Here we are again, at the beginning of a brand new year.
While most of us are entering 2012 with plenty of hope and optimism, we’re also dealing with the obvious aftermath of the holidays. Christmas was a season to be merry, to celebrate with generous amounts of food and drink, and consequently, to gain extra pounds. Given this, it comes as no surprise that every year, the top New Year’s Resolution of women all over the world is to – by hook or by crook – lose weight.
And we all know how difficult that can be.
What makes it especially difficult is that most of us go into it without a solid plan. First, we diet by reducing our portions significantly. When the weight doesn’t immediately disappear, we try fad diets, going through a surprising list of options until we decide that the answer has nothing to do with dieting. We then resort to exercise. We try jogging, swimming, running – a whole gamut of physical activities. Once we inevitably grow tired, we give up completely and resolve to lose the weight next year instead. This cycle of pound-packing proportions has no real end.
The truth is: it doesn’t have to be that way. This year can be different. It all begins with finding an option that works for you, then seeing it through. Let’s start 2012 with a wellness commitment. After all, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Here are some fitness options for the year ahead so that you can look your best, feel your best and, ultimately, be your best:
Among the latest workout routines available in the country, CrossFit combines elements of weightlifting, sprinting, gymnastics, powerlifting, kettlebell training, plyometrics, rowing and medicine ball training. It is based on the principle that a healthy and fit person needs to be capable in cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.
CrossFit workouts involve constantly varying movements done at high intensity. The programs are the same across people with different requirements and physical conditioning, differing only in the specific load and intensity.
While CrossFit may appear intimidating to the casual gym-goer, it can actually be performed by people of all ages and physical conditions, including kids and the not-so-young. It is also good for individuals that have a need for time-efficient workouts, as most sessions have a circuit-training aspect and are completed in less than 30 minutes.
Magnitude Realty Estate, 186 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippine Army Gymnasium, Lawton Ave. cor Bayani Road, Taguig City, Metro Manila
Contact number: (0917) 533-1787
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com
2 . Zumba
While Zumba was created in the 1990s, its popularity has only recently soared in the Philippines. It involves dance and aerobic elements, and moves inspired by hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, Bollywood and belly dancing. Squats and lunges may also be included.
What sets Zumba apart from regular aerobics sessions is the music, which is a mixture of cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, cha-cha, reggaeton, soca, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, hip hop, axé and tango. Many classes combine slow and fast beats with tunes intended for movements that tone specific body parts, such as the arms, legs and abs. In fact, classes are so fun that they’re often referred to as Fitness Parties.
Gold’s Gym is one of the larger establishments that offer Zumba, with some smaller places also holding classes. In the south, it can be experienced in City Sports Club in Cebu, among other locations. In addition, a number of private instructors certified by the official Zumba organization have regular sessions in different locations around the country.
Gold’s Gym Websiteswww.goldsgym.com.ph
City Sports Club Cebu
Cardinal Rosales Avenue, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, Cebu
Contact number: (32) 415-8700
3. Circuit Training
The effectiveness of circuit training has ensured its continuing popularity among people trying to get a little more fit. This exercise combines resistance training and high-intensity aerobics, and targets strength building and muscular endurance. It is ideal for time-conscious individuals who need to get the most out of their gym visits.
Circuit training typically consists of six to 10 resistance exercises done in quick succession. These involve low or moderate weights and many repetitions, and target different muscle groups so rest between exercises is not needed. This also gets the heart rate up to burn calories. When all exercises are finished, this is counted as one circuit and the next circuit begins.
Many gyms in the Philippines offer their own variations of circuit training. At 360˚ Fitness Club, for instance, the program is called 360˚ Circuit and is made up of 10 active and 10 active rest stations intended for completion within 30 minutes.
360° Fitness Club
13/F Strata 100 Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila
7/F 107 Dolmar Gold Tower, C. Palanca Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila
4. Plana FORMA
Developed and based in Manila, Plana FORMA is a unique combination of pilates, yoga and dance that also incorporates key principles and techniques from the Physique 57 system. It creates a lean physique by defining thighs, lifting seats, toning arms and strengthening abdominals. Other possible benefits are heightened lung capacity and metabolic rate, improved body awareness and posture, increased bone density and stronger core and back muscles.
You don’t have to be in great shape to take Plana FORMA, as it is intended for people in a wide range of physical conditions. There are no breaks taken here; sessions are designed to fire up muscles to the point of exhaustion through interval training. Each 55-minute class is unique, and can help you burn as much as 600 calories. You’ll need to bring your own grip-adding socks, but you can also choose to buy at the studio instead.
6/F Jecoprime Building, 20th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila
If you are looking to get fit this year without causing a huge dent in your pocket, running is a surefire way to improve your health while losing unwanted pounds. Among its many benefits are the higher levels of good cholesterol and increased lung function. It is also said to help boost the immune system and can definitely relieve stress, particularly after a bad day.
Your choice of rubber shoes can definitely make or break a good running experience, so care must be taken to get a pair that works well for you. Your best bet is to go to a specialty running shop that can find out what kind of shoes is best for your feet. RUNNR, for example, performs footprint and video gait analysis, and custom insole moulding. ARC (A Runner’s Circle) does gait analysis as well.
Aloha Hotel, Unit H, 2150 Roxas Boulevard cor. Quirino Ave., Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Contact number: 567-iRun (4786)
Whatever option you select, we highly encourage you to plan it out properly. Once you’re done, all that’s left to do is to live it out, have some fun and expect a wonderfully fit year ahead.