If the thought of exercise brings back bad memories of 7th grade PE —coaches yelling, sweat flying and tears running — it's time to put those memories behind you. Incredible creativity has entered the world of fitness, which means more options, more flexibility and more fun.
For every intimidating boot camp or CrossFit box out there, there's an open and inviting alternative that's perfect for beginners.
What happens when you mix dance, fitness and drumming? You get a rockin' workout! POUND classes are taking the fitness industry by storm, and you don't even need a class near you to take advantage of the routine. Just order a DVD (which comes with a set of drumming Ripstix) and rock out from the comfort of your own living room.
Even if POUND's not your thing, any dance class will do - the constant movement and the bumping music will keep you active and smiling from start to finish.
Wasn't elementary PE so much better than middle school? You got to play games like hopscotch and foursquare in addition to more traditional calisthenics. One of the best parts of elementary PE was the ready accessibility to hula hoops, and today's fitness experts have harnessed the power of the hoop for adults. Programs like FXP Fitness Hula Hooping offer adults a fun way to burn calories while strengthening their core, all while sneaking in more traditional exercises, such as lunges and squats.
If you want your kids to spend less time in front of the game console, maybe it's time you kick them off so you can spend some quality time in front of the screen. The XBox Kinect system is a particularly fun way to get your workout on — the Kinect tracks your movement as you follow the on-screen action, snapping pictures of you along the way and giving you tips to improve your form. Plus, you're working out from the comfort of your own home, which is nice if you feel self-conscious at the gym.
When warmer weather is in season, you don't want to spend all your time inside. Head to a park with your family to hit the trails. (Bonus points if you head to the hills and climb to a summit!)
Not only is hiking an incredible workout for the calves, quads and butt, but if you're hiking up an incline, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view when at the top — t's Mother Nature's special reward for being active!
If you used to spend hours on your family trampoline, it's time to put that bounce back in your life. Trampolining classes are incredibly challenging, but also incredibly fun, making them the perfect specialty class for newbie exercisers. Check out trampoline gyms, such as Sky High Sports, to locate a class near you.