Let’s be honest: Working out is not always fun, especially on those challenging days when just getting out of bed can seem like a chore.
So, how do you stay motivated when you need to work out but don’t want to? Especially during the hot summer months?
Mixing things up is key to keeping your gym game strong. If you’re looking for some new summer workout trends this season, look no further.
Here are our five favorite workouts for summer 2019:
1. If You Like Pilates, You May Like Barre
Pilates, developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, was created for rehabilitation. Famous dancers during the early 20th century, such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine, used to frequent the Pilates studio. (It likely looked a bit different than the modern, sleek, and machine-laden studios of today.)
Pilates creates long, strong muscles and improves posture. However, if you’re getting a tad bored with the swimming movements, barre is a great alternative. Just like Pilates, it’s low impact and aims to create a lean, graceful physique. It was created for rehabilitation by the ballerina Lotte Berk in 1959. She injured her back but still wanted to maintain her strength, so she relied on what she knew best: ballet.
Barre features an actual ballet barre and incorporates ballet and dance movements. Classic yoga and Pilates movements are utilized as well. Barre goers will frequently reference “the shake.” This refers to the moment in class when small movements are held for so long that the legs begin to actually tremble and shake.
Get to this stage, and your quads will be burning for days. So, take a trip to the barre and get your shake on. Pink tights not required.
2. If You Like Bike Riding, You May Like Indoor Cycling
Learning to ride a bike is a childhood milestone most children complete around age 5. Other than being your first mode of transportation, bikes can allow you to branch out into sports like trail riding, track racing, and triathlon.
Not up for cycling outside because it’s too hot or there’s too much traffic? Check out indoor cycling.
The indoor cycling fad started years ago with the advent of the stationary bike. Perhaps you even have one (hint, check under the pile of clothes it’s holding). The challenge with using a stationary bike is that it can quickly become boring. The fun of a bike ride, after all, is that your brain is constantly trying to keep up with your speed.
Indoor cycle classes have evolved into huge businesses catering to those looking for a luxury atmosphere and a high-end, motivating experience. This is especially the case with small boutique studios.
One of the main reasons these classes are so popular is because of the energetic atmosphere. Loud music, sometimes accompanied by a light show, is typically pumped into the room. Instructors are trained to keep energy high and be entertaining. It’s basically like going to a night club where you can burn 700 calories an hour. It sure beats a leisurely bike ride, which burns about 250 calories.
3. If You Like Running, You May Like HIIT
Where my cardio junkies at? I salute you. Even if you don’t dig cardio the way some folks do, HIIT — high-intensity interval training — may be the workout for you. Want to save time and continue burning calories up to two hours after you’re done working out? HIIT will get you there.
Sure, a running regimen has gotten you in great shape, but it’s probably time to get out of your comfort zone. HIIT can also incorporate running, so you won’t be venturing too far from your daily routine.
A HIIT workout mixes short bursts of activity with shorter periods of rest. You should work to your maximum capacity and really push your limits. The entire workout should only last about 30 minutes.
Because HIIT is flexible and customizable, you’ll be able to do the exercises you enjoy most. You’ll just have to work as hard as you possibly can at them. Some plans suggest you create a formula of about 2:1. Here’s an example: Work for 40 seconds on an exercise at your max capacity, and rest for 20 seconds. Repeat this pattern five to 10 times.
A bonus? No gym required! HIIT a great way to work out at home, and you can stream popular routines from YouTube. Some workouts are only seven to 20 minutes long. Just find your favorite, start your timer, and go!
4. If You Like Hot Yoga, You May Like Aerial Yoga
Ever have one of those cool dreams that you’re flying, only to wake up and find yourself in bed? Well, now you can make those dreams a reality and reap some health benefits with aerial yoga!
Aerial yoga is a rather new addition to the mainstream workout set. It began in 1991 when a Broadway choreographer and gymnast decided he and his friends wanted to pursue an activity that would keep them airborne after their days of performing were over.
You can find aerial yoga taught in just about any city or town. Before you go to a class, here are five things to know:
- You will only be about 3-4 feet off the ground.
- Make sure your instructor has been trained and certified in aerial yoga.
- The hammock you will “fly” on can usually support over 2,000 pounds, so don’t worry about tearing it.
- Stay away if you are pregnant.
- It’s not all about being upside down.
OK, now that those details are out of the way, know this: Your back will thank you. Because you are hanging, you are taking all the stress off your back. While you are exercising your joints, you will be putting your spinal cord and hips at ease.
Proponents of aerial yoga support the idea that hanging — and yes, hanging upside down — can even encourage your brain to produce more serotonin.
5. If You Like Boxing, You May Like Muay Thai
Martial arts aren’t just found at boxing gyms anymore. They’ve reached the boutique fitness class echelon with kickboxing and shadowboxing. If you want to really take it up a notch, muay thai boxing works your entire body and mind.
Muay thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand and is known as the art of eight limbs. You can strike using your fists, elbows, shins, and knees.
Unlike some martial arts, muay thai is focused solely on using your entire body as a weapon of sorts. Because of this, you will get a true full-body workout. In addition, you will learn more about yourself as a person and find out what really motivates you. Muay thai is about respecting your opponent, not just beating them. Your mind is very much engaged in trying to anticipate their next move.
During class, you’ll be challenged as you experience everything from cardio and endurance to mobility and flexibility. The hard work pays off with results like sculpted legs and defined abs. Plus, you’ll be learning moves that can help you defend yourself should you need to.
So, grab those gloves and get ready to experience not only an exercise but also an ancient art revered by an entire country.
Time to Break a Sweat
No matter what your exercise routine is, the most important takeaway is to stay active, as exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits and improve your quality of life. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two.
Now, you have plenty of new exercises to try during that time!
You should consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for you. Do not start this fitness program if your physician or healthcare provider advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain, or shortness of breath at any time while exercising, you should stop immediately and seek appropriate medical care, if needed.