Sometimes the gym can get boring. Really boring. So boring that we’d rather do three hours of overtime and take the long train home just to avoid another hour spent on the cross-trainer (true story). However, keeping fit doesn’t have to be boring. The NHS recommends that we spend either 150 minutes per week exercising moderately or 75 minutes exercising vigorously (plus spending at least two days per week working on strength exercises) and in Glasgow there are so many different exercise options that’ll help you rack up those minutes – without feeling bored of the same old cardio routine at the gym. No offence intended for all those gym lovers out there, in fact we salute your determination, but for those looking for something a little different, this is the list for you:
Waaaaay back in 1980, NASA released a study which showed they believe the best form of exercise to be bouncing – or rebounding to be exact. The exercise, which is usually low impact and performed on a rebounder (mini-trampoline), was found in the NASA study to be 68% more effective than jogging and requires less effort. Various studies have examined the huge health benefits form this exercise, which includes improving lymph flow (the system in our bodies that helps get rid of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials, leading to a boosted immune system).
It’s also great for people who need to avoid straining their joints as the elastic element of the mat absorbs a lot of the impact and shock during each bounce. The NASA study showed rebounding is the best exercise to help rebuild lost bone tissue of astronauts (who lost 15% of their bone mass during just two week in space because of the continued weightless state) and studies have shown it can help prevent osteoporosis, especially in women.
There are Boogie Bounce classes located all across Scotland and these are usually £5 per class (check out www. boogiebounce.com to find your nearest class). We would recommend it for those looking for a really fun class and a powerful fat burn – every muscle in the body is worked, including the facial muscles.
Get the image of swinging around in a tiny outfit with perspex heels on out your head right now. Pole dancing is a serious skill and a tough workout that’ll have your muscles aching at first due to muscles all over the body being worked in new ways but after a few sessions you’ll notice a massive improvement in your strength.
Pole dancing isn’t just a good way to tone muscle, it also helps improve kinesthetic awareness (the brain’s ability to coordinate motion and awareness of where it is in time and space), it will result in more flexibility and it can help build self-confidence as your skills on the pole will translate into your life – encouraging you to walk tall and improve your posture.
There are different poll dancing classes available in Glasgow. Twirl n Tone, 36 Washington Street, is a good option for beginners, it is more of a traditional pole dance class choice and all classes are mixed ability and open to male and female students. Ultimate Pole Fitness, 243 Sauchiehall Street, is likely the better option for anyone intrigued by the idea but put off by the dance routines – they have none and focus on individual moves instead, with climbs, spins and core exercises.
Yoga itself is a great exercise that helps to improve flexibility, tone, relieve stress but when you add all that into a room heated to over 33 degrees it’s fair to say things get a little more intense.
There are some who believe hot yoga to be dangerous because the heat can lead some people to overstretch, meaning they could be artificially stretching the muscle. However, there have been many studies conducted over the past few years with varying and often contradicting results about the potential benefits and dangerous aspects of the exercise.
TSA reporter, Holly Callender, tried Bikram yoga (where the studio is heated to 40.5 degrees, with 40% humidity) and reported ‘incredible results’ saying her skin had never looked so clear. It might not be for everyone but if you fancy trying hot yoga there are different classes available in Glasgow with great introductory rates. Both Infinity Hot Yoga (11 Osborne St) and Bikram Yoga Glasgow (1 Dowanside Lane) offer unlimited classes within 30 consecutive days for £30 for first time customers.
If you do try out hot yoga, remember to try and tough it out for your first few sessions, after that you’ll soon start to acclimatise to the heat and reap the rewards.