Starting a fitness program, while intimidating for some, is as easy as 1-2-3!
Step One: Deciding to exercise
Congratulations! You’ve just made the decision to start exercising and pursuing your physical fitness. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back because you just took your first step to living a healthier life. However, before you can book that photographer to take your ‘before and after’ fitness photos for Lifestyle magazine, you need to decide what routine you want to use to bring your fitness goals to fruition.
Step Two: What is boutique fitness?
Boutique fitness’ is broad term, encompassing fitness disciples like Pilates, barre, and yoga to name a few. In general, it refers to the wave of ‘alternative’ fitness classes rapidly gaining in popularity. Maybe you are uninspired by the traditional gym scene, or maybe you are looking for a creative new workout routine, coupled with professional guidance, or just a team environment to keep exercise fun and motivating. Either way, boutique fitness classes offer something for everyone. All that’s left is deciding what boutique fitness class suits you best. This can be a hard choice, as there are a plethora of options from which to choose. To aid you in this, we have provided information about three of the most popular: Pilates, barre, and yoga.
Step three: Pilates, yoga, and barre, oh my!
Pilates: Core power!
- Core muscles
- Muscle toning
Pilates is a low-impact exercise discipline that aims to tone muscles and improve flexibility and endurance. Although not designed for weight loss, the controlled exercises of Pilates can be great for people looking to alleviate joint pain. Many Pilates exercises focus on core strength, so if toned abs or alleviating back pain are part of your fitness goal, this could be the one for you.
Classes you take may involve the use of a thick mat to aid with exercises, or a machine called a reformer (as shown right).
Yoga: Reach for the sky, literally!
- Muscle strengthening
There exists a variety of different branches of yoga; however, the underling commonality is movement with breath.
Yoga, like Pilates, is a low-impact exercise discipline involving controlled movements. Yoga adds a spiritual level to it’s workouts, with a focus on meditation and a calm state of mind. If relaxation is your goal, this may be the one for you.
Yoga exercises involve a series of movements, changing from different positions and stretches in a controlled manner.
Barre: a fitness ballet
- Lower body (calves, quads, glutes)
- Muscle strengthening
- Derived from ballet
Barre classes involve the use of a ballet barre (a long wooden handle running along a wall) and movements inspired by ballet positions.
Barre exercises involve isomeric exercises. These involve only contracting specific muscles in a small range of movement, often with many repetitions.
Focused on lower body, Barre would be suitable for people looking to exercise their legs or tone their glutes.
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