I think it’s safe to say that if you want to live a long and healthy life, regular exercise is a must. In 2013, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 450,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, asking them how often and for how long they engage in aerobic physical activity outside of their jobs.
The survey concluded that 80 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise — a lifestyle which can lead to a number of health issues, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
It’s no secret that for most of us, exercising can often feel like a chore (or a bore), but thankfully there are some workouts that not only help you to get your blood pumping, but are also extremely fun!
Thriller/Sorry Dance Class
When I was younger I loved to dance and make dance routines with my friends or copy the moves I enjoyed from music videos, and it was always a fun way to be creative and extremely active. Dancing has an array of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and increased muscular strength, endurance, and motor fitness. It also makes for a great aerobic workout. At Gold’s Gym, located in several countries around the world, you can learn the full choreography to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” over the course of five weeks. In Toronto, you can take another choreography class, except this time you’ll learn the dance moves from Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video. Check out Fly Lady Di for more info!
POUND Drumming classes
POUND fuses Pilates, isometric movements, plyometric and yoga-based poses into a 45-minute series and is a full-body cardio jam session, combining easy-to-follow cardio moves with strength training and drumming. You can burn up to 600 calories, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique, all while rocking out to your favourite music.
Forza takes the motions of sword fighting and packages it into an hour of muscle, endurance, and mind conditioning. So not only does this awesome workout help to tone your arms, it’s a great mind workout too! “It is a focusing workout. It helps you concentrate,” says creator Ilaria Montagnani.
Ever wanted to shake up your yoga routine? This is definitely one way to go! While there is an actual yoga board designed for the water, this one is comfortably indoors and much more challenging. “The board is not stable – it’s balanced on three stability balls – your body goes into working the supporting muscles groups right away, as well as your major muscle groups which allows you get that leaner look after,” explains co-owner Sofia Mok of Surfset Toronto. And you don’t only have to do a yoga class — there is a class focused on cardio and another on muscle building, and even one which incorporates all three!
Awaken Your Force
Oh boy! A workout class Star Wars fans have been dying for! This class is done with lightsabers and is a 45 minute workout that involves cardio, strength, and of course, martial arts! What better way to feel like a Jedi?
Check out this Cirque du Soleil inspired aerial yoga class! It can help you bring out your inner acrobat and is a great full body workout. This class can help to improve your flexibility, and being upside down is excellent for your spine alignment and for the health of your vital organs. Plus — it feels amazing!
TrampoLEAN has the same benefits as Skyrobics except it incorporates the trampoline into a more intimate setting. A class lasts 50 minutes and focuses on different body parts. The trampoline moves include jump lunges, jump squats, planks, etc. It’s definitely high energy and will get your heart pumping — what’s not to love?
This class not only gives you all the physical benefits of spinning, such as burning fat, improving posture, and offering a whole body workout, it also gives your vocal cords a workout too! Spin classes can be intimidating if you’re new, so this class allows you to be goofy while you sweat. The instructor prepares a playlist and passes around the microphone so you can show off your singing skills while cycling.
Created by Lotte Berk, a ballerina who experienced a back injury, this form of exercise was borne of her desire to combine dance conditioning with rehabilitative therapy. Toning is done in micro-movements (up an inch, down an inch) which target the butt, legs, and core, so you can sculpt your body to look like a dancer’s. Most classes last about an hour, incorporate upper body work, and use props like exercise balls and hand weights.
This class will definitely bring you back to your childhood days, and now it has become a full-out exercise technique and dance phenomenon. It will help you to develop your core strength and works out your body as a whole. Not only than that, it improves your spinal strength and flexibility, as well as your hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
This class has all the makings of a regular yoga class except… you’re naked! Talk about shedding for your soul. This form of yoga focuses on body-happy yoga classes, so you don’t have to go full on nude if you don’t want to. YogiBare classes in Toronto offer everything from yoga for the individual or couples to sex education.
Again, this has all the same makings of a typical yoga class, except you can smoke pot! Often when we smoke we become less inhibited in poses, and smoking also stimulates the parts of the brain that are most receptive to spiritual awakenings. It’s ‘BYOB,’ so to speak, and smoking is not mandatory.
Why not, right? Now you can actually learn how to twerk without embarrassing yourself trying to learn alone in your bedroom. At Flirty Girl Fitness, you can learn to thrust your junk in this booty-toning workout, so now you can work on those twerking skills and burn major calories at the same time!
I have personally taken a class like this and it was so much fun! Most classes usually incorporate some sort of dance routine to a song, all while jumping with these boots on. It gives you an amazing cardio workout and helps to tone your legs and butt.
The best part about taking a new dance class is that you’re not expected to be an expert! Learning something new and being accepting of your own lack of skill can make for a truly fun experience if you allow it to be. Let yourself enjoy the pulsing music and exotic moves. Depending on your instructor the class can be quite a cardio workout or just a toning class.
This is a very interesting mix of training because it incorporates ballet and boxing. This class challenges your flexibility and sculpts long, lean muscles with basic barre moves and tests your coordination and endurance with fast-paced jab combinations.
This class offers more than just a basic workout — it helps create a renewed positive body image for yourself. You will leave feeling more confident than ever! It teaches you the correct way to walk in heels to optimize your appearance, how to perfect your posture, and the art of inviting eye contact. It will push you to embrace your sexuality and help you to realize that you have a lot to flaunt!
I’m sure at one point or another we’ve all broken out into an exaggerated broadway style dance to one of our favourite songs, and in this class that’s all you’re supposed to do! Learn some broadway moves to the soundtrack of Glee and get a cardio workout in the process. You’ll tone your whole body while learning a choreographed dance taken straight from the TV show.
Created just for women by Dr. Melissa Hershberg, this unique class uses isometric movements (exercises that look like you’re not moving at all) that work your inner and outer pelvic core to burn lower-body fat and, as an added bonus, boost your libidio. The 60-minute class also incorporates meditation to help you get in touch with your inner self. While being asked to “butterfly” (kegel) may feel a little awkward to some, every woman can learn something from a Kama class.
I have taken one of these classes, and let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks! But not to worry, the instructors are sympathetic to newbies and make it really fun with easy-to-learn dance moves. This workout requires a TON of upper body strength and you’ll pretty much feel like a truck hit you the next morning, but it’s well worth it!
This is probably the most comfortable workout/dance class yet. You just enter the space and start dancing as crazy and freely as you want to! The only catch is you can’t talk. The idea is to move with the flow of the music; you get a half hour ‘warm-up’ to start, then it builds to an energetic peak, finally leaving you in a mellow, meditative state.
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