We investigate alternative ways to shed the extra pounds off your waist with everything from pole dancing to Bikram yoga.

By Joyce See

Strip, stretch and shake your way to fitness

By Joyce See

A survey by the Department of Health revealed that the average drinker consumes 2,000 extra calories each month. Over the course of a year, that would mean gaining over two stone in fat unless it is worked off in exercise or is kept off by a reduction of food intake. In today’s image obsessed society, attempting a crash diet is probably one of the first things on your to-do list to keep those pounds off. However, before you embark on a possibly unhealthy regime, read The River’s list of alternative exercises that have been steadily gaining popularity amongst fitness enthusiasts. And the best part? It does not involve painfully placing one foot in front of the other on the treadmill.

Zumba

Zumba requires an immense amount of control in the midsection of the body, but is not only a dynamic core work out. It can also sculpt and tone all parts of your body, all whilst enjoying rhythmic Latin music. Bicep curls and lunges are just a few of the movements that have been worked into the routines. You don’t need to be a professional dancer to attend Zumba classes. They are made up of a lot of repetitions and you will find yourself an expert in no time.

Time: 30 – 55 minutes
Burns off 500 -1000 calories

Pole dancing

Forget the age-old stigma of pole dancing being only for strippers at nightclubs. Pole dancing is on the fast track to becoming one of the best ways to tone up and keep those nasty pounds at bay. If just holding on to the pole equals a push-up and every swing works as a tummy crunch, imagine what regular pole dancing classes could do for your body.

Time: 60 minutes
Burns off: 400 calories

Barre fitness

Barre fitness combines the elements of Pilates, yoga, resistance training and ballet into a work out which will lengthen, define and tone your body. With the use of weights, bands, small balls and a ballet barre, improve your flexibility, posture and core strength. This work out can be modified or adapted to suit every level of fitness, and you are likely to see results in only 10 sessions!

Time: 60 minutes
Burns off: 250-500 calories

Catslide fitness

This new and challenging form of exercise provides fast results, but you will work hard for it. By placing both hands and feet on little sliding mats and working out your body by moving your body parts in certain ways, Catslide challenges the whole body and puts your strength, balance and body control to the test. Whether your goal is to get back into shape, staying in shape or lose the pounds, give Catslide a try.

Time: 30-55 minutes
Burns off 400-800 calories

Spinning

The difference between Spinning and riding on a stationary bike at the gym is the group setting, music and instructors who add variety and visualisation to your workout. If you are feeling apprehensive about getting bulkier legs with all that cycling, shelve your fears; the simulated climbing of hills incorporated into spinning classes is strengthening, fuels your metabolism, which again translates to shapelier legs and lower body fat.

Time: 40-90 minutes
Burns off 400-1000 calories

Bikram yoga

In essence, Bikram yoga is a form of yoga that is practiced in a heated room of about 41 degrees. The heat aids in muscle relaxation and blood circulation, causing the heart rate to increase, which effectively helps the body burn more fat. The heat also flushes out toxins through sweat. For those weary of being inflexible, anyone can do yoga and you would be likely to notice an improvement after only a few weeks. If your goal is to lose weight, you are advised to attend three classes per week for maximum weight loss benefits.

Time: 90 minutes
Burns off 700-1200 calories

Tips on keeping the pounds off
1. Drink a glass of water before you eat. It eases your hunger and fills up the stomach, instantly allowing you to eat less.
2. Make your own meals and use smaller plates, it will trick your brain into getting full on smaller portions.
3. Avoid the centre aisles at the supermarket, that’s where all the processed food is.
4. Go blue; eat in blue plates, use a blue tablecloth, studies have shown that blue acts as an appetite suppressant.
5. Eat only when you are hungry and not out of boredom or habit.
6. Kiss. Yes, literally. Apparently a passionate kiss burns 6.4 calories per minute!

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