As a result of all the seasonal spirit this time of year, even the fittest start loosening their pants at the dinner table. Although many of us pledge to lose the extra pounds we gain once the new year arrives, the colder weather and warm fireside sofas make leaving the house downright dreadful.
Give yourself the ultimate gift this year, power of will, and feel fit with these ten exercises that are as fun as they are affective.
1. Aerial Yoga
Aerial yoga is an exhilarating form of exercise that allows students of all body types, ages, and fitness levels to experience a fusion between yoga and circus art. Take the transformative experience of practicing yoga to new heights as you strengthen your body, build stamina, and increase flexibility in a silk material that — as you wrap yourself in it — keeps you off of the ground. Students should only take classes with certified trainers who are well-versed in the discipline.
This funky form of exercise involves easy-to-follow moves that allow you to burn calories and have a blast grooving to Latin beats. Created in the 90s by choreographer Alberto Perez, this Colombian dance program is popular among both the young and old. The classes typically involve choreographed dance moves that incorporate elements of hip-hop, salsa, mambo, merengue, belly dance, samba, and more. Aerobics moves also find there way into the class in the form of lunges,and squats.
3. Hula Hooping
No longer just for hippies and little kids, hula hooping is beginning to take the workout scene by storm. Classes seek to help strengthen and tone more than 30 muscles in the body and could burn up to 600 calories in just one session. Hoops tend to be large, heavier than the children’s toy, and wrapped in colorful tape to allow friction to keep the hoop near the body. Even if you have a horrible sense of rhythm, the fun moves and cool jams make hula hooping classes easy for all to enjoy.
4. Pole Dance Fitness
When people hear the words “pole fitness” they tend to think one of two things: strippers or bachelorette parties. But it’s time to toss the clichés out the window, because this full-body workout is not only affective, it’s a liberating confidence booster as well. Feel the burn as you practice stretching, swinging, lifting, and more. Every move is designed to strengthen and sculpt your body in stubborn spots like the abs, buttocks, and thighs. Pole fitness facilities often provide rental shoes for the class as well, which adds to the appeal and makes for one sultry sweat session.
As adults we often forget that we’re allowed to keep taking dance classes. Studios all over the country offer adult hip-hop, ballet, tap, lyrical, modern, jazz, and more to students of all ages. Whether you’re pirouetting around the room, or taping to a West Coast Swing beat, you’re sure to burn calories and reconnect with your inner child.
6. Ice Skating
What better a time of year to break out the ol’ ice gliders than the holidays? Ice skating is not only a great way to burn calories, but it’s also a great way to de-stress. Simply glide along the ice at your local skating rink or outdoor park and see how fast time flies. You won’t even feel like you’re exercising even though the muscles in your legs are constantly flexing.
7. Indoor Swimming
For a great cardiovascular exercise in a semi-warm environment, opt for indoor swimming. Not only do you utilize large muscle groups including your legs, arms, chest, back, and shoulders, but you also force your lungs and heart to work harder to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Cardio exercises in general are a great way to feel and be healthy.
8. Wii Sports Games
If you’re even remotely competitive or a gamer at heart, Wii Sports games are a great way to exercise. Whether you opt for boxing, tennis, golf, or any other sport, you’re sure to drench your T-shirt in sweat. Wii games are also a great way to get the whole family involved. Whether it be your little brother, your daughter, your boyfriend, or mom, everyone getting in on the fun will make the process seem more like a family game night than a boring exercise routine.
9. Krav Maga
Kill two birds with one stone this season by getting fit and learning how to defend yourself against crazed holiday shoppers with Krav Maga. This Israeli self-defense system fuses concepts from boxing, muay Thai, kickboxing, wrestling, and more. Learn moves that could help you in an altercation (God forbid), but also tone your tush, arms, abs, and other target areas.
Well, if you’ve gotten this far in the list and you’re still thinking to yourself, “I don’t feel like doing any of these,” try this workout on for size. The kegel, first discussed in 1948 by Dr. Arnold Kegel, is an exercise that involves contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles. You can do them solo or with kegel weight insertions that allow you to work the pelvic muscles and build strength down south. You may not lose any weight or tone any tushes, but you’ll probably be so pleased with other results, you won’t even notice.