I’ll be honest: sometimes, the thought of dragging myself to the gym fills my entire (non-gym-honed) body with dread. I like to pretend I know what I’m doing on the treadmill, but really, I’m just pounding away, watching the time tick, all the while thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner.
(Spoiler: It’s usually carbs.)
But I know that’s not how exercise is supposed to be. The times when I’ve most enjoyed exercising have been when I’ve completely switched off and absorbed myself in the activity. I don’t clock-watch — I focus my mind on what my body is doing.
But doing the same old thing can get a little boring, which is why I think my routine has gotten a little stale. So, eager to find something more inspiring than half an hour on the cross trainer, I decided to start looking into more fun and dynamic workout options. After all, fitness and fun are the key ingredients to a successful exercise regimen!
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Whether you’re a yoga buff or can’t even touch your toes, Voga is the latest fitness trend that’s guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. Weaving in basic yoga stances with “Vogue” arms and Madonna music, this is the ultimate blast from the past. And, perhaps surprisingly, it’s actually a pretty tough workout! Not that you’ll realize it at the time: You’re more focused on striking a Queenie Pose — which from the outset I imagine looks a little like a human flamingo with jazz hands.
The hour whizzes by in a bundle of laughter, exclaims of “Ooh, I remember this song,” and wobbling on one leg. But it doesn’t feel like exercise. The only reminder of its good-for-the-body-ness is the achy bum and legs that continue post-workout for about three days!
2. Animal Flow
THE JOY IN EXPLORING MOVEMENT is one of my favorite things in the universe. The moments happen in the present, the reaction through the body, a calm exchange of energy with the ground. Grateful to be teaching this MOVE & CONNECT Workshop with the silky master movement coach @rachpt in London on June 25th @lmotionstudios ! 1-4 pm - Come join us for 3 hours of connecting & playing, I promise it'll be a fab time. LINK FOR TICKETS IN BIO Earlybird special discount til week of event .................................................................................. Learn to flow with Rachel and Venus. We will combine traditional Bodyweight exercises, rolling patterns, animalflow, & more to explore how breath, mobility, stability and locomotion combine and allow us to move and flow efficiently and with integrity. This workshop is open to everyone. Join us to see how you can connect with your body and each other to open up the possibilities of movement not just in the studio but in everyday life. Early Bird purchase before 19/06/17 £50.00 Full Price £70.00 #venusfit #rachpt #move #connect #flow #breathe #love #workout #mindfulmovement #workshop #follow #bodylanguage #yoga #animalflow #bodyweighttraining #primal #movement #pullups #strength #squats #GetSlinky #eventbrite #LA 2 #london #localmotion
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Animal Flow is a fitness program that mixes body weight training and quadrupedal movement. Expect to spend a lot of time on all fours! The class is designed for people who want to add something more challenging or slightly different to their traditional workout and to work on improving their core and upper body strength.
Think of it as a slowed-down version of break-dancing: A spinning floor movement turns into a one-handed handstand, which flows seamlessly into the “crab” before moving onto a headstand.
3. Floating yoga
Also known as Aqua Physical, this exciting new class is conducted on floating mats in water. This is an incredibly fun yet demanding total-body workout. It really tests your core strength.
Once you’ve got your balance on your mat (which has a bit of a grippy surface to help you out), you flow into a number of testing poses, where one wrong move can plunge you into the water below. Still, once you understand you’re going to have to get in and out of the water a bit, you start to loosen up and enjoy it. Downward-Facing Dog is much more challenging when the ground below you isn’t quite so steady!
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Following in the success of Zumba, Bokwa is a new dance-based fitness class. It’s adaptable for all fitness levels and ages. Inspired by traditional South African dance, the classes are an effective total-body workout. Bokwa uses letters from the English language to help people identify the particular dance moves. The basic principle is to draw out certain letters (like an L or a G) with your body and adding extra finishing touches like shimmies, hip bumps, and fist pumps. Each move is pretty basic and you can build it up or down depending on whether you want a high or low-intensity workout.
5. Aerial yoga
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Ever visited the circus, admired the incredible (yet unnerving) trapeze acts, and thought, “I wish I could do that!”? Then aerial yoga is one activity you may want to look in to. Also known as anti-gravity yoga in some gyms, it combines traditional yoga poses, dance, and Pilates with the use of a hammock. Luckily (for me, at least!), you’re not a few meters up — but just a few inches from the ground.
The swinging motion does take a little getting used to. The suspension requires more balance, strength, and awareness than when you’re conducting poses on the mat. However, certain moves can be much simpler with the help of the hammock. It’s a great core exercise. Once you get past the fact you’re swinging around in a strange contraption you start to let go, focus on your breathing, and relax!
6. Virtual boxing
Virtual boxing is the latest immersive fitness experience that exercise junkies are falling for. It’s a little like a flashback to the Wii days, where you could involve yourself in a game of tennis or golf with a virtual competitor without even leaving your house. Here, go fist to fist with a digital boxing opponent and watch as they react to your power punches. But be warned: Unlike with the Wii, you can’t cheat by flicking your controllers! This is definitely one to try if you want something high-intensity, fun, and different.
Whatever fitness trend you choose to get involved in, the ultimate goal is to have fun and enjoy. Just make sure it’s the right fit for your lifestyle and mindset, as well as your fitness goals.
Scarlett Dixon is a U.K.–based journalist, lifestyle blogger, and YouTuber who runs networking events in London for bloggers and social media experts. She has a keen interest in speaking out about anything that might be deemed taboo and a lengthy bucket list. She’s also a keen traveler and passionate about sharing the message that IBS doesn’t have to hold you back in life! Visit her website and tweet her @Scarlett_London.