hip hop music, while twerking it low. Because of their growing popularity, these classes are probably easy to find on the web or in your local directory.
All of these forms of exercise are fun ways to stay active. Some of these classes you can find online, but if you see a lack of non-traditional exercise options in your community, don’t be afraid to start one up yourself or seek out fitness influencers in the community to get something started. We all need exercise — some people just want new ways to do it!