3 Fun Ways to Get Active - That Don't Include the Boring Treadmill

Like most of us, I set my fitness and wellness goals as I welcome in the new year. I feel refreshed with that "new year, new me" attitude and devise a plan that will slim me down in no time.

Usually, this involves committing to dieting (sometimes juicing) and getting hardcore at the gym. And again, like most of us, this drops off by mid-February, and I end up feeling like a failure more than ever. This month, I'm trying to re-charge my resolutions and get back into fitness - but the FUN way. Instead of hitting the treadmill like usual, I decided to try out three different fitness classes to see how I could get my booty in shape without the dreaded gym.

1. Orange Theory Fitness

I've been hearing about Orange Theory Fitness classes FOREVER but had never actually tried the classes out for myself. It came highly recommended by friends, and their social media pages made the workout seem fun, which for a couch potato like me is quite the feat. The best part? Their first class is free to try - just come ready in your gym clothes and get ready to work out!

So, how was my experience with the class? Full disclosure: I almost passed out halfway through, LOL. The HIIT (high intensity interval training) style class, was just that - HIGH INTENSITY. We moved from the rowing machines to the floor for a weights section, and then to the treadmill. While this class included a treadmill, I actually didn't mind it because of the group aspect and the dope music blaring through the sound system. Can you imagine - me ENJOYING running on the treadmill?!

What I also really enjoyed about this workout was the heart rate monitor that tracks your pace. There are four different levels - blue, green, orange and red. For the most part, you aim to be within the orange or red zones - which means your heart rate is elevated and you are working out to your best ability. For every minute you stay within the orange or red zones you earn a ‘splat point; and if you earn 12 then apparently your body keeps losing weight for an additional 48 hours. Losing weight while sitting on the couch, YES PLEASE!

In all realness though, I did feel a little light-headed from the workout as it was super intense, BUT it made me feel amazing afterward. Although the memberships are a little pricey, I would highly recommend it.

2. Underground Dance

My second class was at The Underground Dance Centre in Toronto (voted #1 Best Dance Classes in Toronto by Blog TO). I haven't attended a dance class since I was about 15 years old and was pretty nervous about making a complete fool of myself, so I signed up for the beginner level. But, this wasn't your average ballet, jazz or tap class- it was a Beyonce class and it was a blast!

We started out with a great warm-up that included cardio and even a lengthy set of crunches. I was sweating before I even started learning the choreography. I got nostalgic learning an attitude-packed routine to Independent Women by Destiny's Child. Our fabulous teacher Kaleela Dominic instantly made me feel comfortable in my skin and excited to channel Queen Bey vibes.

Working on your fitness and self-confidence should be practiced at the same time. After all, you're going to need a new attitude to go along with that new bod! Sticking to your goals and enjoying the work along the way can be done by exploring new avenues and we definitely realized this at The Underground Dance Centre. What I loved most about my time there was that I didn't feel like I had to have any kind of dance experience to get through the class and have fun.

"This workout was great, but one thing I must note is that my butt was ACHING for days"

3. Soul Cycle

If you haven't heard of Soul Cycle, then I don't know where you've been! It's been the talk of the town for a while now, and I've always been jealous seeing friends on social media posting about their classes. It was finally time to take the plunge and try it out for myself.

I tried this class out during my lunch break, which is something very new for me. Usually, I see working out as an after-work activity, not something you do during lunch, but I quite enjoyed the change of pace.

To my surprise, I walked into a full class with a peppy and enthusiastic instructor on the platform at the front of the cycling room. The 45-minute class consisted mostly of, you guessed it, spinning, but also incorporated some light weights and arm exercises. The stellar music and dance-like spinning moves made me feel like I was at an afternoon rave, and honestly, I wasn't mad about it. ;)

This workout was great, but one thing I must note is that my butt was ACHING for days - and not because my muscles got a workout, but because the seat caused bruising on my bum. LOL. My butt was seriously hurting afterward. If you're like me - I recommend some padded shorts or something, because it was seriously uncomfortable.

In all: Whatever you choose to get your booty moving and re-charge your resolution, try to SWITCH THINGS UP! If you keep doing the same thing repeatedly (i.e., running on the treadmill) you're going to suffer from work-out fatigue and you're going to get bored fast. Switch things up and get involved in group fitness classes. Plus, grab a friend to join the journey with you, it will be a blast, we promise!