The Girlfriend’s Guide To Taking The ‘Work’ Out Of Workout
Three fitness trends that feel more like play.
Lately it seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a new “it” exercise trend popping up. 3D Yoga, trapeze and even twerking classes have all exploded onto the fitness scene. The nice part about having all these options is that you’ll never get bored. Feeling uninspired with your standard gym membership? There’s a plethora of new fitness trends out there to spice up your regimen — so much so that most health clubs are getting on board with fully developed studio class schedules taught on location and included in memberships. The key to keeping some of us active might be to take the “work” out of the workout. Here are three fitness trends that feel more like play.
“While there’s no magic potion when it comes to exercise, jumping rope sure seems pretty magical,” says Tim Haft, founder of Punk Rope Inc. According to Haft, jumping rope improves cardiovascular conditioning, bone density, body composition, strength, balance, agility, coordination, rhythm and timing.
“But perhaps most importantly,” says Haft, “it’s truly a fun activity that can make us all feel like a kid again.”
“I'm a fan of high intensity interval training (HIIT), which calls for varying speed and strength in an instant,” says Sant. “Jumping rope is perfect for HIIT because you can control the movements and pace … and you can do it to the beat of music, which makes it even more fun and fast! Two or three songs and you're done. Burning fat while having fun is always a win!”
This exotic workout disguised as a dance party draws from the music and dance of Bollywood, the film industry of India. According to the folks at BollyX, an international Bollywood Fitness brand, “It’s a total body workout that builds strength, endurance, confidence and community … the essential ingredients needed for participants to unleash their inner rock star!”
BollyX cofounder Fen Tung describes the experience as feeling as though you are at the most epic wedding reception or party. “That's why you won't even realize you're actually getting a workout,” she explains. “Many of the South Asian dance moves are high impact, which naturally get your heart rate up. In addition, a lot of Bollywood choreography involves the arms pumping overhead, which also can help give you that endorphin high!”
Sant agrees. “People who incorporate dance into their workout routine burn fat, improve balance and coordination, and stick with it. And it doesn't feel like work at all because we're focused on the music and our movements.”
While we’re talking about incorporating dance into our fitness routines, let’s consider how to feel sexy while getting fit! Pole dancing may bring up images of dingy nightclubs and exploited women, but you’ll have a whole new perspective once you try a pole-dance fitness class.
“Pole dancing is popular and requires a load of strength,” says Sant. “It's fun, challenging and also allows women to tap into their sensuality while using their own body strength."
Stacey Jaff, M.D., a physiatrist with the Mount Sinai Department of Rehabilitation in New York, is a big fan of pole-dance fitness as a way to dramatically improve flexibility, strength and endurance while having fun.
“Weight lifting, plyometrics, and other mixed-impact calisthenics provide the graceful power you see when pole artists glide, seemingly effortlessly, defying gravity,” she says.
And she should know. Jaff takes pole-dance fitness classes on a regular basis and can attest to how much fun they are.
“We work hard,” she explains, “but with awesome dress up and personalized music choices!”
So if you find you’ve been skipping workouts or begrudgingly moaning and groaning your way through an uninspired workout, it might be time to prioritize the fun in your fitness! “I believe that when fitness is convenient, fun, fast and not a chore, it leads to sustainable results,” says Sant. “It truly becomes part of one's lifestyle.”