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I’ll be the first to admit: I hate working out. Don’t get me wrong, I work out often, and I love feeling accomplished afterwards—but I never seem to find grueling workouts particularly fun in the moment (ya feel me?). That’s why I’m always looking for ways to burn calories without burning my spirit.
Luckily, fitness is getting a heck of a lot more fun. There are tons of classes out there that are so enjoyable, you don’t even notice the pain, but still get the gains. Check them out:
If you’re looking for more of a rockout than a workout, this class will be music to your ears. Pound® is a cardio and strength class inspired by playing the drums. In the class, you use lightly weighted drumsticks—called Ripstix®—for a full-body workout (and full-body jam session) that shifts your focus from reps to rhythm. If rocking out to sweet tunes doesn’t sell you, you’ll burn up to 900+ calories per hour while drumming your way to a leaner physique.
Remember the days of jumping on a trampoline as a kid? Great news, it’s still socially acceptable to bounce over the age of 12. Even greater news, it’s actually good for you. Trampoline (also known as rebounder) fitness is a high-intensity workout with cardio levels equivalent to running, but has a lower impact and is easier on your joints. Group trampoline classes channel your inner-child and still give you a great workout, and they are springing up all over. These classes work every muscle in your body and raise your heart rate, but don’t make you feel like you’re exerting as much energy. Now that’s something to jump for joy about.
Throw your preconceived notions out the window—pole dancing has emerged as a mainstream form of fitness. As a sport that requires incredible strength and training, pole dancing uses the body as resistance and incorporates dance and gymnastic-based moves. If you’re looking for a way to increase core strength, tone your body and boost your confidence, try a beginner’s class near you.
Given the choice between spending time on a treadmill in the gym or dancing the night away with my friends, I’m going to pick the latter every time. If you can relate to that, it’s time to give dance classes a try. From hip hop to salsa to twerking, cardio dance classes are popular as a fun way to shake off some calories. You may even get some new moves to bust out next time you hit the dance floor with your friends.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a merperson, now’s your chance. From aqua aerobics to aqua cycling, more and more classes are taking it below the surface. These classes take advantage of the higher resistance that builds naturally underwater, making you stronger and the workout more effective. Water classes are a lot easier on the joints, too. The buoyancy of the water takes off some of the impact that our bodies face during land workouts, which is especially good if you’re recovering from an injury or have a condition that limits you. Plus, these classes are great on a hot day—so you can be cool in more ways than one.
You don’t have to quit your day job to run away to the circus, take a class instead. Combining fun and focus, circus-inspired workouts are flying in as a thrilling way to get fit. If you find yourself in a fitness rut, raise the stakes with acrobatics, aerial arts, trapeze, tightropes and more. These classes help you build full-body strength, as well as courage to let go and say yes to new things.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.