We’re well into the year, but if you haven’t started, we’re here to give you a little nudge – it’s never too late! This way, by the time you’re making a resolution for 2017, you’d be setting your next fitness goal instead. Just to jog your memory, exercise is great for your body for numerous reasons – it keeps you feeling happy and youthful, strengthens your body’s immunity system, and is a major boost to your self-esteem.
However, given the plethora of choices out there, it can be hard to decide which fitness routine would best suit your needs. To help you navigate through this, here’s a list of nine choices for you to consider!
A mix of salsa, merengue, aerobic moves and other dance genres, Zumba is a dance workout that’s been hugely popular in recent years. From the fist-pumping to the colourful workout gear, each 60 minute session truly encapsulates a fiesta atmosphere. As the instructors go through the fast and slow rhythms of Latin music, be prepared to experience an “interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party”. Since Zumba is primarily dance, it combines all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility. To find a gym near you that offers this class, simply visit the official Zumba website.
2. Hot Yoga
Closely linked to the style of Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga involves the practice of Yoga movements in a heated room of about 41 degrees. This heat is said to intensify the workout as you can expect to be dripping with perspiration by the end of the session. Classes are between 60 to 90 minutes, and Bikram yoga itself consists of 26 movements and 2 breathing movements.
While yoga has been touted to bring many benefits such as the healing of injuries and heightened mindfulness, hot yoga should be treated with caution. This is because not all yogis may be suited for the rigours of hot yoga. Telltale signs to take a break include light-headedness, nausea, and/or muscle cramps. With that in mind, hot yoga classes are available at studios such as Pure Yoga and True Yoga – which have received positive reviews.
One of the latest workout routine to gain popularity in Singapore, barre-based routines involve a series of postures that are inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates. You’ll see a ballet bar in the studio that’s used as a prop for you to balance, and you’ll be made to hold various postures and a few movements to improve your core and overall strength. You may also be incorporating some weight work into the routines. You can try Barre workout at Barre2Barre, a newly opened studio that specialises in it.
We may take for granted the low-crime rate in Singaproe and most of us probably didn’t think that we should pick up self-defence lessons. But if you’re looking to picking up ways to protect yourself especially if you’re travelling alone overseas, consider kickboxing. It offers the wonderful option of getting in shape and learning valuable self-defence techniques.
Although the sport itself is a mix of Karate, Muay Thai and Pradal Serey (Khmer boxing), training sessions include cardio-intensive, core-strengthening and agility exercises. It’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but by the end of it, you can expect to have become a leaner and meaner version of yourself. If you feel daunted heading straight for a gym, feel free to explore your options at community centres.
5. Cross Fit
According to the official Crossfit website, this fitness routine consists of various functional movements that are performed at high intensity. As some of you would have gathered from watching impressive videos of training sessions, Crossfit includes movements from gymnastics, weightlifting, and rowing. So you can expect to engage in a different set of exercise every training – from burpees to deadlifts to handstands.
Through consistent training, the goal is to improve one’s overall physical capabilities. To try out, check out Crossfit Unit or Crossfit Hub (unaffiliated), which have kept their introductory class fees at a cool SGD20 and SGD30 per session respectively.
6. Spin Class
Spinning involves high-intensity peddling on an exercise bike (known as the “flywheel”). As you go through different paces and postures – from sitting to standing on your bike – you’d go through different paces and resistance levels as well. Although heart-pumping music plays a vital role in these workouts, it’s not a choreography-based fitness class. So in a sense you have greater freedom to work at your your level as you adjust the speed and resistance settings accordingly.
Typically, beginner classes range from between 45 to 60 minutes. Don’t be shy to let the instructor know that it’s your first spin class, as it’s important for them to get you acquainted with the flywheel. The two of the major studios for spin classes in Singapore are Anthem and CruCycle. And if you prefer aqua spinning because of an injury or if you’re going through pregnancy, consider Aquaspin.
7. Boot Camp
If you’re more of an outdoorsy person, you might prefer to try a Boot camp fitness routine. Classes are highly versatile as not only are they held at a variety of venues, the workout also consists of a range of exercises that include speed and agility drills, core conditioning, jogging, strength training, and obstacle courses.
Adopting the approach of showing tough love, instructors will usually lead 60-minute group classes that aim to improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall body strength. If joining a boot camp sounds like your thing, book a free trial with UFIT Bootcamps. Alternatively, if you’re thinking of joining with your partner or buddy, Munster Bootcamp offers group packages as well!
Pronounced ‘pee-la-tis’, Pilates is a system of exercises devised by German fitness specialist, Joseph Pilates (1880-1967), in the 1920s. He believed that mental and physical well-being are closely linked, and so designed a fitness routine that consists of breathing techniques and low-impact exercises to improve core strength and muscle control.
Pilates exercises emphasises on proper posture and movement patterns, as well as balanced flexibility and strength. One difference between Pilates and Yoga is that some Pilates exercises involve the use of equipment such as The Reformer, and The Cadilac. Beginner and trial classes are available at a myriad of Pilates studios such as Pilates Fitness, and Upside Motion. Alternatively, check out Cassey Ho’s Blogilates website for free videos to try it out in the comfort of your homes.
To the uninitiated, trying anything new can seem scary at first, and there’s just something about group fitness that comes across as being intimidating to some people as well.
Fortunately, the Singapore Sports Hub has organised a range of free Fitbit Fit-sessions for us to join. These daily sessions aimed at promoting an active lifestyle include Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing and Boot Camp. All it requires is a one-time registration at their website. Also, the Sports Hub can be easily reached via all main transport links, with the simplest being Stadium MRT Station (CC6). Start your fitness routine today for a healthier, happier you!