Exercise ought to be fun and uncomplicated. After all, the more enjoyable, the more likely you are to stick with it, right? âMost of our choices in life are made to seek pleasure or avoid pain. And let's face it, a hard workout can be pretty painful, which is why so many of us avoid it like the plague,â celebrity trainer Adam Rosante told us. âBut bring a sense of playfulness and fun into your fitness routine and you'll find yourself increasing the frequency of your sweat sessions,â says Rosante, the creator of The Peopleâs Bootcamp and author of the forthcoming book The 30 Second Body: Eat Clean, Train Dirty and Live Hard ($14, amazon.com).
Thankfully, you can up the fun levelÂ by getting in on the latest trend in group fitness: classes that bring you back to your playground days.
Making your exercise fun and social alsoÂ offers the added bonus of motivation:Â âYou rely on one another for inspiration and motivation and don't ever want to let each other down,â Rosante adds. âIt can be a powerful force in helping you stick to your fitness goals.â
Get inspired to act like a kid again with these fun, team-building workouts that are guaranteed to whipÂ you into shape.
Who says this schoolyardÂ staple is only forÂ grade schoolers? Adult kickball leagues are popping up everywhereâmostly because the game is an excellent way to blow off steam, but alsoÂ playing it can torch up to 600 calories an hour. All that running,Â kicking, and throwing canÂ work your musclesÂ from head to toe. Itâs interval training in disguise!
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This trend may have been popularized in the 1950s, but itâs been steadily making a comeback, and now there are even certified hooping instructors hosting classes and workshops across the country. What makes it so appealing? For starters,Â hula-hooping helps you tone those trouble zones: your belly, butt, and thighs. And research shows that âhoopingâ it for 30-minutes expends the same amount of energy as walking 4 to 4.5 miles an hour. Now grab one and start shaking those hips. (Also: check out this heart-pumping hoop workoutÂ you can do at home.)
Nothing screams childhood more than a little bit of double dutch. And now you can get a refresher on your rope-skippingÂ skillsÂ thanks to Double Dutch Aerobics. Available in Atlanta and New York, this all-over sculpting workout, which torches calories, boosts brain health, and strengthens bones, fuses challenging fitness combinationsâthink pushups in the midst of rope jumpingâfor a heart-revving good time. (And donât worry about getting tangled up in the ropes: classes range from beginner to advanced.) Even better, research showsÂ that people who performed three-10-minute jump-rope intervals with five minutes of rest in between experienced a greater drop in appetite than those who did a similarly structured cycling routine.
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According to a Running USA report, non-traditional running events have steadily grown in popularity. In fact, themedÂ and obstacleÂ races such as theÂ Tough Mudder, Mudderella, and Warrior Dash drew 4 million participants in 2013âsurpassing the 2.5 million finishers of half-marathons and marathons. And we can see why: Who wouldnât want to be a daredevil for a day, dashing through mud, scaling walls, and even jumping over fire? Okay, maybe notÂ everyone, butÂ these strength- and anaerobic-based challenges combine getting dirty and team-building with the spirit of adventure.
Long to relive your days as a cheerleader? We get it. Not only did pumping those pom-poms make you a cool girl in high school, but it also helped you sculpt a rockin' body. Luckily, classes like PomFit and cheerFIT (both currently only offered in NYC), allow you to do just that. While you wonât be donning those super short skirtsâunless you really want toâyou will be performing choreographed steps along with conditioning exercises for one killer workout.