With so many different exercise options out there these days, hating the gym is no longer a good enough reason to not get moving. So to inspire you to try new things, our chronically unfit lifestyle editor is lacing up her runners and trying out every type of exercise we can find in Melbourne — from Yoga to Boot Camps and every crazy thing in between.
Got a class you want us to try for you? Hit up the comments and we'll give it a go. Think of me as your exercise guinea pig.
D-Tone at Dance Dynamics, Richmond
As many of you will remember, my long-forgotten exercise background was dancing so I have a special soft spot for any type of exercise that uses those same basic principles and exercises. With that said, while I generally have a pretty good idea about body placement and muscle activation (which is why I tend to love classes like Pilates and Yoga), when it comes to things that involve hand-eye coordination, balls or other props I may as well have a body that is controlled by another person who thoroughly enjoys seeing me get hit in the face with things. Luckily for me I am easing my way back into our exercise test dummy sessions with something dance related: D-Tone at Dance Dynamics.
First of all, if you're Melbourne-based and are looking to take up dancing for fitness, then you should definitely check out Dance Dynamics because they have a huge array of classes to choose from (their website is also really great at telling you what dance levels and fitness levels are needed for each type of class so you can get a class that is right for you) and their classes are half an hour so you can ease into them or do a couple back to back if you wanted to push yourself. Okay, shameless plug done! Let's get down to business ...
D-Tone is a toning and strengthening class that uses a combination of high intensity dance moves that are designed to help you tone up while also getting a good cardio workout to some fun music. It concentrates on really working those muscle groups so you can build strength and tone up, and somehow in the thirty minute class they manage to not only give you a solid workout but teach you some great choreography as well (whether you continue practicing those dance moves and rip it out at night clubs is entirely up to you).
I'll admit I was fairly puffed out during this one. The amount of exercise I did over the holidays was so low that I'm already getting exhausted going up single flights of stairs, but I was determined not to let my dismal fitness levels get the better of me. Even through the huffs and the puffs and every exercise that I knew I'd be cursing the next day, I really did enjoy the chance to get moving (And boy did I move — this class is non-stop!). The great thing about dance-based exercises is that they are strength, cardio and muscle toning all rolled into one, while at the same time they're energy boosting and can help perk you up when you've had the worst day ever. As TSwift says, just shake it off.
The music changed from pop hits through to samba-inspired songs and the movements changed along with it to include kicks and running on the spot among other exercises. The biggest killer for me was the exercise where we went a whole song without putting our arms down and as a result I struggle a little bit with the arm lifting today! I hung around for their Zumba class afterwards (and regretted it about five minutes into the class as I died a Zumba death) but the great thing about thirty minute classes is that just when you think you're dying and need a break, you get to the end of the class!
Head over to dancedynamics.com.au to find out more about the different styles of dance classes they offer and to check out their timetables.