With the indulgences of Christmas now behind us, many see the New Year as a time to shed the pounds, tone up and get fit.
If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape, but you don’t fancy pounding the treadmill and lifting weights, then worry not, there are a host of fun activities in Cayman to help you burn the fat and have fun at the same time. Here are some of my favorite workout classes, which are bound to help keep your fitness resolutions on track.
Pole fitness is a great way to build strength, tone the body and get fit, all while having great fun. The female-only workout is gaining popularity across the world, and Cayman is no exception, with gyms such as Life Extension, King’s Sports Centre and Anytime Fitness offering regular one-hour classes. Pole fitness is based on the moves and sequences that pole dancers use, and you’ll find yourself using a whole lot of muscles you didn’t even know you had, especially in your upper body. Participants learn basic spins and dance moves before moving on to impressive climbs and inversions. Just in case you fancy giving pole fitness a go, note that appropriate dress is standard workout gear.
A workout … with a chair. Hot Seat offers a fun and flirty way to get fit using authentic burlesque moves that will get your body moving and burning calories. Classes are held at Anytime Fitness, and participants learn dance steps from quick transitions around the chair to slow lingering shimmies, building up to a full routine. “Hot Seat is all about learning to move in a fun and sexy way, while getting a fabulous workout at the same time,” says fitness instructor Quinn McCrimmon.
Turn your life upside down – for an hour at least – with an AntiGravity yoga session. This class takes yoga up into the air and is beneficial to mind, body and soul. AntiGravity uses a soft silk hammock, which is hung from the ceiling using two overhead pins. By looping the feet and legs around the hammock, holding on to it with the hands, or by wrapping it around the body, participants can hang upside down, hold various stretches and poses or simply kick back and relax. “It’s an empowering experience, which is about trusting yourself,” says Kate Dunne, AntiGravity yoga instructor at Flow yoga studio. “AntiGravity yoga really makes you listen to yourself, to your body and to your mind.” Classes are designed for all ages and abilities, and while the practice can challenge core strength and offer a hard workout if you wish, it can also offer a meditative state similar to yoga.
If you fancy a ballet-inspired workout, then Barre class is for you. Classes are now being offered at a range of gyms, including Anytime Fitness and Life Extensions. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll spend the duration of the class indulging your inner ballerina. “Focusing on the areas of the body women struggle with the most, barre class lifts the seat, tones the thighs and upper body, and creates the long and lean muscles of a dancer through small isometric movements centred around a ballet barre,” says Ms McCrimmon at Anytime Fitness says. Expect aching muscles for a few days after.
Get prepared to shake your booty! Zumba is a workout that combines easy-to-follow dance moves and aerobics to catchy Latin rhythms to tone the body and burn fat. A host of gyms, including World Gym and Anytime Fitness, offer Zumba classes. Classes can be designed to target different areas of the body, but typically offer a great all over body workout.
Energy Essential Fitness is a Pilates-focused fitness studio which offers a wide range of classes, including ones on the Pilates Reformer. While at first glance the machine looks like some sort of medieval torture device, it is in fact a nifty piece of equipment, which, with regular use, promises a long, lean and toned body with increased muscle strength. “The Reformer provides such an amazing workout,” says Colleen Brummer, fitness instructor and manager at Energy. “It offers hundreds of exercise variations, is no-impact and easy on the joints. It also allows for easy modifications for those recuperating from injury, as well as adjusting for those of a wide variety of abilities and levels – from the beginner to the elite athlete.” Classes are small – no more than five people at a time – and so is ideal for those who want more individualized attention.
The ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi includes a series of graceful movements and gentle stretches which help relax mind and body, while placing minimal stress on joints and muscles. In Cayman, Tai Chi is taught by Sensei Greg, owner of Cayman Associated School of Karate. Classes start with basic stretches and visualizations before moving on to group exercises and meditative movements. “Tai Chi is a great way to reduce stress, learn to relax, and tone up your body and mind,” Greg explains. “It is particularly beneficial to people who have stressful jobs and need a way to relax.” CASK offers free Tai Chi sessions at Camana Bay on Sundays, from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
The 30-day challenge
If you fancy pushing yourself to the max in January, sign up for the 30-day yoga challenge at Bliss. Starting Monday, Jan. 6, participants commit to a yoga class every day for 30 days. Bliss has expanded and now offers three yoga studios and up to 13 classes a day to choose from, including Hot Yoga, Flow and Power Vinyassa.