8 alternative fitness ideas
PUBLISHED: 09:50 09 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 09 January 2017
January, and full of good intention we race to the gym, sign up, and then leave the membership card sitting as idle as we are, as we check out what's on the telly. Forget the gym. Here are eight alternative fitness ideas that may just lure you out
1. Box clever
If you’re looking to relieve stress and get in shape, Fight Klub is a high intensity workout set to music, combining boxing, kick boxing and Thai boxing.
The workout is built around a freestanding punch bag using simple combinations of kicks and punches while keeping time with a high energy beat.
Kelly Pauling, who works in Stevenage, has lost more than six stone and dropped four dress sizes in 17 months using the class. She says Fight Klub has changed her life. ‘Before, I wouldn’t even walk to the corner shop. I now train at least five days a week and love every minute.’
For more about Fight Klub and to find a class near you, visit fightklub.co.uk
2. Postive movement
For older people with mobility issues, Positive Movement is an activity programme aimed at improving wellbeing. Originally run in North Herts and Stevenage, it has been rolled out across the county.
The 20-week programme, which is also ideal for those with a physical disability or limiting long-term illness, consists of one-hour sessions of gentle activity followed by an opportunity to socialise over refreshments.
A spokesman for The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living, which runs the course, says, ‘The programme is effective and fun, with participants reporting that they are less anxious, more confident, can move with greater ease and experience fewer aches and pains as a result.’
To find a course near you, call 01462 678804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Free fitness
If you are looking to get fit for free, there are no shortage of opportunities in the county. From outdoor gym equipment installed in many of our public parks, to Trim Trails at the likes of Hartham Common in Hertford and Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage, you can have the buzz of getting fit and saving money.
Check your district council website for facilities.
With classes in Hitchin, Letchworth and St Albans, Buggyfit is a way to get back into shape after having a baby while not needing to get a babysitter in.
The hour-long classes for mums and babies usually involve a three- to five-mile outdoor route with buggy and include group exercises to strengthen and tone muscles groups.
Gemma Foley, an instructor in Letchworth, says, ‘Buggyfit is the best way to get back in shape after your new arrival. Whatever your postnatal stage, we have a programme that will suit your needs, instructed by experts in the field of postnatal exercise.
‘It goes from initial recuperation in your first six weeks, through those tough times of getting back into your jeans and on to those new levels of fitness. Most of this from behind your buggy or pram.’
For more information, visit buggyfit.co.uk, email Sam Halbert at email@example.com or call 01462 474838.
5. Flying yoga
If you want to get your fitness off the ground, quite literally, have a go at zero-gravity yoga.
Instructor Claire Collett, who set up Studio Fly with her friend Lisa Doling in Ware in 2014, explains, ‘It is a class designed to increase overall fitness and health while having fun in a soft hammock! We blend techniques from yoga, pilates, dance and gymnastics to give a complete workout without any stress on your joints.
‘The benefits from this class are huge – you decompress the spine, improve and increase your flexibility, mobilise your joints and strengthen core muscles. It’s a very fun yet relaxing class and you leave feeling lighter and taller.
‘This is also a great class to introduce you to being off the ground when exercising and to build your strength for our other aerial disciplines, such as hoop and silks.’
6. Join the circus
Circus fitness is all the rage and perhaps it could do the trick for you (oooh, sorry!).
Herts Dance and Fitness offers classes using static trapeze, silks, rope, hoop and aerial hammocks in a programme that develops strength and flexibility using the training techniques of professional circus aerialists.
At its Welwyn GC studio, you can also have a go at pole dancing - no longer synonymous with club dancers - but another form of alternative fitness to build strength and work on conditioning.
Owner Stacey Snedden says, ‘Pole and aerial is a great way to get fit, build confidence, lose weight and tone, all while having fun. For those who don’t enjoy the gym, we offer a number of alternative classes.’
For more information, visit hertsdanceandfitness.com
Fat burning and fun, Boogie Bounce is all about bouncing to music, with programmes suitable for all ages, shapes and sizes.
Trish Welch has been teaching fitness for 15 years and runs a Boogie Bounce class in St Albans. She explains, ‘Boogie Bounce is a complete exercise programme on a mini-trampoline with a safety bar, choreographed to inspirational music. It’s a highly-motivational class with low- impact exercise that gives you high-impact results – especially good for those who cannot risk high impact on certain joints. It’s fun, great for calorie burning and weight loss and amazing for stress busting. Every muscle in the body is worked.’
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit boogiebounce.com for more classes across Hertfordshire.
Seen those people doing shuttle runs with tyres in your local park? It’s likely that its a Regiment Fitness class, which offers outdoor training sessions in parks across Herts come rain or shine.
Equipment-based sessions are led by military or ex-military physical training instructors and incorporate a variety of different exercises, circuit and team games designed to build stamina, strength and general fitness.
Sarah Brighton, who attends sessions at Sawbridgeworth’s Pishiobury Park, says, ‘My family and I have seen a massive change in me physically, and more importantly, mentally. I would not be in such a good place if it wasn’t for Regiment Fitness.’