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The New Breed of Holistic Workout

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HealthClubTreadmillsArianna Huffington recently wrote a great article on how exercising (at American health clubs in particular) has become something to dread. Gyms have become a place we drag ourselves to, pay a hefty monthly fee for, and stare at a TV as we clock the obligatory 30-60 minutes/day.

She writes,

“The benefits of making our bodies fitter are deeply connected to the fitness of our inner selves, but gyms make it hard to feel that connection. They don’t allow for the kind of solitude and mindfulness that we can get communing with nature on an outdoor run. And, overly muscled pickups aside, they aren’t very conducive to making any real social connection. A person watching her own screen while walking on a treadmill next to another person watching another screen while walking on a treadmill is like a metaphor for our modern life. It’s what we do at work, at home and at the gym.”

I too find the gym is not conducive to mindfulness, and am more and more conscious that what I am motivated by most, is working out in a social context-with friends or family or the people I work with. I’d rather take a class, or go for a bike ride or a hike and share the endorphin rush with great people, than spend spare hours I don’t have on a treadmill.

Ariana references The Guardian‘s Nicole Mowbray, who wrote recently about the growing trend of the “calm workout,” or “a new breed of holistic workout that promises to care for your head as well as your heart” as she describes it. For example, there’s Psycle, which offers spinning classes in rooms with low lights and calming music and features a “free time” break during the class. 

“The philosophy is supposedly inspired by the belief that ‘your state of mind is key to how often and how hard you exercise.’ There’s also CardioLates, which combines spin and Pilates; Third Space, which offers the services of ‘wellness doctors’; and Spynga, which is part spin, part yoga.

These workouts are part of a trend driven by the understanding that getting fit doesn’t have to be so unpleasant. And it’s pretty simple to see that if we make exercise a more inviting and more rewarding experience, we’ll do it more often. If we’re going to redefine success to include well-being, we also need to redefine getting in shape to include mental and soul fitness.”

View Huffington link

Category: Anti-aging, Exercise, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized, Weight loss

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