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Fitness crazes

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The fitness world never fails to disappoint when it comes to innovation. Gone are the days when exercise regimes were limited to a choice between an aerobics class in the village hall, or a jog round the park.  2014 promises to deliver a raft of fitness crazes once again, some old, some new, so let’s see what we’ve got to look forward to this coming summer …

Koga

Another fusion fad, or a dynamic workout that combines the best of two established activities? Try it for yourself and you decide.  Koga is a cross between Yoga and Kickboxing.  A few years back I would have found the idea of combining gentle Yoga with such an energetic sport odd, but after the rise of Astanga and Power Yoga I guess anything is possible. Koga combines the strength and stretching elements of Yoga, with the energetic cardiovascular challenges of Kickboxing.  Balance plays a key role in the workout, and routines are designed to  increase lung capacity, muscle tone and flexibility, whilst fighting fat and relieving stress.

Hula Hooping

Supporters of this latest craze reckon that just 10 minutes of hooping can burn 100 calories, which is about the same as running at a moderate pace. That makes it worth a go in my book, and the fun factor is sure to make this a hit this summer. Focusing on the abdominal core, effective hooping can strengthen this vital area of the body, helping to reduce the chance of injury and back pain.

Zumba

I know, this craze first hit the UK in 2010, but it’s still going strong which says a lot for how effective and enjoyable it is. If you haven’t tried it yet, then maybe 2014 is the time to give it a go.  Zumba combines aerobic fitness routines with dance. If, like me, you’re a bit rhythmically challenged, then you may want to invest in a home DVD and learn a few moves before you brave the exposure of a class. Once you’re in the groove the Latin rhythms will have you twitching to get started, and it is a great way to share a workout in a lively and vibrant atmosphere.

Wii Fit

The console fitness phenomenon takes home workouts to a new level, both in terms of fun, and variety. What better way to motivate yourself than with your very own electronic personal trainer, and the ability to measure and monitor your progress in private via a raft of on-screen gizmos. You can check your fitness age, weight and BMI using the equipment provided, and try out a range of workout techniques until you find the ones that suit you best. Perfect for the shy exerciser, the Wii Fit has the added benefit of switching into couch-potato game mode at the flick of a switch if you fail to get in the “zone”.  It’s also only a handful of paces away from the kettle and a nice comforting cuppa.

Kettlebells

fitness crazesWeightlifting with a difference, Kettlebells were originally designed by the Russian army. They look a bit like a squared-off cannon ball with a chunky metal loop on one side.  Swinging, lifting and pressing these formidable-looking items is apparently very good for you. It is said that you only need to start with a regular 15 minute session to see noticeable results quite swiftly. Kettlebell workouts are designed to improve muscle-tone, and increase general body strength.  Madonna and Jennifer Lopez have reportedly already given this craze a workout, so it’s likely to be a popular one for 2014.

 

 

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