Staying in shape can be challenging, especially when your shins are torn up from jogging for years and your neck is permanently sore from all the sit-ups and crunches. While traditional workouts, like running and Pilates, are a great source of fitness, here are some recent ways exercise enthusiasts have changed up their weight loss programs.

Stripping Pounds:
Pole Dancing has been on the rise for the past few years, and not only in clubs. With women claiming to lose over 50 pounds in pole dancing classes, the budding activity supposedly tones abs, arms and leg muscles more so than traditional exercises. There’s a dancing section of the class, which is where the cardio benefits seep in, and other sections of the class is “pole-tricking,” which increases balance and strength and in turn giving you a full-cardio workout.

Melting the Weight:
Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise in the world, a method of stretching and strengthening all aspects of your body and mind. Now what if you take this practice and do it for 90 minutes in a 105 degree heated room? Bikram Yoga, or more commonly known as hot yoga, has become a recent trend in sweating away the pounds. I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga on and off for the past three years, so I can speak to the benefits. It’s a strenuous 90 minutes physically, mentally and spiritually. Holding some poses for over a minute, it challenges your balance in strength and flexibility. You learn to use the heat to fall deeper into each pose, allowing your muscles to stretch to their maximum capability. The best part about this type of yoga for me is that I shed pounds in areas where no other exercise has been successful, such as love handles, back and inner thighs. Don’t be fooled by the relaxation of yoga because at times my heart beats faster than when I’m sprinting a quarter mile. The benefits are entirely up to how much effort you put into it, but it is estimated that each 90-minute class will lose you between 600 – 1000 calories.

Splash of Fun:
Zumba® is a fitness dance class with Latin-inspired choreography. As if that doesn’t exude enough excitement, recently this workout phenomenon has been immersed under water into: Aqua Zumba®. In other words a Zumba® Poop Party, these classes offer an additional challenge because each dancer has to constantly fight the resistance of the water. Fusing a number of different dances, like hip-hop, belly dance and salsa, Zumba® slims your waistline, trims body fat and allows you to swim your way to optimal health.

Your Turn:
Have you tried any of these methods to lose weight? Would you try any? Leave a comment below!

Guest Author: Fareeha Ali
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