There’s no better time than now to get excited about fitness again. Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health – and people of all ages and body types can be physically active.
And there are many reasons to feel great about yourself after any type of exercise. You’re helping control your weight, reducing risk of heart disease, managing blood sugar levels, minding your mental health, and strengthening bones and muscles.
Try these more unusual activities for a fitness recharge designed to keep you coming back for more.
Note: It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider first to make sure you’re cleared for takeoff.
1. Dancing: A study in the Journal of Sport and Health Science concluded that an hour of cardio dancing could burn at least 400+ calories – and people had fun! Dancing also helps overall coordination and is great for general toning.
2. Aerial yoga: As long as we’re above ground, we had to mention this exercise because it’s so different. Circus hammocks pull you up and away to hang out as you work on yoga body positions and alignment. And no, you don’t start at 10 feet high; maybe just a few inches.
In the American Council on Exercise (ACE) completed a small study on aerial yoga that found it offered benefits akin to those you get from low- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. After a six-week program, participants experienced improvements in body weight, body-fat percentage and blood pressure.
3.Trampoline: Indoor trampoline facilities are popping up across America, and some gyms and boutique fitness studios offer small, individual trampoline classes for all ages. These low-impact workouts strengthen derrieres, hamstrings and abs. Plus you get a strong dose of balance training with every jump.
4. Trapeze: Actress and singer Zendaya did it in the film “The Greatest Showman.” You may not fly through the air with the greatest of ease, at least not the first time, but if reaching new heights appeals to your adventurous side, take on the trapeze. No, don’t try this in your backyard, but search for a well-established trapeze school near you.
A trapeze workout can build your upper body strength and test your flexibility and coordination. Plus, your mood and self-esteem will get a bountiful boost when you conquer that initial “I can’t” and overcome your hesitation. Now you’re ready for more.
5. Aqua cycling: There’s not an aqua cycling studio in every city, but if you’re visiting a major one such as Los Angeles or New York – or if you have your own pool – consider aqua cycling or hydrospinning on a special bike.
Fans swear by its super-low impact, since the human body consists of 60 percent water, and your lower body and core are “surrounded” by it. It’s a full-body calorie burner, up to 800 per hour, as the water actually supports your joints. You’ll also be using muscle groups that might not get used as much in a regular spin class.
Now the word “exercise” sounds better, right? Enjoy!