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Fitness dance class

Activities to Beat the Winter Blues

David Nathan

David Nathan

Shape up:

Freelance journalist

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Winter blues getting you down? Then it’s time to get active! Exercise is a great way to lift your spirits, so we’ve come up with a few ways to stay active during the dark winter months.

Dance, dance and more dance
It’s the perfect marriage of pleasure and sports, ranging from traditional dances like tango, salsa, merengue, rock ‘n’ roll and line dancing to dances that you may not have heard of but will definitely want to try! Zumba is an invigorating exercise routine from Colombia, inspired by several Latin dances (salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton…) and aerobics. Electro dance fans should try out popping, a technique based on contracting and relaxing muscles in time with the beat. Couples who want to stay active together can try forró, a Brazilian dance. For everyone else, there’s Bollywood, Afro-Brazilian and Cabaret Broadway.

New sports
One sport that has been generating quite a lot of buzz recently is CrossFit. It’s not exactly a sport, but more of a physical conditioning program that draws on several disciplines, including weightlifting, gymnastics and track and field. Group sessions last one hour, and consist of a series of exercises with no down time in between. It’s high-intensity, but very accessible—the level of intensity can be easily adapted to each participant. A similarly intense workout can be found with BootCamp courses, which feature a motivational trainer. At the other end of the spectrum is acro yoga, an increasingly popular activity that brings acrobatic moves to traditional yoga routines, often requiring two people. One partner lies on the floor (the base), supporting the other partner in the air (the flyer). Perfect for developing equilibrium and self-control.

Sports @ home
One great way to forget your winter blues is to exercise at home! Video game consoles like Kinect and Wii Fit can help you get in shape and play games at the same time—time flies when you’re having fun! Other alternatives are exercise DVDs, which are available for virtually every activity, such as Abs, Pilates and Yoga. A stationary bicycle is a great way to ride a few kilometres from the comfort of your home, and spinning at home can improve your cardio. If space is limited, the TRX line of trainers can help you stay in shape.

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