As interests in conventional Eastern and Western exercise practices are wearing out, youngsters are showing reluctance to go to gyms. But some innovators have developed fun-filled exercises, with easy as well as strenuous limb and body movements mixing dances, martial arts and even yoga. The result is a set of exercise forms — Bollywood Aerobics, Kickboxing, Dancersize, Power yoga, Capoeira and Pilates.
If you are among those, who dread the sight of the treadmill and can’t bear to get onto the exercise cycle and are still dying to lose those extra inches, don’t worry. You can get a lowdown of some fun activities that you can indulge in. Now here’s the catch. Not only will these activities help you in your weight loss quest, indulging in them will also help you learn a new skill. So are you ready to burn those calories and have fun too?
Step aside plain, simple aerobic routines, this is the day and age of Bollybics — that’s what Bollywood Aerobics is popularly called. Have you realized, those super sexy jhatkas and matkas our Bollywood heroines do with so much ease can indeed make for a perfectly fun workout. “Adapted to the beats of popular movie music, Bollybics is an aerobic workout that helps burn intense calories while dancing to your favorite songs,” says Anchal Gupta, owner of a popular Sion-based dance studio. The sequence consists of a warm up and aerobic routine — using signature movie dance steps — targeted at specific body parts and then, a cool down session. “The music is fast paced and non-stop, and if done right, one can burn up to 700 calories per session,” says trainer Rupesh Pednekar.
While ghazals are used for the warm-up and the cool down sessions, fast paced movie tracks are used for the aerobic routine. This dance-cum-exercise form uses signature movie dance steps. “It’s a fun and exhilarating workout. And, when you do it in a group, you feel motivated to go on, even if you get tired,” says Anchal. So put on some rocking movie songs and adapt a few regular dance steps to it and lo behold, it’s Bollybics you’re doing.
Martial arts have always been very popular. But the newest rage in town in kickboxing. Whoever’s into it swears by how amazing a workout it is. A part of the martial arts family, kickboxing combines the style of boxing with kicking. A full contact sport often practiced as self-defense, it also makes for a perfect workout. And here’s why. “Kickboxing is intensive cardio. Also, unlike a gym workout, it is a total body workout. Kickboxing involves both, cardio and contact which helps in increasing flexibility and toning up. Besides these, there are various stretching exercises and abdominal workouts that one is made to do,” explains kickboxing trainer Amit Lalwani. Another form, Muay Thai, meanwhile, is the art of eight limbs which uses the whole body especially the hips and core. “A Muay Thai workout helps increase not only agility, speed, strength but also, cardiovascular endurance,” says Amit. And while this exercise form is a great stress reliever, you can also pick up a few important self-defense techniques.
This is a fun activity that consists of half an hour of an intensive workout and half an hour of a dance routine which includes steps from hip-hop and jazz. And the routine is simple. The first half of the session consists of warm ups, including stretching which helps tone up the muscles and burn away the inches. The second half meanwhile is a cardio session which helps give the body a total workout. “Apart from the exercise that one gets, this is also a good way to learn a form of dance and develop a sense of style. The routines are never repeated making it a perfect option for people who detest going to the gym,” says participant Purvi Shah.
While you may extol the benefits of practicing yoga daily, if weight loss is your goal, it may not be enough. The solution? Step it up a notch with power yoga. Put simply, power yoga is yoga adapted to the beats of music. This form of yoga is fast paced and quite a strenuous exercise. How’s it done? There are no fixed poses to be followed; the variations depend on the instructor. “In power yoga, the emphasis is on strength and elasticity of the body. A 45-minute power yoga workout done even just thrice a week will show wondrous effects on your body,” says Laxmi Wagle, who is learning this yoga form.
What do you get when you combine elements of martial arts, games, music and dance? The Afro-Brazilian art form called Capoeira. And why is it a good workout? That’s because as a form of exercise, Capoeira engages all the muscle group and offers significant toning and cardiovascular benefits. It also helps develop flexibility, balance, co-ordination and endurance.
This is a form of exercise that emphasizes on the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility and awareness. As a form of exercise, it works well for everyone. Pilates training focuses on core strength as it trains the body as an integrated whole. The workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. If practiced regularly, Pilates helps improves muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, teaches you to move with ease and grace and also, improves one’s posture.