It seemed so much easier to exercise when we were kids, right? I mean, I had zero responsibility and got to spend hours playing outside. Getting my heart rate up for 30 minutes was no biggie. I didn’t even know I was doing it. Growing up in weather-friendly Arizona, I did a lot of bike riding, swimming, and outdoor fort-building with the other kids in the neighborhood. My brother and I had skateboards, mopeds, roller blades, the works. Even though organized sports were not my thing — I was about as far from athletic as humanly possible — it was still a blast to get outside and get sweaty. I miss that feeling of coming home all tuckered out because I’d been playing for hours. That experience of play is something I often try to re-create in my fitness regimes as an adult. That’s why I like Nia so much, because, duh, it’s fun. As a grown-up, I do so many things on a daily basis that are not fun — waking up early, paying bills, grocery shopping, being squished on a crowded subway train. When I finally do manage to squeeze in an hour to exercise, if it’s not enjoyable, I’m probably going to skip it altogether in favor of having a drink with some friends. I firmly believe that getting fit should also be fun. After the jump, five forms of exercise that are guaranteed to bring out your inner child and keep your body looking hot.
JUKARI Fit to Fly. Flying through the air with the greatest of ease seems like something that only those crazy trapeze artists at the circus can do. Not anymore. Cirque du Soleil and Reebok have teamed up to develop a new trapeze-based workout called JUKARI. If you’re not a fan of heights, don’t worry, they’ve developed a way to fly through the air while still keeping your feet close to the ground. The special bar called a FlySet allows you to feel like you’re flying all while working cardio, strength, and flexibility. No silly costumes required.
Urban Rebounding. It’s impossible to not have fun jumping on a trampoline. Take a small trampoline and some hot tunes and you’ve got an Urban Rebounding class. It’s a low-impact cardio workout that helps increase your balance, coordination, and muscle strength and not put any extra impact on your muscles and joints. Plus, it will make you feel like you’re jumping on your bed again, even though your parents told you not to.
Dodgeball. Were you one of those kids who got all excited about going to gym class just to throw a balls at your classmates heads? Good news for you, you jerks. Ever since the movie “Dodgeball” came out, the sport has been making a major fitness comeback in amateur and professional leagues around the country. It’s the perfect way to get your heart rate up and your aggression out. After a particularly stressful day, you’ll have fun pretending that the ball is your boss’s head.
Hooping. Want to look like Michelle Obama? Grab a hula hoop. If you’ve lost track of the one you had when you were 7, you can probably find one at your local gym. A new fitness craze called Hooping is circling the country. Besides being loads of fun, Hooping is a great workout for your core and legs. And the best part? Avid hoopers say it’s a very Zen experience.
Punk Rope.This is no double dutch; it’s Punk Rope. That’s punk rock + jump rope, people. Punk Rope is a blend of recess and boot camp for the workout rebel in you. They use playful themes, story-driven calisthenics, fitness games, jumping rope, crazy music, and crazy outfits to help you burn crazy calories. OMFUG!