Are you looking for new and exciting ways to add flavor to your workout routine? Wondering what where to even start with adding variety? Searching for the next big fitness challenge? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place. I have searched high and low for fitness trends that will not only leave you sweating, but are a ton of fun!
CrossFit: The “sport of fitness” is an increasingly popular strength and conditioning program with “boxes” (gyms) popping up everywhere. CrossFit workouts are called WODs (Workout of the Day). WODs target cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, power, speed, endurance, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy for a workout like no other. They are short, intense, and constantly changing. Workouts are scalable; you can increase the difficulty as you get stronger. WODs focus on improving your time or reps, so you are competing with yourself for a newer and stronger you.
Hula Hoop Fitness Classes: Hoop fitness is a fun exercise program that uses a hula hoop to tone your core, abs, legs, arms, back, and butt. Hooping also burns an average of 420 calories per hour — the equivalent of a cardio-kickboxing class. A fun and challenging class for anyone who wants a good time and a great workout!
Barre: This one-hour full body workout incorporates ballet, Pilates, strength training, and yoga. The moves are low impact and incorporate high-intensity intervals and deep stretching. The class is choreographed to upbeat music, which adds to the energy in the room. Exercisers at any level can enjoy this workout. Instructors cue variations of each exercise to fit students’ needs.
Tabata: A typical session includes working at high intensity for twenty seconds and then recovering for ten seconds. This is repeated for eight rounds equaling four minutes per exercise. The great thing about Tabata is that you can mix cardio intervals with strength training and run through several types of circuits in one workout.
Kettlebells: These classes are becoming more and more popular. They cover strength and cardio all in one class for convenience and improved results. Kettlebell training can burn up to 20 calories per minute, which can add up to one heck of a workout. You can take a class at a gym, or purchase a kettlebell and work out anytime at home. This high-intensity exercise routine will leave you feeling great and looking amazing!
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding: This surface water sport is especially popular in the summer months, when the weather’s nice. To do it, you stand on a surfboard and use a paddle to move through the water. The activity includes low-impact cross-training, strength, and balance benefits for a total body workout. You can even cool off if you fall in!
Aerial Yoga: Try the workout that’s turning the world of fitness upside down with its gravity-defying stretches and poses. Aerial yoga is performed using a “silk” made of synthetic nylon tricot. There are floor moves and moves where you are suspended from the ceiling. The silk can hold about 2,000 pounds of weight — so don’t worry, you can’t fall. You can get in a great workout and even have chavasina at the end wrapped in a cocoon!
Exergaming: Exer-games are video games that incorporate movement in the game. Movement is picked up by a sensor and how you move affects what happens in the game. Popular games include kick boxing, dancing, tennis, golf, yoga, and biking. Games are designed for all fitness levels and some even have benchmark testing to track progress over time. No need to travel to access the classes — a great option if you need to get your workout in at home!
Day Trip Adventures: Who says you have to go to the gym or get super sweaty to get in a good workout? Western Pennsylvania has many adventures that are active for you and your family, and none of them include a gym! From caving, hiking, bicycling, and even zip-lining — it’s easy to find something for everyone while straying active as a family.
Balance-Focused Training: Balance-focused training is becoming more and more popular as athletes and avid fitness goers realize that they have muscle imbalances. It’s important for anyone who is an avid exerciser because balance can help prevent injuries and even lead to improvements in performance.
Yoga: Did you know that there are more than 100 types of yoga? Most of these classes also incorporate breathing exercises, meditation, and postures that stretch and flex various muscle groups leaving you feeling relaxed and stronger. Without a doubt, every form of yoga improves your health from head to toe and most gyms and private studios offer them. You can also get exercise DVD’s and participate in online classes.