Feel dread at the mere mention of the word cardio? Stuck in a rut using the same exercise machines and weights? Wondering why, even though you workout regularly, your results have plateaued? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to consider some new ways for breaking a sweat. Research shows that variety is not only the spice of life but also the key for getting the most bang for your workout minutes by challenging your body in new ways over time. If you’re a treadmill queen or elliptical diva, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your beloved machines, just consider mixing it up with a few new exercises. If you’d rather scrub the gym than hit the gym, working out in a way that doesn’t feel like punishment is crucial. Sound impossible? We count the ways, wherever you may fall on this spectrum, below.
1. Aerial Yoga
We have hot yoga, baby yoga, yoga with pets, yoga on paddleboards, why not yoga in the air? Think of aerial yoga like Cirque du Soleil meets Hatha flow. Classes using silk hammocks improve flexibility, strength and balance and participants report many of the stress-relieving benefits that are often associated with yoga. Om-pressive!
Don’t worry, you don’t even have to jump in the ring to reap the benefits of this total-body exercise. Most studios teach no-contact or bag-contact classes only. That doesn’t mean you won’t get your Rocky moment. Boxing is empowering and anxiety reducing not to mention killer cardio and excellent for toning muscles and abs.
3. Dance Cardio
The best way to show up regularly for your workout? Trick yourself into having a good time. Cardio dance classes do just that with teachers blasting anything from Dancehall to Disco to Drake and offering choreography to keep you less focused on catching your breath and more focused on bustin’ a move. Feeling shy? Stream workouts from the safety of your own living room. If you go this route, may we suggest setting the mood with appropriate lighting?
4. Workout Apps
Want to sweat it like a celebrity? Book a class at a discounted rate at a new studio? Get a personalized workout regimen and encouragement to stay the course from a community of peers? There literally are apps for that. Try ClassPass to discover and book classes (often at a discount) at highly-rated studios in your ‘hood. Nike’s Nike Training Club offers multi-week training programs tailored to your fitness level and goals – for free! Connect with Nike’s online community for cheerleader-like support. Celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser’s new app AKT in Motion gives you access to the fitness routines of her impressive client roster – ahem Sarah Jessica Parker, Sofia Vergara and Kelly Ripa. It was developed to help them stay fit on the go. The launch of her app means now you can work out just like they do, wherever, whenever.