Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...
The key to maximizing your motivation to stay fit is keeping your workouts fresh, exciting and effective. Here are 10 workouts to revive your fitness spirit and get you in super shape - and don't think you have to wait until after the holidays to get started!
Women's fitness: Get lean and mean with boxing Though not new as a modality to get fit, boxing is becoming a hot choice among women. Not only does punching, bobbing and weaving whip you into a lean, mean workout machine, it also empowers your mind and body confidence.
Get fit quick with kettlebells If you want full-body results – fast, kettlebells deliver a killer workout. Swinging a kettlebell – a solid cast-iron ball with a handle – through dynamic movements that simultaneously challenge your upper and lower body as well as your core gives you an intense cardiovascular and strength-training workout.
Get a Pilates body Performed on a machine with springs and bars, on the floor as matwork, or with a variety of fitness tools, such as a fitness ball, elastic bands or flexible ring, Pilates is a core-strengthening workout that will lengthen your muscles and improve your balance, flexibility and posture. If Pilates is old news to you, try one of the fusion classes that combine Pilates with yoga, cardio, spin or other fitness modality.
Top tips for running When it comes to shredding calories, running rates top marks. Whether you are racking up miles indoors on a treadmill or outdoors on pavement or dirt trails, running is one of the best cardiovascular, fat-burning exercises you can do. To boot, you'll be strengthening your bones and toning up your lower body muscles.
Aqua fitness: Swim into shape Lengthen, strengthen and tone your entire body by jumping into a pool. Swimming laps will also help you shred fat, boost your cardiovascular strength and improve your flexibility. Swimming is a nice change from the higher-impact cardio activities – and it can deliver equally pleasing results.
6. Weight lifting
Ladies, you can lift more than five pounds If you are like many women, you don't truly know your own strength and have been wasting your workout time using five-pound weights. Optimize your time at the gym by lifting weights – or using machines and cables – that are truly challenging. Pick resistance that is light enough that you can do 10 to 15 reps but not so light that you can easily do 25 plus. Talk to a personal trainer about getting on a strength-training, fat-burning, body-shaping weight-lifting program that will deliver the results you are hoping to achieve.
Two new twists on yoga Yoga is one of the most established and renowned exercise methods. Effective in improving your strength, tone and flexibility, yoga also provides a mind-body element that keeps you self-connected. If traditional yoga classes have you yawning, try a different style – such anti-gravity or Bikram yoga – or check out fusion classes that combine yoga with another fitness modality.
8. Dance fitness
Zumba your way fit Latin-inspired Zumba as well as the many other dance fitness workouts will give you a full-body – and fun! – way to get in shape. Dancing boosts your cardiovascular strength, tones your entire body, and is effective in shredding calories and burning fat. Try a variety of dance classes to keep your dance fitness fresh – you'll find it's hard not to get hooked on moving to the beat.
9. Strip dancing
Super sexy ways to get in super shape If you have ever fantasized about being a stripper, strip and pole dancing classes – and DVDs – can help you live out your fantasy without having to subject yourself to open-stage night at the local strip club. More risqué than typical dance workouts, strip and pole dancing makes you move your body in sexy slinky ways that not only tone all of your muscles but also boost your sexual self-confidence.
10. Interval training
Interval training 101 Bored with your same-pace cardio workouts and looking for a way to make them more exciting – not to mention effective? Give interval training a try. Alternate your low to moderate pace cardio with high-intensity speed to push your cardiovascular and muscular strength to the next level. For example, for every three minutes of moderate-pace intensity, do one minute of a harder high-intensity speed. Repeat throughout your cardio session. You'll get more out of your cardio workouts and improve your overall fitness.