Some of us just aren’t fans of the gym. We don’t like to wait in line for the free weights or training machines and we shy away from walking in place on the treadmill for a couple of miles (the scenery rarely changes…) .
But just because the gym isn’t our cup of tea doesn’t mean we don’t like to stay healthy and fit. We love exercise! We just have other ways of satisfying our fitness requirements, such yoga, Pilates, or swimming.
As someone interested in alternative fitness trends, I did some research on ways to get exercise and stay fit that don’t necessarily require a trip to the local gym.
The up-and-coming fitness regimes I discovered are as innovative as they are functional:
- Antigravity Yoga
I’m not going to lie – when I first heard the term ‘antigravity yoga’ I was a little intimidated. However, according to Christine Raffa, Owner and Creator of Raffa Yoga/Urban Sweat, this alternative fitness activity is very accessible, effective, and fun!
“Conventional yoga has a strong base in your legs and hips antigravity works from your upper back, core and arms. This occurs because participants are suspended and utilizing their own body weight creating zero compression and spinal decompression effects like no other fitness workout,” explains Raffa.
“This practice is for everybody. Every body type, shape and size whether experienced in fitness or not. As long as you follow the #1 principle of Antigravity Yoga, "monitor your own resistance," you will always be 100% successful.
My teacher and AntiGravity Yoga Creator Christopher has created a position called chill-asana where participants are encouraged to lean against the hammock choosing to watch or rest in any given pose.
The depth at which you participate is always entirely up to each individual creating a fun dynamic practice suitable for all fitness levels,” says Raffa.
- Antigravity Treadmill
“Antigravity treadmill training is a method of training that is beneficial for runners or tri-athletes because it helps increase cardio vascular endurance.
This high-tech treadmill, designed by NASA for astronauts, allows you to run at only 20% of your bodyweight so it feels like you're running on the moon,” explains certified personal trainer Kathy Unger.
“[This type of training] is very beneficial to people with injuries, so that they can run and train without any impact to their joints,” says Unger.
Related: Simple Warm-Weather Workouts
She also offers a word of caution: Some classes might not be best for beginners.
- Hula hooping
“A good alternative fitness regime is hula hooping! It's fun and burns about 450 calories per hour,” advises certified personal trainer Susan Chase.
She advocates working out using a hula hoop to individuals of all ages. “It integrates your mind and body to function in unison and gets you in touch with a playful, whimsical side of you. This type of exercise doesn't seem like exercise at all because it's so much fun. Hula hoping classes incorporate elements of physical and meditational qualities as you can get into a zone when you find your rhythm. Anyone wishing to explore fitness that brings the senses alive will enjoy this creative outlet,” explains Chase.
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Danielle Miller is a freelance writer and editor from the Boston area. She is a publishing project manager and has written articles on health and relationship-related topics for various outlets for several years. She is also a book editor, working mainly on books relating to science, technology, and user experience.