Exercise is a key life ingredient for entrepreneurs, promoting a healthy body and a sharp mind. But you can only spend so many mornings on the treadmill or in the weight room before monotony sets in.
One way to keep yourself motivated to stay fit? Switch things up! Break free from the same old gym session and try one of these seven unusual fitness concepts that are catching on.
If there were an award for the coolest workout background story, Parkour would win it. Created by the French Special Forces, Parkour was developed as a means for a warrior to get from point A to point B using the obstacles in his path (buildings, fences and the like) to his advantage.
Decades later, it’s morphed into its own unique melding of fitness and art in which the athlete uses his body and his surroundings to express himself through physical movement.
Ever seen American Ninja Warrior? Then you’ve seen some of the finest Parkour athletes at work. And thanks in part to the popular show, Parkour gyms are popping up around the country to train future ninjas (and average Joes just looking for a fun workout) in the sport.
A ballerina seems to move effortlessly as she glides across the stage, but behind the graceful motions are hundreds of hours of intense training at the barre—a literal wooden bar where ballerinas spend most of their time.
Barre brings a ballerina’s workout to the masses, using tiny, repeated motions done while holding onto a wall-mounted bar to tone and lengthen muscles. It sounds simple, but you’ll break a sweat faster than you think!
Barre is great for those who love music and dancing, as it’s often set to upbeat pop music and interspersed with pilates- and ballet-inspired motions.
Spin classes are notoriously punishing, known for passionate instructors and cult-like class members. If you want all the benefits of spinning in a less, um, intense environment, try aquacycling.
As its name suggests, aquacycling is a spin class done underwater via bikes installed in a pool. Participants report that it’s “more therapeutic” than its dry-land counterpart, though it’s just as effective: aquacycling reportedly burns up to 800 calories an hour.
The sport of boxing is nothing new; it’s been around as far back as the Olympics in ancient Greece.
But you don’t have to be a combat-ready competitor to step into the ring. At a boxing gym, you can learn the ropes of jabbing and weaving while getting a high-intensity workout, ratcheting up your heart rate while strengthening your muscles.
Boxing combines both cardio and resistance training, an upside for time-strapped entrepreneurs. And let’s not forget about the stress-release aspect; after a long day nothing feels quite as good as throwing a few punches at an imaginary version of your biggest business adversary.
If you enjoy the meditative effects of yoga, take your Zen to new heights with yoga of the aerial variety.
In aerial yoga, participants execute poses, or asanas, both on the ground and in the air with the help of hammock-like pieces of fabric suspended from the ceiling.
Like traditional yoga, the aerial kind promotes greater flexibility and improved focus, while participants report an even greater core and muscle workout due to the added resistance of gravity. And hey—there’s nothing like turning yourself literally upside down to get a fresh perspective on a work-related problem.
Whether you love riding waves or simply want the sculpted body of someone who does, indoor surfing might be the perfect workout for you.
Like traditional surfing, indoor surfing requires a ton of balance, coordination and core strength to stay on the board, which, in this case, is a stationary (yet unstable) one attached to the floor.
You’ve done lunges, squats and ab exercises on solid ground—now imagine the added difficulty of doing them on a wobbly surface! It’s a full-body workout that’s also a lot of fun.
You’ve seen how worn out kids get from bouncing in those birthday party bounce houses. It’s exhausting! Well, the benefits of a bouncy workout are no longer just for kids.
At a trampoline gym, which seem to be popping (hopping?) up everywhere lately, you can jump and flip your way through your workout using nearly every available surface as a springboard.
If you crave a little more structure, try an instructor-led class like NYC-based trampoLEAN in which each participant uses his or her own mini-trampoline to complete the moves.
For even more fitness inspiration, learn the workout routines 12 ultra-successful people swear by in this post!
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