These modes of mobility never go out of style.
Is running for you? Tim Price, running coach and personal trainer with Flatts Fitness, explains where to begin:
• Start within your comfort zone and progress gradually. For example, at the beginning, run for a minute, walk for three to five minutes until you have recovered, then run again and walk again.
• As you progress, expand the running and shrink the walking so over time you run more and walk less.
• Accountability: Make plans with a friend or trainer, especially if you are a beginner, because you won’t want to let people down.
• You cannot drink enough water, especially in the summer, and hydrating throughout the day is just as important as before and during a workout.
• Be realistic with your goals and gradually progress with your distance and speed.
Beat the Couch
“Beat the Couch” is a running programme specifically aimed at beginner runners, explains its founder, Catherine Burns of Natural Nutrition, “because from a disease management perspective, where we can see a real shift in risk factors is in getting sedentary people moderately fit. This goes a long way to preventing disease.
“What people need is hand-holding, accountability, motivation and camaraderie. It’s painful at the start and recovery is slow, but we work with a whole team of people who provide motivation and professional know-how for managing beginners.”
The programme runs twice a year from February to May and then October to December. Participants pick three out of a possible 10 training sessions per week and there is podcast support if they can’t make it. At the end, you literally have to “beat the couch” being pushed around the 5K route by some of Bermuda’s running elite.
Have you been stuck behind a cyclist when running late and instead of getting annoyed thought “maybe I should try that?” Greg Hopkins, co-owner of Winners Edge, makes some suggestions:
• Don’t be put off if you haven’t ridden a bike since childhood. “It is as easy as riding a bike.” Always be cautious to begin with though.
• Choose the right style and size of bike. There are styles to suit every need—commuting, recreational, dual-purpose for on- and off-road and more. Seek the advice of your bike shop staff.
• Make sure you have the correct seat height. Too high or too low can quickly result in discomfort and possible knee injury.
• Buy protective headgear. Most injuries happen when individuals fall off their bikes. There are no good reasons not to wear a helmet.
• When you first start, many people find it helpful to make it a group activity by riding with friends or family.
• For commuting to work, consider a hybrid-style bike starting at less than $500. When you consider the cost savings of gas, it isn’t a huge investment.
• Cycling is great for improving overall fitness without the negative effects of some other activities because it is low-impact.
If you’re not inspired by going to the gym, you’ve tried the usual fitness classes but they’re not for you or if you just fancy trying something different in 2018, maybe one, or all, of these classes could be for you.
Beach Boot Camp
Why would you sweat inside when you live on a beautiful island and can sweat on the sand in front of the ocean? George Moroianu, a personal trainer at Courthouse Squash & Wellness, runs “Bootcamp on the Beach,” which is an eight-week programme at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings at Elbow Beach. It occurs four times a year and the next one will begin in January. It is a 60-minute circuit training session. “Everyone can work at their own individual fitness level and the sand really helps because you have to work a bit harder,” says Sue Pell, Courthouse’s general manager. “And you can cool off in the water at the end.”
If you ever watched pole dancers in the movies or real life and thought it looked easy, you’ll think again once you have tried it yourself. “I’m in the best shape I have ever been in,” says Marilyn Allers, owner and instructor at Aerial Therapy. “Pole classes strengthen all your muscles—especially core, shoulders and legs.” If you are a “pole virgin,” you can try “Meet the Pole,” which starts with body positioning, simple floor transitions such as pirouettes, maybe a spin and then a “pull up” onto the pole. “There are no guarantees, but as long as people are consistent, the majority are able to hold themselves up in the initial climbing position by the sixth week. As you become more advanced, the classes open up a whole new world of movements—upright holds, handstands, “tick tock” legs and when you are really good, you can do it upside down! Moves can be modified to suit all abilities and as long as you have no injuries, the pole is suitable for adults of any age. There is even a class for which you can wear your stilettos.”
Self Defence at TAMA Dojo
While the health benefits of exercise are well known, the self-defense techniques taught by Sensei Bob Smith, could, quite literally, save your life. They incorporate Krav Maga, which is the military self-defense system developed for the Israel Defense Forces. The exercises are all gross motor skills because that is all you can manage in very stressful situations. It’s not all exercise because Smith teaches that the priority is to avoid a dangerous situation altogether. You will learn how to move your feet so you don’t lose balance, how to correctly hold your arms to protect yourself, how to use the palm of your hand to best effect and how to use basic items to harm your attacker. You will be amazed how much damage you can do with a pen or a handkerchief. You need to be “functionally fit” to defend yourself and that is also the aim. Be warned, to simulate the stress of an attack you may have to do burpees!
Aerial Silks is the “art of wrapping and the art of climbing,” says Kallie Marcus, founder of Kinetix. It involves a 20-foot brightly coloured piece of fabric, attached in the middle to the ceiling to create two long tails and you literally climb and wrap yourself in the
m in various different ways. “It exercises arms, core and legs and particularly strengthens your grip,” she continues. “I can open things I didn’t used to be able to.” While it will take some practice before you can do the splits 14 feet in the air, beginners can still look like experts by moving their body into different positions, creating some great poses that make you flex every muscle in your body such as the “inverted tuck,” “bird of paradise,” “hip lean” and “hummingbird.”
Can you dance for hours on a Saturday night, but dread the thought of doing any exercise? Do you love the idea of an aerobics class, but are too self-conscious to give it a go? If this sounds familiar, then Geisha Rene’s SocaFit classes might be for you. The ceiling lights go down, the disco lights come on, the soca music is loud and suddenly you don’t care what you look like, you just follow the moves as best you can until you feel like you’ve run a marathon and can’t stop smiling! And the best part says Geisha is that “no one is watching you! It’s a cardio-based class but instead of having to run or stand on a treadmill for an hour you are burning calories by dancing.”
“Back trouble often begins with a weak core and poor posture. Feel Good Studio’s goal is to align the spine and balance the posture with correct positioning of the pelvis. With our passive exercises, one gains maximum oxygenation and blood flow to improve core strength, balance and posture”
— Caroline Bartlett, Owner of Feel Good Studio
Follow these links to learn more about types of exercise, local classes, and which fitness program is the best fit for you: