If you're a January gym-goer who routinely throws in the towel on Feb. 1, we don't fault you. It's hard staying motivated when the only immediate reward for doing 20 burpees is a water break and a pat on the back.
For many people, that lack of motivation can stem from sheer boredom because, let's be honest, repetitively swinging a kettle bell isn't exactly riveting stuff. Fortunately, the workouts available now are anything but boring. Think spin bikes that actually mimic outdoor cycling, transforming into a mermaid, and a workout that involves getting hitched to a bungee cord.
Set yourself up for success and allow us to introduce you to some of the most interesting workouts out there — new and old.
At this rate, you may never feel dread about going to the gym again.
1. Aqua spinning
Originally developed for physical therapy, aqua spinning has become quite the fitness trend. In boutique studios like NYC-based AQUA, state-of-the-art bikes are placed in a pool for classes like Mantra Flow, which involves five sequences of repetitive movements, and Plyo, which combines fast-paced exercises on and off the bike.
The added water resistance means participants burn fat more efficiently with little risk of injury and less impact to their joints. The benefits of working out in water have been proven by research, so you can bet this workout will have staying power.
Aqua spinning is currently offered at Sports Montreal, but it's only a matter of time before underwater cycling studios grow in popularity.
2. The mermaid workout
If the idea of swimming laps isn't appealing to you, try putting on a monofin and re-enacting "The Little Mermaid" while burning tons of calories. The whimsical workout isn't for everyone, but it's definitely a departure from the gym. You'll be surprised how challenging it is to learn how to swim with a tail.
Realize your childhood dream at the original mermaid swimming school, Aquamermaid. Classes are available in Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa.
Those who took an interest in "The Real Housewives of Toronto" will know all about cast member Jana Webb's wildly popular proprietary workout, Joga. Webb, who is an athlete herself, noticed that professional athletes typically had trouble doing traditional yoga poses, but she wanted to incorporate the discipline into her client's training. Joga (yoga for jocks) was born of that desire, seamlessly blending yoga with the biomechanics of sport.
Webb recently opened Joga House in Toronto, but given its growing popularity, we'll likely see more Joga studios opening across the country. Stay tuned.
4. Bungee workouts
Enjoy the sensation of flying? Then this bungee workout is for you.
Participants are hooked up to a harness and bungee cord and guided through a workout that will see you doing squats while standing on a wall and push-ups while suspended upside down. Coordination and balance are at the core of this workout.
5. Surf fit
The quintessential surfer body is long, lean, and hard to achieve. That's why stationary surfboard workouts gained so much traction after they were featured on "Shark Tank" in 2012. The workout challenges participants to stand and squat on a stationary surfboard that tips and shakes. Your core will thank you for this workout.
6. Dancing in heels
We can almost guarantee you won't notice you're working out in this high-energy class. You'll be sweating it out in heels and learning the choreography to Beyoncé's latest hit. Cardio is the name of the game, and we can promise you'll feel a boost of confidence when you master a routine in three-inch heels.
Army of Sass is a great place to begin your fitness journey in heels, with dance classes available throughout Ontario, Alberta and B.C.
7. Group rowing classes
Using a rowing machine is typically a solitary activity, but turns out rowing makes a great group class. Combine that with a high-energy instructor and good music and you've got a pretty entertaining full-body workout.
They say rowing done properly burns more calories than cycling and running, so you can expect to see results fast. Group rowing classes can be found at Toronto's Scullhouse Rowing and Calgary's Row 17.
8. Cycling on a RealRyder Bike
SoulCycle's debut in Canada showed Canadians how to party on a bike, but now we're on to the next cycling trend.
If you've never been on a RealRyder bike, you're going to feel a little unstable at first. These two-wheel vehicles are basically stationary bikes that simulate a real biking experience, allowing you to lean from side to side and steer. Interestingly, RealRyder bikes aren't new and have kept a relatively low profile.
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