From the latest fitness classes to old workouts having a comeback, here are all the fun ways to get fit this year.
Pop star dance workouts
Courtesy Banana Skirt Productions
Dancing is a perennial workout favorite but the type of dance fitness changes frequently (Jazzercise, anyone?). The latest dance trend for 2019? Banana Skirt Dance. It teaches hip-hop and pop choreography straight from artists like Britney Spears, J.Lo, and Nicki Minaj but in an entirely judgment-free, fun way. “If Beyoncé is your spirit animal or you’re out here making money moves like Cardi B, this is the class for you,” says founder Akinah Rahmaan. It’s appropriate for all fitness and skill levels (no pro dancing required!) she says. Right now classes are only offered in New York City and Washington, DC, but look for them to expand in 2019. If you aren’t near a class, try Zumba, a dance fitness class offered in nearly every city in the country. Nervous about working out in front of strangers? Try these 26 simple ways to get fit without hitting the gym.
The 15-minute workout
What’s your biggest obstacle to working out? If you’re like most people, it’s time. We’ve only got so many hours in the day and the thought of spending an hour or more working out is often enough to make a busy person drive right past the gym. That’s why you’re going to start seeing a lot more mini classes—15 minutes or less—at gyms and online, says Kim Schaper, a certified personal trainer and workout designer. But can you really get a good workout in such a short amount of time? Using the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) protocol you can, she says. Getting your heart rate way up for short periods of time is tough but it has major metabolic benefits—plus, you can do anything for 15 minutes, right? Hint: HIIT is one of the 50 things your doctor wishes you knew about losing weight.
Mindfulness plus marathons
Courtesy Run Wild Retreats + Wellness
Two of the biggest current trends in fitness—meditation and marathon training—combine in this new multitasking workout. “There’s running simply for building fitness and there’s running for stress reduction. Our program uses mindfulness techniques to help people get both types of benefits,” says Elinor Fish, running expert and founder of Run Wild Retreats + Wellness. “While exercise is a great way to reduce stress, the wrong approach to exercise can exacerbate the physical symptoms of stress including joint aches, persistent fatigue, disrupted sleep cycles, and increased mental stress of feeling that you ‘should be’ exercising more, doing more, trying harder.” So forget pounding the pavement (and your joints) in an attempt to break your personal best; the new running method is about focusing on your posture, breathing, and surroundings so that you’ll feel sweaty but also relaxed at the end of your workout. And you don’t have to be training for a marathon to do this workout, the techniques can be used to run or walk any distance you like, she adds.