Each year we take a look at what’s going on around the island and across the globe to come up with the most fun and funky ways to get fit. These are the five activities we’re planning to try in the New Year.
Body Art Training
Swiss fitness expert Robert Steinbacher combined his experiences as a dancer and a therapist for special-needs children to create this dynamic bodyweight workout that’s already a hit in Europe.
Based on the premise that many therapeutic exercises can be just as beneficial for people without physical limitations, the BodyArt programme integrates functional training, physiotherapy, dance, Tai Chi and yoga positions for a tough yet restorative workout which brands itself an “extraordinary training concept for a new awareness”. So far it’s only available on DVD to order.
There’s certainly nothing new about heading to the gym and hopping on the rowing machine but it seems the humble waist-whittling favourite is having a bit of a renaissance in the form of group classes, much like spinning. It’s a full-body workout that hits about 85 per cent of your muscles when done correctly and, being high intensity yet low impact, it’s safe for everybody and absolutely anyone can give it a go. In fact, it’s said to be rather addictive. We can’t wait for this style of classes to arrive on the island.
Using vibration training, the Bodyblade targets specific muscle groups by varying the positions of the body or direction of the flexing blade. The blade rapidly changes directions at a rhythm of 4.5 cycles per second, which means your body has to move 270 times per minute to resist the forces of it moving back and forth. A futuristic-looking piece of kit it would be at home in a sci-fi film. But, looks aside, it promises to deliver benefits such as enhanced coordination, flexibility, posture, efficiency of muscle function and muscle definition. Expected to arrive in various gyms in the coming months, it’s currently available on DVD and blades can be bought at www.bodyblade.com.
This might sound like a bit of a crazy idea but, logically, if you think about the effort that goes into drumming, it makes sense that it’s becoming very popular for toning and not just for the arms. Done with lightly weighted sticks and involving movement as well as drumming, it promises a full-body workout which integrates elements of Pilates and isometric movement. Classes can be found in various gyms and for special occasions, but if you want a workout that claims to burn up to 900 calories in 45 minutes, check out the original poundfit.com website and DVD.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding
OK, not really new but definitely gaining in popularity and becoming more widely available across the Kingdom from Amwaj to Budaiya. If you can master the board, add an extra dimension to your workout by using it as a platform on which to practise yoga – sounds like hard work but looks like great fun and there’s the added benefit of being outdoors in the gorgeous winter sunshine.