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Front Page » September 23, 2004 » Health & Fitness » Creative trends revitalize, make group fitness fun
Published 3,680 days ago

Creative trends revitalize, make group fitness fun


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The latest trends in fitness include creative group classes that boost interest levels, leaving little if any room for boredom.

Do you want to get in shape? Well, doing so is now easier than ever. Fitness clubs and gyms are combining all your favorite activities with heart-pumping tunes for a line-up of group classes that are big on fun and low on boredom.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), a nonprofit fitness advocate, recently polled its members worldwide to report on current trends. Among its observations are that people who exercise these days are more focused and motivated. Rates of participation in fitness activites have increased as people are as concerned about feeling good as looking good - and also having a good time working out. Pack up your legwarmers and Jane Fonda fitness tapes, and check out the hottest new fitness trends.

• Dance like a pop star. People want to dance like their favorite musician, whether it's Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez. That's why cardio classes incorporating salsa, Latin and R&B steps are so popular.

• Classes go macho. More men are attending group fitness classes than ever before. Therefore, gyms are customizing programs to appeal to the guys. Sports-oriented formats like boxing, kickboxing and boot camp are keeping men interested and are also attracting women in the process.

• Embrace your sexy side. From belly dancing moves to cardio striptease, participants are working up a sweat over more than just exercising.

• Get goal-oriented. Programs that prepare participants for distance running events, triathlons and hiking trips are growing. Also, post-September 11th, participants want to be in shape if they have to run or climb stairs in an emergency. Martial-arts programs are also gaining popularity as people look for ways to defend themselves.

• Establish a mind-body connection. Classes that focus on yoga, Pilates and other stretching techniques remain popular. Gyms are bound to host a number of yoga classes from Bikram, or "hot yoga," where participants do their poses in a steamy room, to more traditional classes where breathing and relaxation are stressed.

• Cycling gets revamped. Cycle and spin classes offer new twists like Crunch's "Hydroride," mixing cycling with aqua fitness, and "Cycle Karaoke," mixing cycling with singing along to favorite dance hits. The cycling twists help take your mind off of the burn in your legs.

• Get others involved. Bring your baby or pet along for programs focused around child and pooch.

Before you begin any fitness program, consult with your doctor for a health checkup and find out if the program you've chosen is right for you.



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September 23, 2004
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