Baby, it's cold outside. But that doesn't mean your lycra should be stashed away and your exercise regime binned 'til September. Remember, the harder you work out this winter, the more you can indulge in calorific comfort food.
So, in the interest of your abs, here's my round-up of the hottest ways to work up a sweat while the mercury's in retrograde.
ANTIGRAVITY® AERIAL YOGA
Show me a human who doesn't love a hammock, and I'll show you a big fat fibber. In fact, some hammock-loving humans are so enamoured with the suspended slings that they've gone and created a new workout method that doesn't involve dismounting. I must admit, the idea of working out in a hammock does appeal to the bone idle part of me . . .
At Vibes Fitness in Fitzroy, Antigravity® Aerial Yoga is on offer, where movements are performed with the aid of a silk hammock. The classes combine elements of yoga, pilates, suspension training, gymnastics, and calisthenics, to stretch you out, with reduced risk of strain. The promise? You'll leave class high on happy hormones and a wee bit taller. Result!
Where: Vibes Fitness | Suite 1, 106 Leicester Street in Fitzroy
Contact: 03 9419 2033
Just one glance at a dancer's bod has me turning a peculiar shade of viridian. Long, lean, and perfectly poised, a ballerina's bum is what I'm a-seeking. For a fun and fast-paced yoga/barre fusion, I'll head to Barre Body in Flinders Lane or Windsor. Hot Tip: if you really want some inspiration, pop along to one of Emma's classes. She's the founder and she glows, like, for real. Xtend Barre classes are more pilates/barre based and are spreading like wildfire across the 'burbs.
Where: Barre Body | 71 Flinders Lane in Melbourne CBD and 12 James Street in Windsor
Contact: 03 9654 3631
Step aside Zumba, 'cos Bokwa's where it's at in '13. The latest group exercise craze involves tracing letters and digits with your plates of meat along to Top of the Pops tunes. It's cardio that embraces even the unco, as there's no counting steps, and no complicated 'chory'. Sweet music to those, like me, who were blessed with two left feet.
Where: Bokwa | Locations across Melbourne
Master the long-celebrated art of the tease in the Bottoms Up! studio, and you'll be honed and toned enough to bring your routine to the boudoir come spring. With classes designed by Miss Willow J Conway, you'll soon be a pro at the much-underrated art of the chair dance. Bottoms Up! (so good I had to name check twice) also runs pole dancing classes for all the minxes out there.
Where: Bottoms Up! | 3 Pitt Street in Brunswick
Contact: 0411 119 956
CORE BODY TEMPERATURE YOGA
According to Lucinda Mills of South Yarra's uber-luxe yoga studio, One Hot Yoga, yoga is best performed at 37°C, rather than Bikram, Barkan and other hot yoga methods which are deliberately performed at a toastier 40°, or thereabouts.
Why? Because once the temperature is above your own body temp (37°C), risk factors increase and thermo regulation is the primary focus. Core body temp yoga, as practiced at One Hot Yoga, gives you all the souped-up benefits of hot yoga, like increased cardio vascular stimulation, without the risks. Plus, the space is architect-designed for maximum zen, without going too hard on the hippie chanty bizzo.
Where: One Hot Yoga | 36 River Street in South Yarra
Contact: 0409 103 674
HIP HOP YOGA
Look, I've TRIED to like yoga. Really I have. But, up until now, it's just missed the boat on floating my . . . boat. Too quiet, too airy fairy, too many grocery items running through my noggin during the meditation component. But that was then; this is now. For a little thing called HIP HOP Yoga has been brought to my attention, and I'm suddenly dying to get my downward dog on with the Dogg (Lion? Puh-leease). Meet you on the mat, Bi*ches!
Where: Yoga 213 | 12 Garden Street in South Yarra
Contact: 03 9826 5391
Remember how much fun hula hooping used to be back when you were a kid? Along with those bouncy po-go ball thingys—you know what I mean. Well, I think it's about time we wrestle the fun back from the grubby hands of youth and embrace a workout that hones your smile, as well as your hips. With one workshop entitled 'Hoop Dance Your Pants Off', I'm thinking the HOOPLOVERS classes on offer in Melbourne might just be the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Where: HOOPLOVERS | Classes held in Brunswick East and Richmond
Contact: 0402 596 094
Some of the best things in life are free, and a shuffle around the Tan just happens to be one of them. If you prefer to run, by all means, knock yourself out. I'm sticking with my power-walk/jog hybrid, as a stroll's not quite enough to defrost the paws, but running just isn't a part of my DNA. The Tan is perfect for alfresco exercise action on the weekend, plus there's an abundance of brunching options at the finish line.
Image Credit: New Beauty