The 8 most unusual workouts
Looking for a fun new way to get fit? Try one of these eight unusual workouts to spice up your routine
1. Naked yoga
You may not appreciate the mental image that comes along with naked yoga-especially if you’re stuck behind the guy doing Downward-Facing Dog-but going nude on your mat is a trend that seems to be catching on in Canada and the U.S. Fans of the unconventional workout claim that it helps them to really focus on their body and experience the practice in a new, liberating way. Depending on the studio, classes are single-sex or co-ed-but you may want to bring your own mat.
Not ready to bare all in a room full of strangers? Close the shades and try a gentle yoga practice in the privacy of your own home, sans apparel. Who knows-it just might become your new favourite thing!
2. AntiGravity yoga
Created by aerial performer Christopher Harrison, antigravity yoga involves exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics, all performed in a hammock-like apparatus, which will have you swinging and flipping upside down in your first class. It might sound like a lot of playground antics, but the workout is a challenge-just try doing walk-out push-ups with your feet in a sling. Antigravity yoga also has some surprising health benefits-devotees of the practice have reported feeling less back pain after finishing a class.
Watch the video to see antigravity yoga in action.
Do you have a furry friend who could use a little exercise? This winter, strap on some skis and practice skijoring with your dog. Hailing from Scandinavia, this fun bonding activity is sort of like dog sledding, minus the sled; your pooch wears a harness and pulls you, while you cross-country ski. Some skijoring clubs run competitive races, but if you’re new to the winter sport, you may prefer to explore a few trails at a more leisurely pace. To find a club near you, visit skidogs.ca.
Want to know more about this pet-friendly workout? Check out this video of skijoring in Canmore, Alberta.
4. Ganja yoga
If you missed the hippie movement the first time around, you’re in luck-Toronto’s Follow Your Bliss offers “cannabis-assisted” yoga practice that takes Savasana to a whole new level. The idea is fairly simple: yogis come together and smoke pot before engaging in their typical yoga practice, accompanied by music. While the idea is fairly controversial, those who practice ganja yoga have reported feeling more centered and focused while under the influence. But the class isn’t open to just anyone-membership is exclusive.
If smoking pot isn’t your thing, there are other variations of yoga that you might want to try. Hot yoga may also help your body feel more calm and relaxed-and won’t leave you with the munchies.
5. Karaoke spin class
Dancing for fitness is oh-so-popular these days-think Zumba and various ballet workouts-but what happens when you have two left feet? If singing is more your style, you may want to check out karaoke spin class, the latest “fitness fusion” trend. Karaoke spin classes (or “cycle karaoke,” as they’re called in some clubs) haven’t quite caught on in Canada the way that they have in the U.S., but don’t write them off just yet. Fans of the workout claim that singing along during their spin session forces them to learn to control their breathing, while also providing clues as to their exercise intensity-if they can sing along easily, they know they need to step it up.
To see karaoke spin class in action, check out this video.
6. The Gospel Workout
This definitely isn’t your grandma’s church choir. Body Gospel-brought to you by the same people behind DVD fitness programs P90X and Turbo Jam-is a faith-based workout that will have you sweating it out in your living room to high-energy gospel tunes. Where your previous workouts have a foundation of squats and lunges, this workout has a foundation all its own-namely, God. Each calorie-torching workout begins with a prayer, led by fitness instructor Donna Richardson.
You can view a three-minute sample of Body Gospel here.
What happens when you cross athletic-apparel giant Reebok and the whimsical acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil? The answer is Jukari Fit to Fly. The circus-inspired workout utilizes a trapeze-like apparatus that allows participants to swing, fly, spin, jump and, most importantly, tone the body. (It’s also incredibly fun, if the videos are any indication.) In Canada, classes are currently only available in Quebec. Road trip, anyone?
8. Water walking
Imagine being trapped inside a human-sized hamster ball. That just keeps spinning. On water. If you’ve ever wanted to walk on water, these strange bubble-like spheres-called Waterwalkerz-can make it a reality. The tricky part? Staying upright. To keep yourself from falling, you’ll need to engage your abs and keep yourself moving-so what looks like a lot of fun is really a full-body workout, too.
See Waterwalkerz in action in this video.