Two years ago, feeling nostalgic for the pink and white, peppermint-striped hula hoop I used to play with as a kid, I decided to sign up for a “hoop dancing” class at a studio near Greenwich Village. I’m not much for conventional exercise, but add “dance” to the end of any noun — table dance, lap dance, high school dance … well, OK, maybe not every noun — and I’m sold on the calorie-busting activity. So when I heard about hoop dance classes — or, hooping, as some people call it — and that you could burn an entire lunch and dinner off in an hour, I jumped at the opportunity to check it out. What I learned in those classes was enough to put my 8-year-old hoop-twirling self to shame. Keep reading »
A couple of years ago when I was new to New York and looking for a fun way to shed some of the pounds I’d gained after indulging in some of the city’s thousands of delicious restaurants, I decided to take a friend’s recommendation and give Dance Dance Party Party a try. “It’s a big dork fest,” she said to me, “You’ll love it.” For those who have never heard of DDPP, the name basically says it all. It’s a dance party. But not the kind of dance party you might enjoy in a crowded club on a Saturday night. No, this is more like a dance party you might have with a group of girlfriends in one of your living rooms on a Sunday afternoon after a mimosa-fueled brunch. At DDPP — which has franchises in cities across the States, Canada, and even New Zealand — women (sorry, no boys) — gather in “a dance studio or other room with the lights turned low” for 90 minutes of freestyle shakin’ their groove thang. Each week, a different participant is a guest DJ, whipping up a playlist full of anything from Broadway show tunes to hip-hop and ’80s hits. It’s a sweaty good time and I quickly discovered it beats the hell out of doing lunges and sit-ups at the gym. Keep reading »
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. Keep reading »
I’ll be honest — I always feel a little ridiculous when I go to the gym. There I am, walking on the treadmill, in between the buff dude pumping iron and the impeccably toned woman running effortlessly on a steep incline; it seems brutally obvious what a workout novice I am. Even in yoga, where I feel more at home, embarrassing moments occur: the occasional, sudden bout of audible gas, toppling over while attempting a fairly easy pose. There may have even been a queef once, when descending from shoulder stand. In short, Madonna, I am not. After the jump, a few of my fellow Frisky staff members share their workout bloopers — share yours in the comments and I’ll pick the best ones for a roundup next week! Keep reading »
Let’s get one thing straight: I am not an “exercise person.” In fact, if I were dating some smart, hilarious, darling and hot dude who was otherwise perfect but had a penchant for enthusing about his early morning gym regimen, I probably wouldn’t call him again. Overtly healthy people annoy me, maybe because they have an irksome way of making me feel guilty that my favorite leisure activities involve a glass of wine and a Parliament Light. OK, OK, I wasn’t always exactly a lazy slouch: I was a serious ballet dancer until the age of 18, and I ran and practiced some yoga in college. But since moving to New York almost a decade ago, let’s just say my workout history can best be summed up as “slightly cloudy with a chance of pizza.”
So how the hell did I become the kind of person who did one of those disturbing-sounding “Hot Yoga for 30 Days” challenges?
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When I was 4 years old I was in my first play. When my big, finale scene came along I was supposed to sweep a moneybag down from a chimney and rejoice. But when the moneybag was not in its place, I was forced to think on my feet and come up with a new ending. I began to improvise a scene: “We don’t need any money, we have each other, we’ll live on love!” Where did I come up with that? I have no idea. But I followed my inspirational dialogue with what I thought would be some awe-inspiring dance moves I had learned in my ballet class. I did some kind of a funked-up pirouette and some leaps. Much to my surprise, the audience began to roar with laughter and applaud. My dancing was funny? It was supposed to be great. While I was a big hit as a comedic actress, I was a big flop as a dancer. Keep reading »
Allow me to give you a little background on my history with fitness. Don’t worry, this won’t take long. I danced a bit as a kid; I learned how to surf in Costa Rica; I’ve taken yoga off and on for three years or so, focusing on Bikram yoga in the last six months, although, um, I haven’t gone in a month; I have tried “running,” with embarrassing results, although Ami’s essay
on completing her first half-marathon was inspiring. I also ride my bike a lot during the summer, but only around my neighborhood and not in any way that could be described as physically challenging. I’ve belonged to a few gyms over the years, but working out has always been a struggle simply because I have very little interest in it. In short, fitness has always bored the crap out of me and with the exception of a new challenge — like surfing — I have never looked forward to it. That all changed with Anti-Gravity Yoga Wings. Keep reading »
Do your friends marvel at your discipline to be at the gym EVERY morning at 6 a.m.? Or is your favorite exercise move texting? (C’mon it has to burn some calories, right?) Maybe you’ve become addicted to fitness gizmos ever since you tried out your mom’s Thighmaster in the 8th grade … or you’re nursing the tennis elbow you got from playing Wii Fit (who woulda thunk it?). What’s your fitness style? After the jump, take our quiz and find out if you’re a Workout Warrior, Gym Rat … or just Loving Your Lady Lumps. Keep reading »
I love yoga (along with the other 30 million women who practice in the U.S). And when I realized that I could combine my love for yoga and my love for James, my fiance, into a partner yoga session, I was honestly psyched.
The day of our lesson, I asked James if he was excited? “Excited is not the word I would use,” he answered. I think he wanted to say “tortured” but abstained. Keep reading »