Can exercise actually be fun? Melissa Cowan brings you 5 different types for you to try.
I’m not what you’d call an exercise fiend or gym bunny. I basically have to trick myself into believing I’m not actually exercising in order to do it. But apparently exercise is good for you, so I’m willing to try and find types I like. As I looked into these five types, I wondered, could exercise actually be fun?
1.Dance in the Dark
“Dance like no one’s watching,” they say. At No Lights No Lycra, I did just that…because in the dark hall, no one could see anyone. Dancing in the dark is incredibly liberating, just like a dance party in your bedroom, but with other people. The first time I went, I took the name seriously and arrived in jeans and boots. Big mistake. I worked up such a sweat to Destiny’s Child and MJ that my jeans clung to me with sweat. It wasn’t pretty. Lycra is actually more than welcome. The music choices are awesome, ranging from R&B ’00s hits to ’50s swingin’ pop to modern beats. There’s something very surreal about dancing your heart out amongst a throng of other silhouettes. I can honestly say this does NOT feel like exercise.
2. Aerial Yoga
I rocked up to the beautiful aerial yoga studio at Sky Lab with no idea of what to expect. Would it be circus tricks? Chillin’ in a hammock? Luckily I attended a beginner’s workshop where the instructor talked us through the steps slowly and effectively. We began cocooned in our silks in ‘womb pose’ (glorious) and progressed to hanging upside down in an inversion. It was all pretty gentle, but my arm muscles were slightly sore for the next couple of days, so it must have been strengthening too. There were moves I definitely thought I couldn’t do that I ended up doing…so that was satisfying. I left the class floating on cloud nine, feeling refreshed and a little bit taller from the anti-gravity.
3. Rihanna Dance Class
I had Rihanna’s ‘Work’ in my head all weekend, and the following week I received an email saying there was a Rihanna dance class coming up – so of course I jumped at the opportunity. The talented dance instructor, Amrita Hepi, definitely worked it with her choreography, and I shook my butt along enthusiastically. I’d love to say I looked like these babes, but I think I looked more like this guy. It was fun to pretend I was Rihanna for a short while, and the next day I felt muscles in my behind I didn’t know I had. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next classes – Beyonce themed.
4. ’80s Workout
Retrosweat is a 1980s freestyle aerobic workout inspired by the workouts of Jane Fonda, Cher et al. I love the sound of borrowing some ’80s gear (fluoro legwarmers, hi) and getting my moves on to a retro soundtrack (I’m really hoping there’s some Prince). It’s high intensity, so it will be good for toning up – a combo of cardio and strength work.
5. Pole Dancing
I have friends that absolutely swear by pole dancing. Not only is it excellent for building muscle in your upper arms and core, it can help you to feel more comfortable with your body as all shapes are welcomed and celebrated. There are pole dancing studios littered all around Australia now, so there’s a high chance you’ll find a studio near you. Also, it’s meant to be loads of fun, which is a big plus in my books.
Have you found exercise you enjoy?
Photo: Me giving aerial yoga a whirl at Sky Lab, Sydney.