Are you suffering from a stagnant fitness routine? Can't seem to break through a weight-loss plateau? Still searching for love at first sweat? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's time to step outside the conventional world of treadmills and step class to reinvigorate your love of exercise.
Read on to discover five new and fun fitness trends that are worth trying out.
What it is: A high-intensity form of interval training originally developed for Japanese speed skaters. Exercises (which can be anything from jump rope to plank) are performed at maximum effort for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest for 8 reps – a total of 4 minutes.
What it does for you: It keeps you working near or at your anaerobic threshold, which keeps your heart rate elevated for hours afterwards, leading to an increased calorie burn throughout the day.
Dress code: Standard workout duds.
Equipment required: Depending on what exercises you choose for your intervals, your equipment might include free weights, a chin-up bar or nothing at all.
Estimated cost: Enlisting the help of a personal trainer can cost anywhere from $30 to $75 per session, but incorporating the Tabata principle to your own at-home routine is free!
What it is: Developed by a Miami-based choreographer, this cardio-intensive fitness program combines aerobics and a wide variety of Latin dance moves.
What it does for you: It gets your heart pumping, and you'll be too busy getting lost in the rhythm to notice how hard you’re working.
Dress code: Active wear that's loose enough for you to move in.
Equipment required: An instructor, or if you're embarrassed about your two left feet, a DVD player.
Estimated cost: Drop-in classes start at $15 and some fitness centres run classes that are included in the cost of membership; DVD box sets start at $35.
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3. Yamuna Body Rolling
What it is: An exercise routine that simulates a powerful massage by rolling the body over a ball in fluid movements.
What it does for you: It improves posture, range of motion, core strength, muscle tone and circulation.
Dress code: Your go-to yoga or pilates ensembles.
Equipment required: Choose from a variety of 6- to 10-inch balls, depending on your fitness goals and ability.
Estimated cost: Class prices depend on the studio, with drop-ins beginning at $18 (reduced session rates are often available); at-home beginner kits start at $61.
4. Hula hooping
What it is: Exactly what you think it is. The fad toy of the fifties is back and it's here to make a lasting impression on your midsection.
What it does for you: Hula hooping will strengthen your core, tighten your abdominals and burn major calories.
Dress code: Regular gym or yoga clothes – footwear optional.
Equipment required: Just the hoop. Stay away from the plastic children's versions – they're too light!
Estimated cost: Drop-in classes start at $10; hoops range from $30 to $60.
5. Dance, Dance, Party, Party
What it is: No boys. No booze. No judgment. DDPP is a freestyle dance party designed for women who want to sweat to the oldies (and newbies) without being hit on by guys with too much gel in their hair.
What it does for you: It allows you to reap all the benefits that 75 minutes of uninhibited dancing has to offer (a healthy dose of cardio and shapely calves, to name a couple).
Dress code: Whatever's comfortable.
Equipment required: A studio space, a bumping playlist and a little bit of dance fever.
Estimated cost: Admission rings in around $8. No DDPP in your area? Find detailed instructions on how to start your own party from the original masterminds on their website (www.dancedancepartyparty.com).
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