5 Workout Classes to Try as the Weather Gets Colder
Courtney Hardwick, Lifestyle Writer Summer is all about taking advantage of the extended daylight and warm weather by running on your favourite trails, attending yoga meets up in the park and biking to work instead of taking transit or driving. But autumn is officially upon us and of course that means winter will be here before we know it. Options for staying active are a lot more limited in the winter and going to the gym to run on the treadmill gets old fast. Luckily, there are always new fitness class trends to help you break out of your routine and stay motivated to reach your fitness goals. Give a few of these classes a try and who knows, you might even find your next go-to work out. Barre If you want a long, lean, dancer-esque body, then the barre fitness class trend should be right up your alley. Inspired by ballet movements, a barre class usually starts with a floor-based warm up, followed by a section focusing on your lower body, and wraps up with core or arm exercises. Using isometric movements, which are small, one inch, pulse-type exercises, you’ll work out muscles in your body you didn’t even realize you had. The best part is, anyone can do it. That means you don’t have to have any prior dance experience whatsoever to attend a barre class. Look for studios like Barre3, Barreworks and The Barre Method for a range of classes that will tone your entire body as well as help increase flexibility. Surf-board inspired If you’ve ever tried surfing, you know it isn’t for the faint of heart. Your core and upper body are working hard to keep you balanced and the right surf stance is basically a prolonged squat. Canadian winters don’t exactly offer optimal surfing conditions, but there’s always SurfSet. Founder Mike Hartwick pitched the idea of group fitness class using on-land surfboards on Shark Tank and received an offer from four out of six of the investors. Now, SurfSet is in cities in over 18 different countries, including Canada. Choose between four different classes (Blend, Balance, Burn, Build) for interval training that will increase core strength and muscle stability, burn fat and build lean muscle. Kickboxing Training in kickboxing is gaining popularity thanks to a number of models (think Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima) who swear by it as the perfect exercise for working up a sweat and feeling exhilarated. A combination of cardio and strength training, kickboxing is a great way to build physical muscle and also increase focus and mental stamina. Many woman also love kickboxing for its practical benefits— in other words, its never a bad thing for any woman to know how to throw a punch and feel like she can hold her own in a bad situation. There are a number of gyms across Canada that offer one-on-one and group training for women, so you never have to feel intimidated even as a beginner. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. Zumba If a high energy dance-inspired work out sounds like a good way to spend an evening, Zumba could be the perfect work out for you. It was created in the 90s by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez and has since become a popular alternative to aerobics classes for more than 15 million people a week across 180 different countries. During a typical Zumba class you can expect to participate in choreography that incorporates dance moves from hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo as well as plenty of lunging and squatting. No matter your age or skill level, there is a Zumba class that will work for you, and it doesn’t hurt that no two classes are ever the same. Spin Indoor cycling classes are a great alternative to typical cardio workouts like running on a treadmill. You also have the motivation of an instructor and your fellow spin class attendees to make sure you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can. Spin studios may get a bad rap for being somewhat cult-esque, but if you can get past the status symbol vibe and find a place you like, spinning is an excellent way to accomplish your weekly HIIT (high intensity interval training) goals. Many yoga and pilates studios now offer spin class options, so you can get your cardio and strength training in all in one place. Your legs and butt will never look the same again. In a good way.