Finding Fitness Bliss: Local Fitness Fun!
Feb 01, 2012 02:03PM
● By Beth Davis
It is probably safe to say that many of us are tired of walking on the treadmill road to nowhere, but it’s not always easy to find an exercise that is both fun and functional. However, we’ve uncovered some local fitness classes that are not only growing in popularity, but are giving participants the chance to work out mind and body—all while making fitness fun.
A blend of yoga, martial arts, and dance, Nia is one of the latest trends in mind-body fitness fusion. It is a dynamic cardiovascular workout that stimulates and integrates the mind, body and spirit and leaves participants feeling recharged, rejuvenated and fully alive.
Local Nia instructor, Rhonda Vaughn, describes the whole body workout as one that allows the body to move its own organic way to music. Although it is traditionally performed barefoot, it is not required. “Nia is really about the joy of movement,” she explains. “It’s not about keeping up with the instructor, but about honoring the body and allowing it to move its way.” Most importantly, Vaughn says it is about having a good time and getting fit while doing so.
Nia incorporates 52 moves into routines that draw from disciplines of the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts—allowing individuals to work various joints and muscles for maximum impact. Each routine is different, so no need to worry about doing the same thing over and over again.
Benefits of Nia are said to include cardiovascular conditioning; increased muscle tone; increased flexibility, agility, stamina and balance; improved circulation and heart health; body, mind, spirit integration; relaxation and stress reduction; and more.
JCC Indianapolis introduced Piloxing—a unique mix of Pilates and boxing—to its already extensive line-up of classes late last year. According to Anne Hasbrook, a certified Piloxing instructor, the response has been nothing but positive. “People just love it and keep wanting more,” she says.
According to Hasbrook, Piloxing is an hour long cardiovascular workout that incorporates high interval training (also known as HIT method) and barefoot training by combining the power, speed and agility of boxing with the beautiful sculpting and flexibility of Pilates.
“The boxing moves elevate the heart rate up to the cardiovascular level and we utilize the standing Pilates postures as an active recovery decreasing the heart rate by lowering it to the fat-burning level,” explains Hasbrook. “We also throw in a couple dance moves to help lighten up the workout.”
Regular Piloxing sessions can improve speed, flexibility and stamina; boost energy levels and promote a more efficient weight loss; and tone the body while strengthening the core. It is the brainchild of Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer, Viveca Jensen, and the culmination of her mission to physically and mentally empower women through fitness.
The GROOVE Method
As a certified professional coach, Carla Feagans was searching for a way to help clients get fit physically, spiritually and emotionally. She found it in The Groove Method, a revolutionary approach to teaching dance/fitness activities. The classes focus on authentic participant engagement through simple movement and the discovery of each person’s unique style.
According to Feagans, class participants learn simple movements that anybody can do and then dance them in their own way. These easy and fun moves are combined with playlists that showcase a variety of music and dance styles. Not only is it a healthy fitness experience, but it is also allowing people to enjoy exercise and inspiring them to have more fun.
“The beauty of The GROOVE Method is that nobody cares what you look like,” says Feagans. “There is no right or wrong way—you just start where you are and have fun with it. It’s about feeling good in your own body and just moving and dancing for the health of it.”
So next time, instead of facing that treadmill, consider a few fun fitness exercises to add variety and enjoyment to your workouts.