Looking to get fit this year?

The year has just started and have you already broken your New Year’s resolutions? It’s not too late to get moving, and perhaps resolve to make use of that barely used gym membership purchased last year. If even the thought of doing the same old workouts makes you whimper with boredom, then Hot Hula might be the idea fitness regimen for you.

A new style of working out, based on Hawaiian Luau customs, Hot Hula is coming to the Kenosha RecPlex and promises to be an exciting way to work all the core muscles. The workout combines traditional Pacific Island dance movements with reggae music and Polynesian drumbeats.

With no exercise gear required, the bare footed workout has become one of the latest top workout trends, said Chris Finkel, Business Director of the RecPlex.

“We have also added more water aerobics classes and even water Zumba that is enjoyed by all ages, but is well attended by seniors as it is easier on the joints,” she explained, and added, that with childhood obesity at an epidemic level, they are meeting those needs as well.  “We are adding more Fitness 4 kids programs that include cardio and strength training, circuit training, martial arts and kick boxing. With the rise in MMA fighting and UFC, kids relate to that sort of training, but there is no contact, just techniques are taught.”

According to a recent survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, body weight training, which includes back-to-basics exercises like push-ups, planks pull-ups, squats and other exercises which use the body as resistance appears in the top ten for the first time.

“Body weight exercises are a proven way to get and stay fit,” said Walt Thompson Ph.D., FACSM of Georgia State University, who authored the study. “In a time when many people are concerned with cutting expenses, body weight exercises are a great way to feel great and look toned without a big financial investment.”

In addition to adding body weight training as a new trend for 2013, this year’s survey supports some of the previous trends and re-established two trends from previous surveys. Pilates, balance training, and the stability ball are trends that previously been listed in the top 20 but have not re-appeared on the list after they dropped off the list a couple of years ago.

In its place are educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals tied to businesses and organizations, which means more jobs for the fitness experts. According to Fitness Center Coordinator, Kelly Hetzel, some insurance companies are also rolling out programs such as Vitality, through Humana, and Health Contributions, through United Health Care, and Silver Sneakers, geared for seniors, as a proactive effort to improve the health of their clients.

“Some of the Y’s latest trends include, extreme races, such as Warrior and dirty girl and we will be hosting a winter warrior race called, “Brrrrrrr…..ing on the change,” said Hetzel. “It will be held January 5. This event is designed to help participants set realistic New Year’s resolutions and committing to keeping them. The first portion will be a goal setting session along with a weigh-in and waist measurements. Then participants will run outside one mile, then come in, and swim a ¼ mile and then back outside to complete another mile. We will have a wall of fame or wall of shame to hold the participants accountable to their New Year resolution. The number one resolution-to get fit.”

For the past 20 years, Curves has catered to women of all ages, who are interested in improving cardio fitness, strength, and flexibility. What many don’t realize, explained Teresa Grubiak, owner of Paddock Lake Curves, is that they are also a weight loss facility.

“This year, Curves is getting out the word. Our program, Curves Complete, combines weight loss in an easy to use online program, the Curves workout, and motivation,” said Grubiak. “Each of our members on the Curves Complete program will workout at Curves four times a week, wear a pedometer (provided by Curves) to keep track of their daily steps, and watch a short daily video to educate and motivate. The will have choices in the menus they plan, access to delicious and easy to prepare recipes, print their weekly grocery list, and most important, have weekly one-on-one coaching with one of our Certified Coaches to keep them accountable and on track.”

With three and six month Curves Complete memberships offered, women are able to join without a long term commitment to see if the program is a good fit for them.

“We’ve already had several members who have had wonderful success on Curves Complete this year, and we expect many more this coming year,” said Grubiak.

The RecPlex, YMCA and Curves have partnerships with some insurance companies, as well as the Silver Sneakers Program, which may be offered with Medicare supplemental insurance policies.

In addition to providing a workout, the RecPlex recently introduced a tanning system.

“Research has shown that about 75 percent of people that utilize tanning, also work out regularly,” said Finkel. “On another note, we have listened to our customers and added at least 40 free group fitness classes a week to the basic membership fee, and more levels of memberships to accommodate those that want more Group fitness and training at a better price.”

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