Exercise options extend beyond the walls of the gym


Taylor Blad

Rock climbing walls can be found at two Lifetime locations, Dicks Sporting Goods, and Vertical Endeavors.

Orange Theory Fitness
A new idea of fitness that is reaching high popularity is an orange theory workout. The first thirty-five minutes are dedicated to some kind of cardio, whether it be running or biking. The remainder of the time is spent working on strength training and stretching. During the cardiovascular training segment, a member of the class will wear a heart monitor that is displayed on a TV at the front of the room to show whether the class’s intensity ranges in a green, yellow or orange zone. The instructor leads a series of intervals that will increase or decrease heart rate, this has been proven to burn more calories than staying at a constant pace. People can participate at an orange theory workout at an Orange Theory Fitness with studio locations in Apple Valley, Minneapolis, and Plymouth.

Barre Class
Barre class imitates a ballet-inspired workout that works on toning one’s muscles through dance movement. Fortunately, exercisers do not need any prior dance experience in order to take a Barre class and excel. The class was designed so that anyone can take part in it. Unlike a regular ballet class with classical music, usually workout junkies exercise to upbeat pop music to keep the energy high and lively. Barre demonstrates a great combination with other cardio practices since it’s a mix between stretching and strength training. In Barre class, people perform the basic warmups of a regular ballet class, consisting of plies and tendus, at a higher intensity to burn more calories. This form of exercise achieves long, lean, and toned muscles rather than creating a more bulky physique. It is suggested that to see the best results one should attend Barre class at least three to four times a week. Locations to find a Barre class are Haute Barre Studio in West End or The Barre Studio in Wayzata.

Rock Climbing
Rock climbing seems to be the perfect workout in order to break one’s usual routine as well as an excellent way to be social and have fun with friends. Benefits of this exercise consist of improved cardiovascular health, weight loss and muscle tone. When climbing at only a moderate pace, people can burn up to 400 calories in an hour. Climbing increases muscle strength and in turn, tones. It targets the core, chest, arms and legs. To see the best results it’s recommended to attend at least two to three times a week with a combination of light cardio training like running or biking. No problem if one doesn’t live near a mountain, many stores in the Minneapolis area can fulfill rock climbing needs. Find a rock walls at Lifetime Fitness in Chanhassen, Dicks Sporting Goods or Lifetime in Plymouth.

Belly Dancing
Belly dancing is not only an art, but has created a new form of exercise that both men and women have taken a liking to around the world. Many people are shocked to find out this style of dancing doesn’t have to include beaded skirts, finger cymbals, or a fancy tambourine to be called belly dancing. Classes vary in difficulty but all utilize every part of the body, especially the abdomen. The class usually starts out with the instructor teaching basic steps to a poky pace, and Bollywood music gradually builds the simpler steps into more challenging combinations. Not only is the stomach activated, but the glutes, legs, arms, and back muscles are scorched with a mix of light cardio work. Every single move in the class stems from the movement of the hips, which can be an awkward, but the core muscles are guaranteed to be worked in ways never experienced before. An exciting place to start belly dancing classes with all types of levels is at Aalim School of Belly Dance in South Minneapolis with $25 classes.

Kick Boxing
While feeling like a kung-fu fighter during an intense kickboxing class, the body will be transformed by the cardio and strength through a series of traditional exercises like jumping jacks and push ups mixed with knee strikes and punches. (Don’t worry, the kickboxing does not involve beating anyone but yourself.) Almost always, classes will start off with a 5-10 minute warm up consisting of light cardio like high knees, grape vines, light punches, and other slow footwork to get the blood circulating. The exercise is continued with high impact cardio for 30-40 minutes containing jumps, kicks, and many variations of punches. Because of the constant motion, the cardio is taxing, yet the mental workout happens to be just as tough and a good distraction for the lack of breath. This type of exercise will work all the way from the top of the head to the toes, and everywhere in between. It also guarantees to leave aching and soreness the next day, all while burning over 800 calories. Through the kicks and tense muscle movements, flexibility increases while fat burns. Usually, instructors play techno and dance music to aid in motivating the students through the grueling program of a fierce workout. Warrior’s Cove, located in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and St. Paul, offer kickboxing classes Sunday through Friday with a free month trial for new members.