Fun Fitness Trends
Gymming and jogging not for you?
Turn your fitness routine upside down with aerial hoop classes.
What is it? A full body workout straight from the circus. A steel ring, suspended from the ceiling, is used to climb, swing and roll your way through a routine.
Why does it help? It require s upper body strength and a core of steel to be able to do aerial hoop classes gracefully (plus a little bit of courage). But once you’ve tried it you are more than likely to be hooked (not hooped!). It improves concentration, flexibility and of course, body strength, but you are so busy learning the moves you are likely to forget you are even exercising.
Why is it fun? How could it not be? You are learning to do extraordinary things in the air with a hoop! And you’ll achieve things you never thought possible.
Where can I do it? Leeds Aerial Art offers a beginners course, and you don’t need circus skills to try this out. Leeds Aerial Arts, Burley leedsaerialarts.co.uk
Northern Pole Dance offers aerial hoop and aerial routine classes and you don’t need circus skills to try this out. Northern Pole Dance, Newcastle 07905 750884 northernpoledance.co.uk
In the deep mid winter what could be more appealing than getting fitter in a cocooning warm and dark studio?
What is it? The usual yoga poses but in a studio with the temperature turned up. Choose from calming and relaxing or meditative sessions where the heat allows you to fully immerse yourself in the process of self awareness.
Why does it help? The heat helps flexibility, meaning you can reach those poses normal yoga classes can’t reach to stretch and strengthen further and deeper.
Why is it fun? Why wouldn’t you want to cocoon yourself in Sahara-style heat in the middle of winter, and get fit at the same time? Yoga relaxes the mind, improves concentration and will help with stress, and whilst you might not get an adrenaline rush with hot yoga, you will feel great after a class.
Where can I do it? Yoga Bomb, 6 Bootham Terrace, York yogabomb.york
Try it out at Chillingham Road’s Hot Yoga who offer several different classes including Hot 26 with a set sequence of 26 postures, and Hot 50 a 90 minute class designed to strength and build core stability. Hot Yoga Newcastle, Heaton 07883 300134
Grab a couple of (walking) poles and explore your local area.
What is it? Walking but turbo-charged. Poles help propel you so you move faster and more efficiently and can cover more ground.
Why does it help? So many of us don’t really think of walking as really challenging in terms of exercise. Nordic Walking will challenge that view. It works the whole body, burning more calories than normal walking, and it uses 90 percent of your skeletal muscles, and reduces the impact on dodgy knees.
Why is it fun? You can join a group, make the most of the great outdoors, make friends and get fit – all without noticing.
Where can I do it? Find out more at Nordic Walking Yorkshire nordicwalkingyorkshire.com
Julie Barnett at Strolls With Poles offers beginner and advanced Nordic walking training on a one-toone and group basis, and takes weekly guided Nordic walks of varying distances and difficulty around the whole of the North East. Strolls With Poles 07443 495622 strollswithpoles.co.uk
Cuban and Tango Dancing
We’ve all watched Strictly and the rapid weight loss of those taking part.
What is it? Intense forms of dance which involve so much of the body which is often under utilised; calves, hamstrings and core all benefit from the constant movement.
Why does it help? They're high-energy dances which really get the heart racing. The increased circulation helps burn more calories and improve fitness and stamina depending on the intensity of the dance.
Why is it fun? It’s dancing! No-one leaves Strictly and say ‘that was boring’. It’s exercise with benefits.
Where can I do it? There are a whole host of dance workshops to try at Strictly Dance Infusion including the Strictly Solo Fitness which combines everything from Mambo and Salsa, to Samba, Tango, Charleston and Jive. Strictly Dance Infusion, Yarm 07952 070726 strictlydanceinfusion.co.uk
Or, try Cuban salsa dancing at Yorkshire Dance, St Peter’s Square, Leeds yorkshiredance.com
Pilates, but not as you know it.
What is it? It looks like a mini skateboard but the Orbit is actually a specialist piece of pilates equipment from the US. An Orbit class sees you sitting, kneeling and standing on the wheeled board which moves precariously.
Why does it help? The moving board means your core muscles are constantly engaged, helping to strengthen your whole body and improve posture and core strength which has a hugely beneficial effect on the rest of your health.
Why is it fun? It’s fast paced and furious and you know you’ve done a workout when you’ve finished, which is always good motivation for signing up for the next one. In no time you’ll have trimmed abs of steel.
Where can I do it? Pure Pilates in Ilkley (you will need a one-to-one assessment before joining in your first class). The Old Armoury, Back Church Street Court, Ilkley purepilatesilkley.com
A new sport at the Olympics, climbing requires strength, speed and agility.
What is it? The opportunity to reach new heights and work on coordination, body strength and agility all while safely attached to a harness.
Why does it help? Great for cardio, climbing is also a good muscle-building activity, helps to tone arms and upper body and will hep with balance and concentration. The higher the climb, the more endurance and fitness needed, so it’s a great way of pushing yourself onwards – and upwards.
Why is it fun? It’s one of this activities that is easy to get obsessed with. A great all-round exercise, you can climb alone or as part of team, and because it’s so mentally and physically challenging it means you are totally focused on the challenge ahead.
Where can I do it? Sunderland Wall is one of the largest indoor climbing centres in the UK with a range of climbs, including a 23-metre competition wall with an overhang and a bouldering area with over 200 complex routes. Sunderland Wall, Pavillion Quay 0191 514 4234 sunderlandwall.com