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Avoid the gym: 8 unexpected places to work out

posted on Wednesday, 5th November 2014 | find under Fitness
Everyone gets their fitness kicks in different ways. If you don’t love the gym, there are plenty of other ways to get active. Here we highlight just a few of the most enticing options we’ve stumbled across…. 

Yoga on the slopes 

Anne Kerrigan Anderson developed Snowga with a mission to “enliven, enlighten and empower those who want to improve their performance on the slopes through the compassionate teachings and wisdom of yoga.” Surround yourself with pristine white power while you bring focus to your breath and move through strengthening, flexibility-enhancing postures.  

Circus practice in the park 

Every summer the Gorilla Circus hosts a pop-up in London’s Regents Park, inviting you to take to the flying trapeze and attempt the gravity-defying tricks championed by the Cirque du Soleil. It’s harder than it looks, calling your core into action and stimulating the body’s calorie-burning “fight or flight” mode to mimic the fat-blitzing benefits of HIIT training. In the winter the school moves to the Hanger Arts Trust in North Greenwich – so you’re free to fly whenever you like. 

Yoga at The Shard 

A trip to the top of Europe’s tallest building is exciting in its own right, but throw in a Vinyasa yoga class and an exclusive goody bag and you’ll come away with a whole new perspective on life. New to the schedule is an evening meditative flow session every Sunday, aptly called ‘The City of Light’ as you’ll be looking out over the glistening London skyline. Visit Yogasphere.eu for more info. 

Cycling in a pool 

If you’re a spin class regular looking for a new challenge, this one’s for you. HydroSpinning is the newest cycling trend across Europe and the US, burning upwards of 800 calories in single session and increasing the muscle-toning benefits by adding water resistance to your workout. It’s also a great option for people with joint injuries, as the impact is much gentler compared to traditional HIIT workouts. Try it in London at Aquallure, Aqua Studio in NYC (you can read about #TeamSB’s experience here) and other hydrospinning studios near you.  

Rock climbing indoors 

Bouldering gyms are the go-to workout destination for both keen rock climbers and beginners in search of a unique, full-body workout. It entails sashaying up and across walls using foot and hand holds for varying levels of difficulty, requiring you to move your body in three-dimensional ways and switch on your brain while you’re at it. There are few better ways to block out everyday stresses and immerse yourself in your workout. Try it at Vauxwall in London, the Manchester Climbing Gym, Chelsea Piers in NYC or at an alternative climbing centre near you. 

Bouncing on trampolines 

By putting a trampoline beneath your feet, you’ll use almost every muscle in order to stabilise your body, and you’ll send your heart rate skyrocketing in the process. Try it at Sky Zone in the US and Canada, bari in NYC or sign up to a ‘rebounding’ class at Frame in London. 

Running over urban obstacles 

If a straightforward 10K doesn’t appeal to you, try jumping over walls and ducking under rails to take your mind off the distance and incorporate more muscle groups. That’s the idea behind parkour – the free running discipline that makes for a great away to explore the hidden corners of your city. Discover your nearest parkour club at parkouruk.org or americanparkour.com

Mountaintop yoga 

Trek the Himalayas and refine your yoga practice at height with daily flows, stretches and meditation. Plus, explore the temples and rich cultural heritage of Kathmandu. Find out more

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