Five on Friday: 5 unusual ways to work up a sweat
In CNA's regular look at what hit the headlines during the week, Five on Friday looks at some unique workouts that will get your heartrate up. Who says exercising is boring?
SINGAPORE: It’s been a bumpy road to recovery for the fitness industry in Singapore.
While unhealthy routines and revenge travel have kept many away from studios and gyms, businesses have also had to grapple with more competition as new contenders enter the market.
Many are also clocking fewer steps as they work from home.
Regardless of what your daily schedule looks like these days, prevailing wisdom and common sense says some exercise is better than nothing – for both your physical and mental health.
If you are in need of exercise inspiration, consider these new or unusual ways to break a sweat:
No daredevils needed but there are some gravity-defying stunts being done indoors.
Think Matrix, but that someone forgot to digitally remove the cord.
Participants are strapped into a harness connected to an elastic bungee cord. After that, bounce and soar your way to a fitter body.
Movement & Sports Medicine Centre in Singapore claims that bungee fitness classes burn more calories compared to normal exercises while also being kinder on the joints.
The bungee helps to simulate the buoyancy one feels in the swimming pool, the centre said, adding that its bungee can take up to 200kg.
Elin Dance Studio along Dunearn Road also offers such classes. The “fitness” option, which is described as stress-relieving, incorporates movements like jumps and dives.
For those who just want to have fun, there's a “family” option where parents and children can exercise together, as well as a rhythmic “bungee dance” class that is for more experienced participants.
BIKE IN THE WATER
Those who can’t decide between cycling or soaking in the pool can have the best of both worlds with Aquaspin.
The premise is simple, you pedal a stationary bike in a swimming pool with the water acting as a resistance.
The Ripple Club, which conducts various classes at locations such as Fairmont Singapore and Oasia Downtown, describes water as the “perfect training ground” as it prevents injury, protects joints and provides natural resistance for strength and endurance training.
Pregnant or postpartum women, those with injuries, as well as athletes are welcome to join their classes, said the club on its website, which lists workouts of various intensities as well as a virtual option.
It’s a circuit workout but with a techie twist.
Exergame 4D is a programme that hails from South Korea and those interested to try can sign up for it at Ascend Fitness at the YMCA Building.
The activity, which takes place in a darkened room with interactive light projections, meshes a research-based workout curriculum with a “gamification” strategy that keeps classes engaging and competitive, said Ascend Fitness on its website.
Those of us who are old enough to remember Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade may find the scenario familiar.
A dim space with flashing lights, sensors and sound – and the urgency to keep up with the instructions as they cascade across the screen.
Follow the lighted panels and step or move into the space. As the workout progresses, the changing lights become faster until everything becomes a blur.
Your score is also put up at the end of the session, (hopefully) reflecting how well you have done as well as the calories that you have burnt.
Could this "gamification" way of working out be the future?
SEE YOU AT THE TOP
Take a break from scaling the corporate ladder and let go of some steam through climbing of a different kind.
Those with a fear of heights, fret not. Versa climbing, or vertical climbing, is done on a machine.
CLMB Studio along Shenton Way claims that participants can burn up to 800 calories after a 45 minute workout on the climber. Some classes focus only on climbing while others throw in high intensity interval training and weights.
You can expect club-like lights and tunes while you test your cardiovascular endurance. CLMB Studio also said on its website that “no two workouts are the same” so you can expect to be kept on your toes.
A whole new meaning to downward dog.
Forward fold and plank your way to better health and fitness as dogs wander the room, looking for a quick play or cuddle.
Classes at Puppy Yoga Singapore are split into 35 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of “pure playtime” with the dogs. The website lists classes with “small and medium” as well as “medium and big” dogs.
Some of my colleagues raised their eyebrows when I mentioned this class.
"Are cats welcomed?" "Why would I want to bring my dog to a yoga class?"
According to the organisers, the classes not only allow you to bond with your dog, it also allows them to "socialise with other dogs and humans in a safe, calm environment".
While it is not compulsory for you to bring along a canine, though those who attend with their furkids enjoy a small discount as doggos are an “integral part of the experience”.
Do note that your pets must be non-aggressive, potty trained, vaccinated, clean and healthy.