Outside-the-box fitness

Forget the gym. Here are a few other ways of whipping yourself into shape.

Swing around

Pole dancing or pole fitness is an exercise program fusing strength training and gymnastics that is performed on a vertical pole.

“What sets pole apart from other forms of fitness is the sheer fun of it, the challenge and sense of accomplishment you get from mastering an art form while building a healthy body,” said Alishia Sala, owner of Aradia Fitness Toronto on Eglinton Avenue West east of Allen Road. “What could be more fun as an adult than spinning and twirling and flipping upside down?”

While beginners use poles for conditioning and spins, experienced dancers master more advanced moves, like inversions and pole tricks.

“Expanding your repertoire of skills is the goal, and weight loss and building strength are the inevitable side benefits,” she said.

Pole-centric studios have also become draws for bachelorette parties.

Jump up

From 3-D dodge ball to a large court of connecting trampolines, Leaside’s Sky Zone has many fun ways to stay active. Owner Caroline Irving said they also offer on-trampoline fitness classes called SkyRobics, which can burn as much as 1,000 calories an hour.

The low-impact classes combine advanced calisthenics, core exercises and strength-building aerobics.

Hardcore parkour

Parkour — the art of moving, jumping, vaulting, climbing and swinging to conquer obstacles like walls, blocks, rails and bars — is often practised in the great outdoors.

However, The Monkey Vault Movement Training Centre, Dan Iaboni’s new 10,000-square-foot indoor facility at St. Clair Avenue West and Symes Road is devoted to parkour, freerunning, tricking, gymnastics, break-dancing, circus arts and stunt training.

Take the barre

The barre is no longer reserved for ballet. Barre fitness classes incorporate muscle sculpting, cardio-training, core conditioning, ballet type movements, core conditioning and flexibility training. Midtown facilities offering barre-based classes include Summerhill’s Ultimate Athletics and North Toronto’s Barreworks.

Get juiced

Another health trend on the rise is that of coldpressed juices and cleanses. Companies like Greenhouse Juice Co. at Yonge Street and Macpherson Avenue and Rosedale’s Belmonte Raw inside 889 Yoga and Wellness Spa offer individual drinks boasting nutritional benefits and several servings of vegetables as well as special cleansing programs to flush out toxins.


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Posted: Mar 26 2014 4:07 pm
Filed in: Health & Wellness
Edition: Toronto
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