Okay, here’s something you need to know about me: I hate running. Hate. Loathe. Despise.
I’m terrible at it, too. Literally one minute of running makes me feel like I’m dying. Because of this, I spent most of my college years thinking exercise just wasn’t for me. I felt fine and was comfortable with my weight so I just didn’t see the point in pushing myself. In the past few years, though, I’ve realized that exercise is key for everyone and that running is so not the only option available to us.
I’ll never be that girl who loves going to the gym or feels the need to push herself physically but I have been able to find exercises that don’t make me dread the idea of working out altogether. If you’re like me – not a workout enthusiast at all – you might want to give these options a try before completely giving up on the idea of exercise altogether.
1. Zumba: It may sound like a workout geared towards middle-aged women, but trust me, Zumba is great for anyone. While it never feels like a super strenuous workout, if you find a teacher who has great energy, you’ll work up a sweat. Think of it this way: It’s one hour that you spend on your feet moving around, which is definitely better than sitting on the couch and watching TV. You don’t have to be a good dancer to do this workout. Zumba classes lack that intimidation factor that a lot of other classes are all about, so it’s a great option for exercise noobs.
2. Soul Cycle: In just 45-minutes, you’ll get a killer workout. It’s essentially an indoor cycling class, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill boring spin class. You’ll get high-energy music, enthusiastic instructors and a crowd of devotees to become fast friends with — the following is cult-like for good reason. The bad news? There aren’t many locations at this point. Check the web site to see if there’s one near you.
3. PureBarre: If there’s one workout that will give you that long, lean, graceful ballerina body, this is it. Pure Barre is known for its insane results and incredible instructors. There’s a specific technique here, one that emphasizes tiny movements and keen body awareness. The bad news? You might feel like you’re dying during your first class. The good news? Word on the street is that it gets better every time.
4. Aerial yoga: We all know that yoga is an incredible toning workout — but there’s a way to take it up a notch. Aerial yoga forces you to suspend yourself while practicing, which is clearly an amazing way to get seriously strong. If the idea of hitting the weights just doesn’t appeal to you, this is a great way to get your strength training in with a fun atmosphere. It’s a physical challenge that is not quite as slow-paced and zen as yoga.
5. Dhoonya Bollywood Dance And Fitness: If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC, do yourself a favor and take one of Dhoonya’s classes at their main fitness center. If not, be sure to check on centers near you. If you come up empty, try Dhoonya at home videos or buy the brand’s DVD — they’re amazing, especially the Cardio Dance and Conditioning disk. You’ll be sweating after this one, but you’ll still have a great time.
6. Tone It Up: Tone It Up is a super successful company started by two completely relatable, funny, cute girls — who happen to be best friends. They both have insane bodies and they share smart exercises (which you can follow for free on YouTube). The bad thing about TIU? The workouts are hard. Like, I’m dying after completing a 12-minute routine. On the other hand, these are great when you want to squeeze in a great circuit when you’re crunched (no pun intended) for time.