Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Zumba fitness has quickly grown to one of the most popular group exercise classes on the planet. In fact, the Latin-dance inspired workout is reportedly performed by more than 12 million people at 110,000 sites, in 125 countries around the world.

“Ditch the Workout – Join the Party!” That’s the marketing slogan for Zumba fitness, which attracts exercisers with a fun fusion of dance moves from styles like Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and Flamenco, and the sort of choreography you might see in a nightclub.

“Historically, aerobic dance was always like paint by the numbers,” says John Porcari, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science. “I think sometimes people get frustrated if dance steps get too intricate and complicated. But Zumba fitness leaves more room for interpretation. And it’s non-judgmental. You don’t have to move exactly like the instructor. It’s more like dancing in a club—people can just move the way they want.”



Over the past 15 years, much of the developed world has experienced the explosion in demand for Pilates. Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavor, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. 

Widely embraced by the professional dance community during much of the 20th century, the exercises -- "elephant," "swan", the language -- "pull navel to spine, and breeaaaathe," and the look -- bright-eyed, refreshed, buoyant-without-necessarily-sweating, are now commonly found in fitness classes, physical therapy offices, corporate retreats, luxury spas and wellness centers in the 21st century. With the aging of our population and the increasing trend toward mindful, moderate health practices, Pilates is increasingly found with a wait list at the YMCA, and in your local public schools--shaping the fitness ideals of our next generation.

Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits. Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus. Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles, coordination - both muscular and mental, are key components in an effective Pilates program. Posture, balance, and core strength are all heartily increased. Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time. Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of one's life.


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The swimming workout

swimingSculpt a crazy-hot body with this double-dip trick: Just adding water will turn up the firming and burning power on your rep-ertoire. Why fry in scorching summer temps when the fastest way to rock a cute suit is to tone below the water's surface? "The key is that water offers heavy resistance," says Igor Porciuncula, the cofounder of Boot Camp H20 in Los Angeles -- 12 times the resistance of air to be exact. That means your moves engage more muscle fibers and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Snag a kickboard from poolside and do Porciuncula's shape-and-shred circuit twice through for sexy arms, tight abs, trim thighs, and zero dripping sweat.