Making Fitness Fun!
Unique workouts offer benefits for body and mind
Fitness has seen a veritable shift in the last hundred years. From simple 1910’s gentle stretching and 1950’s hula-hoops to 1970’s aerobics and power-filled 1990’s Tae Bo and boxing, the way we move to promote wellness has had its fair share of fun.
Today, unique forms of exercise continue to abound. They include mainstays strength training and cardio, but long gone are the days where one must worship the treadmill to get moving.
Fun fitness that takes the “work” out of a workout promotes health and wellness without the dread, and benefits both mental and physical well-being like never before.
Here are three options in the Fox Cities:
Lake Park Swim & Fitness
Jane Dias, Owner/Manager
“Life can throw us curve balls, there are events, vacations, work pressures… a million excuses not to work out. The most important trend to focus on is showing up for yourself. Be your own cheerleader even if that means just taking a walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.”
Why “fun fitness”? Being involved in fun fitness activities removes the stigma or feeling of “have to” or dread that many have regarding exercise. Fun fitness activities provide variety, such as being outdoors versus in a health club. Being outdoors enables seasonal fun activities like snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, paddleboard or inline skating. Engaging in activities outside of traditional fitness is also an easy way to exercise with others – group runs, team sports, golf – we all need more social interaction, which helps improve our mental health as well. Changing up workouts and mixing in fun activities keeps the brain interested and the body responding, which together help drive fitness goals and success.
Fitness philosophy: Our mission statement is Inform.Connect.Inspire and from the moment someone walks through our front doors, they immediately feel what makes us different. Information, connection and inspiration from staff and other members is key to consistent use of a health club. We want our members to use the Club on a regular basis and to meet others so they feel inspired, motivated and supported. We also welcome all levels of fitness, so everyone feels a strong sense of belonging at Lake Park.
What they offer: In addition to offering most of the Les Mills branded classes, like Body Pump, RPM, Body Attack and Body Flow, we also offer freestyle classes, which allows the instructors to design the workouts and the music playlists. These would include kickboxing, tabata, yoga, kettlebells, etc.
But what is really unique is GlideFit, which is the epitome of fun fitness. In fact, it is floating fitness on a specially designed board which is bungeed to the pool lane markers. This aquatic-based balance and stability training focuses on engaging the core or the muscles surrounding and protecting the spine. GlideFit is a total body workout on a floating board and you will fall off and get wet, but that is just part of the fun!
Appleton Parks and Recreation (APRD)
Elizabeth Konrath, CPRP, Recreation Programmer
“Trends come and go, but we consistently observe that outdoor fitness classes have continued to be a popular program for our community. Spending time in nature and parks have been linked to a host of benefits for one’s physical and emotional well-being.”
Fitness philosophy: In my observations of our APRD fitness classes, the biggest benefit is the social and emotional support that our participants receive. Here at APRD, our mission is “Building communities and enriching lives where we live, work and play.” Whether we are providing fitness classes, sports leagues or enrichment programs, our goal is to ensure that these programs are aligned with our mission. We often hear participants say they love the sense of community and belonging they feel when coming to a class. Many participants build long lasting friendships through our classes. There is no judgment or competition in our fitness classes.
What they offer: I believe what separates us from other fitness establishments is our wide selection of outdoor spaces we have available to offer classes in various city parks. Our yoga classes in the spring, summer and fall enjoy a serene, picturesque view of the gardens in Appleton Memorial Park. We offer multiple yoga classes, Tai Chi, Zumba, Pure Strength and StrongBodies.
We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with two very special partners in the community that offer Mindfulness classes to both families with teens and adults. These classes have been such an amazing support to the community especially as the community continues to learn how to navigate COVID-19. These classes focus on cultivating presence, compassion, and gratitude for yourself and others. We also partner with other health and wellness providers, such as Seed Guild. Topics that are covered range from herbal kitchen creation, Herbal Salve Making, and Wild Edibles.
The “why”: We feel that providing an all-inclusive, well-rounded health and wellness program to our community will assist in our mission to build a community that is united, supported, and compassionate for one another.
Fly Circus & Aerial Arts LLC
Julia Martinson, Co-Owner
“The success rate in doing something that you don’t enjoy is pretty low. Having instead a hobby that is enjoyable and also helps you stay fit is going to be something a person can follow through with over the long term.”
Fitness philosophy: Our mantra is “Where fitness takes flight.” We start on the ground and work our way up! We have beginner classes to teach the fundamentals and start building strength but all of our classes are tailored to the students that are enrolled. We don’t have a “cookie-cutter” curriculum. We teach new skills on an individualized basis.
Our classes are social gatherings as well. Coming to class isn’t about putting in your earbuds and doing a workout by yourself. We work together on skills and everyone celebrates when an achievement is made!
What they offer: Dance trapeze, various pole fitness classes, hammock, silks and lyra. We also offer kids classes in hammock and lyra for ages 8 and older! At age 12 kids can start working on the silks and at age 15 they can join the adult classes. We also offer grounded yoga, conditioning, and contortion classes to aid your aerial development.
Each class starts with a warm up and ends with a stretch session. In the meat of an aerial class a student works on poses or positions and transitions between these different moves. Poses might be attempted in a stationary or spinning fashion. The coach demonstrates one or more moves and then spots a student while they are in the process of learning them. By the end of the class, multiple moves and transitions are linked together into a mini choreographed routine.
Individual attention: A perfect fitness program is one that focuses on the individual participating. We very much subscribe to that with our small class sizes and almost Montessori style of teaching. Our coaches tailor their programming to the students in attendance to help them grow and meet their aerial goals. Any person can start with a beginner course – you don’t have to be “in shape” or “strong enough” or even coordinated! We are a judgment-free zone because we are all different shapes and have varying levels of strength. When you start taking aerial classes you’ll gain strength and you’ll change shapes—and many aerialists are uncoordinated on the ground, hence why we take to the sky to fly!
Key to loving your fitness routine: Find something fun to do that also benefits your body and your mind! Aerial and Pole fitness aren’t just trendy fitness fads, they’ve been around for, and will be around for, many decades to come.
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