Top fitness trends to try at home from Pilates to belly dancing
Dear Sharon: I just don’t have enough hours in a day! In a perpetual time crunch, rather than a stomach crunch, I find myself ditching exercise classes because I can’t spare the half hour that it takes to get to the gym and back.
I hate the way that I look and feel these days, but still can’t get motivated to squeeze in a trip to the gym. Is there anything new and interesting in the way of at-home exercise? If I felt that I would actually use something on a regular basis, I would even consider buying equipment to keep in my basement. Please fill me in before I turn to complete flab! –Workout Withdrawal (Pasadena, CA)
Dear WW: Are you asking for a piece of home exercise equipment that eventually doesn’t turn into a glorified clothes rack?
That, I cannot guarantee.
But there are new double-duty at-home fitness products that just may prove to be interesting enough to actually use and not take up much coveted real estate.
Granted, most home fitness equipment can get repetitive and it’s so easy to say “I’ll workout in 5 minutes” that you keep distracting yourself from ever using it at all. As you said, your new make-me-better machine turns into a trumped up clothes hanger or a nice place to let your sheets air dry. Diversity and simplicity seem to be key to discovering a piece of at-home fitness equipment that actually gets used and therefore, deliver results.
We’ve already discussed the cache of The Pilates Method and how it defines and tones balanced long, lean muscles for people of diverse fitness abilities while working through the body’s “core” abdomen and spine to increase strength, endurance and flexibility. But unless you are an advanced Pilates devotee, it may be difficult to obtain super aerobic results.
The new at-home Aero Pilates Preformer with a removable Cardio Jump Board Rebounder from Stamina Fitness brings a whole new dimension to Pilates products- it is the only machine that does double-duty to combine the resistance benefits of a traditional Pilates studio reformer with the aerobic and toning benefits of a rebounding platform which acts like a trampoline attached to your reformer. All the rebounding is done while you are on your back to minimize joint stress!
In a flash, you can add the most fun and safe aerobic program that delivers an incredible cardio workout along with amazing ab work. You can eventually master hundreds of different moves and combinations to tone and shape the entire body so boredom will not set in easily. Take it from someone who would rather pole vault over the Tetons than do traditional aerobics, this machine rocks!
If more traditional aerobics are your thing or you favor cross-training, the Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Bike / Rowing Machine is another great dual-action machine that combines both an at-home rowing machine and recumbent bike in the same machine and functions and looks much like a far more expensive piece of equipment. The recumbent design supports your lower back while giving you better posture for an extremely comfortable workout. And the compact machine nicely folds to take up a relatively small amount of space when not in use.
The great thing about going to a gym is that you have the ability to select from a variety of classes with different themes to challenge your mind, body, and spirit. Well, you can have the same diversity and much more at home, with a fantastic array of workout tapes and DVDs. Natural Journeys offers a unique collection of easy-to-follow and fabulously fun fitness tapes that encompass just about every workout trend that’s worth getting all shook up about—it’s like having a top instructor right there in your home, 24/7!
For those who prefer not-quite-traditional, but exhilarating workouts, there’s Cardio Hula, Bellydance Slim Down, or Vinyasa Flow Pure Sweat yoga. Those with more classic dancerly instincts can whittle away with personal favorite, The Bar Method Body Fat Free, or Romana’s Pilates Powerhouse Mat Workout. Fitness has never been more accessible.
. Aero Pilates at MegaFitness
. Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Bike / Rowing Machine at CatalogCity
. Natural Journeys DVD’s at Amazon
. Cardio Hula
. Bellydance Slim Down
. Vinyasa Flow Pure Sweat
. The Bar Method Body Fat Free
-August 16, 2004