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Bounce your way to better health

Posted by Alexa Pozniak  January 18, 2013 04:19 PM

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Regular workouts keep me in decent shape. But I’m always looking for ways to get faster, stronger, and more flexible. There are a myriad of options out there, which can be overwhelming for beginners and seasoned athletes alike. I’ll play the role of guinea pig and review some of the new and unusual exercise classes being offered around the region, with the hope you’ll find one that appeals to you and gets you moving. If you would like to suggest a workout for me to try, tweet me @apoztv.

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At first glance it looks easy -- how hard could jumping on a trampoline for an hour really be? I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. Looks, however, are completely deceiving … but in a good way. Skyrobics, offered at Sky Zone in Hyde Park, may just be one of the toughest, most fun workouts I’ve ever done.

The class kicks off with a round of warm-up jumps. At first, I was slightly nervous. Thoughts raced through my mind: What if I jumped too close to the edge and went flying off the apparatus (that never happens)? Or what if I landed the wrong way and broke my ankle (as you can see, I’m all about positive thinking)? But after about a minute or two, the inner child in me emerged and I became completely fearless, trying to get higher and higher with each jump.

A large portion of the workout is cardio-focused. Your heart rate soars the more you jump. Sky Zone claims your body burns up to 1,000 calories during the class. Your core muscles are constantly engaged for what seemed like the entire 60 minutes. Activating these muscles is what propels your body forward and backwards, and side to side.
Sets of squats, sit-ups, and push-ups are interspersed throughout the workout, along with bands to do bicep curls and other shoulder exercises. At one point you’re paired up with a partner and throw balls back and forth. This not only adds to the challenge of jumping and coordination -- you have to time the jump perfectly to catch the ball -- but it also injects a sense of camaraderie into the class.

Years of wear and tear from playing sports have done a number on my knees. When something involves a lot of running, they begin to ache. But the interesting thing about trampolines is they absorb the pressure placed on the legs, making it a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints. Prior to class you’re given special shoes to wear. They have the look of broken-in high-tops (with the smell of bowling shoes) and provide your ankles with extra support.

Skyrobics is definitely a total body workout. You’ll sweat throughout the class, and find yourself winded after each exercise. But what distracts you from all of this is a feeling of fun. It’s such a blast, in fact, that it’s easy to forget you’re actually exercising.

Sky Zone, http://www.skyzone.com/boston.aspx, Skyrobics: Sun. 11 a.m., Mon. 9 a.m., Tues. 6 and 7 p.m., Wed. 9 and 10 a.m., Thurs. 6 p.m. Drop-in rate for a class: $12. Monthly membership: $60.

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.

CONTRIBUTORS

Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at Boston.com. She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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