New ways to get fit in 2013
Described as the 'ultimate 30-minute workout', this new fitness craze is about to hit the UK in a big way. Using a ball that's somewhere between a beanbag and a stress ball, it combines strength, cardio and core training into a 30-minute workout comprising a series of one-minute exercises. That means there are endless variations you can put together to prevent fitness regime boredom, and once you're comfortable with the techniques, you can easily do your workouts at home. Until then, classes at Virgin Active gyms will get you started.
There has been plenty in the press over the last year about how effective a short, sharp burst of exercise can be. Step forward CXWorx. Designed by the Les Mills team, these high-intensity 30-minute workouts are designed to improve core strength and tone muscles, but is low impact and low cardio so is suitable for the majority of people. You will, however, need a fair amount of determination as these classes can be challenging. Available at a variety of fitness centres, including Nuffield Fitness & Wellbeing Gyms.
British Military Fitness
While boot camp never really sounded like much fun, there's certainly something to be said for military-style fitness regimes. Thankfully, British Military Fitness now cater for all fitness levels, ranging from the Walk Fit programme, aimed at those returning to exercise after a long lay-off, to seriously challenging classes for the advanced. Expert instructors tailor specifically to your group's level of fitness and these outdoor classes promise a whole body workout with variety. Visit www.britmilfit.com to find your nearest venue.
Virtual fitness fun
Endless hours on the treadmill in front of daytime TV and soap operas isn't everyone's cup of tea. Now, thanks to technology, you can forget all about the tedious gym hours and pretend you're an Olympian in waiting.
At Everyone Active Leisure Centres, you can try your legs at VRX-Biking, which uses Trixter X-bikes linked to giant video screens. Upper body, core and legs will be worked to the max, but you'll barely notice as you take on virtual racecourses from off-road to the streets of New York.
Alternatively, at David Lloyd Leisure, you can make like Team GB see just how hard Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton had to work to achieve gold. After a warm-up, you and your classmates will take part in Team Pursuits, Individual Pursuits and Points Races - like a spinning class but with an added competitive dimension.
The next dance fitness craze on the block is Bokwa. Unlike your average dance fitness programme, Bokwa takes an entirely different approach to group classes. Put simply, participants draw letters and numbers with their feet in an energetic and fun workout to music. It sounds bonkers but it's simple to do, suitable for all ages, and can burn up to 1,200 in one workout. Check out www.bokwafitness.com to find your nearest class.
Have you discovered a new and fun way to get fit this year? Let us know below...