January 7, 2015 9:28 pm
Updated: January 8, 2015 1:11 am

Top 5 fun fitness classes to try in Edmonton

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WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton seems to have more exercise classes than ever. Su-Ling Goh tries out SurfSet and Aerial Silks.

EDMONTON – If the thought of a traditional workout (like hitting the treadmill) doesn’t really excite you, you’re definitely not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways you can sweat off those holiday pounds — and have fun in the process. That part is key, according to Kate Andrews, an instructor with NAIT’s personal trainer program.

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“If you don’t enjoy it you’re not going to maintain it. You’re not going to be motivated to do it.”

READ MORE: 5 tips for setting New Year’s fitness goals rather than resolutions

So here are five suggestions for fun activities offered in Edmonton you can try, regardless of your fitness level.

1. SURFSET

This is the closest you can get to surfing in Edmonton. It can also help prepare you for the real stuff by improving your strength and balance.

The low-impact, high-intensity exercise is performed on a specialized surf board with stability straps on the side.

“It’s pretty wobbly but it’s amazing how much your core engages, and you work muscles that you’ve never worked before,” explained SurfSet Edmonton owner and instructor, Natasha Watson.

“You get a total body workout and it doesn’t feel like you’re working out.”

SURFSET class in Edmonton.

Global News

2. Aerial Silks

This workout at Pique Dance Centre lets you defy gravity and build muscle at the same time. It may require a bit of body awareness and coordination, though. It’s a cross between dance and circus acrobatics.

“We train a lot of our core and, of course, the shoulder blades and the forearms are the first thing — they get super sore,” said instructor Maria Valencia.

“You [will] feel like you’re flying when you’re dropping.”

Aerial Silks class at Pique Dance Centre in Edmonton.

Su-Ling Goh, Global News

You can also try Firefly Theatre & Circus, which has a six-week class for people who want to try aerial circus training for the first time.

WATCH: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to fly high like a Cirque du Soleil performer, well, you can learn how to do that right here in Edmonton. Quinn Ohler explains.

Firefly also offers aerial yoga.

3. Barre

Instructor Megan Clark described Barre as a “blend of ballet movements done at the barre, blended with pilates and yoga.”

“Our focus with barre is the buns and hamstrings, which are really important for women. A lot of women have weak glutes and hamstrings which can lead to knee and back pain. So by targeting the back of the body, you can really help strengthen and improve your posture – and that will help in every-day life.

“Plus who doesn’t want a good, perky butt?”

barre-class2

 

4. Burlesque Boom

This is another dance-based fitness class. It “combines old-school Burlesque dance choreography with cardio-interval training” for a “very sassy, girl workout” meant to also boost your confidence.

Clients are encouraged to “let loose & move their hips & release their inner diva!”

You can see what a Burlesque Boom class looks like here.

burlesque-boom

5. Boxing

If you’re looking for something a bit more intense, the Panther Gym is a family-run business that offers group boxing, kick-boxing and karate classes.

As with the other options, expect a full-body workout from a combination of cardio and strength training.

“If you just figure out how to read your body and come down and go at your own pace, I believe anyone can do it really,” said co-owner Cyndie Swanson.

“You just have to know really what your body will tolerate.”

Swanson added that while boxing used to be considered to be more of a “man sport,” Panther Gym is now seeing closer to a 40-60 split.

And it also seems to be the workout of choice for a few of the Victoria’s Secret models.

File photo

JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Once you’ve found an activity that works for you, NAIT instructor Kate Andrews said you should set small and “smart” goals for yourself. Make them: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based.

She added that maintaining a positive attitude is important, as well.

“I truly believe everyone can change their health and fitness. It’s just changing your mindset about it.”

With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News

© 2015 Shaw Media

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