6 New Fun Exercise Trends to Try Now


Story Updated: Mar 13, 2013

When it comes to getting fit, there are two things I believe in: taking classes and trying new things. This was exactly the approach I took to get -- and stay -- in white-dress shape for my wedding. In the six months leading up to my big day, I tried as many different classes as I could. I had so much fun and it kept me incredibly active.

What about you? Need a time out from the treadmill? Are you burnt out on that spin bike? Introducing a new type of exercise to your usual routine can kick-start your resolve and results. If you're in a fitness rut, consider the following classes, which are taking studios and gyms by storm. One of these types of exercise may be just what you need to get excited to sweat again!

1. If you like…competition
Try… CrossFit

What it is: In a word: Intense! CrossFit workouts are fast-paced, as you continuously move from one high-intensity exercise to the next. The exercises mostly involve fundamental actions, like running (more like sprinting!), throwing, jumping, squatting, pushing, pulling and swinging. There's a variety of equipment, including barbells, kettlebells and sandbags. The goal is to complete a certain number of reps of each exercise within a given amount of time. In many classes, participants compete against one another. Because of its high intensity, you're sure to torch tons of calories!

One warning: Because of the explosive nature of many CrossFit exercises, it's crucial to have good form before ramping up the intensity to avoid injury. If you're just starting to get in shape, jumping right in may not be your best option. Consider working with a personal trainer to learn the basics first.

Check it out: Watch these videos for demos of CrossFit exercises and click here to find CrossFit facilities in your area.

2. If you like…bodyweight exercises

What it is: This "suspension-training system" contains two long straps that attach to a stable surface, like a doorframe, weight rack or tree. Using your own body weight and gravity as resistance, you can do hundreds of different exercises by holding the handles or placing your feet in the foot cradles.

Instead of isolating a specific area, these exercises work your entire body. It's great for building strength (particularly the core) and improving balance and flexibility.

Check it out: Find a trainer or a facility in your area that offers TRX training. You can also purchase your own suspension training system to use at home.

3. If you like…dance parties

What it is: Here's what the Zumba brand calls itself: "a calorie-burning dance-fitness party." I'd say that's about right. This high-energy workout incorporates dance moves and fun music. Make sure to bring along a pack of Puffs tissues -- you'll work up a sweat while shaking parts of your body you didn't even know where shake-able.

In addition to the standard Zumba® Fitness classes, there are also several other formats you may see offered, including Zumba® Toning, which incorporates resistance training using special toning sticks, and Aqua Zumba® (a pool party workout!).

Check it out: Click here to find a class near you or consider a workout DVD to do at home.

4. If you like…ballet
Try…The Bar Method™

What it is: This "non-impact" workout is dance conditioning with a variety of exercises -- some done with free weights, some at the bar and some on a mat -- to tighten and tone your entire body.

It also involves lots of stretching to help elongate muscles and improve posture. Many of the exercises are isometric, which involves holding a position and making small range-of-motion movements (say, pulsing up and down in a squat).

Check it out: Find a studio location near you, see examples of exercises, or check out these DVDs you can do at home. Pure Barre and Fluidity are different but similar brands of ballet-inspired fitness you could also check out.

5. If you like…high-intensity classes
Try…boot camp

What it is: Boot camp workouts aren't brand-new type of exercise, but their growing popularity has lead to more options and offerings.

Inspired by military workouts (hard core!), these high-intensity classes involve both cardio conditioning and strength training. They often move quickly, without a lot of rest, and often incorporate interval training and explosive plyometric moves (like burpees).

Check it out: Depending on the season, you may be able to find outdoor classes offered in your area. (I think the fresh-air ramps up those endorphins even more!) You can also check out local gyms for boot-camp-style classes. Barry's Bootcamp is a popular chain with only has facilities in select cities. They also have DVDs you can do at home.

6. If you like…yoga
Try…aerial yoga

What it is: Want to kick your yoga up a notch? In an aerial yoga class, you do many traditional poses…but in a special fabric hammock that hangs a few feet off of the floor.

Depending on the pose, the hammock supports some or all of your weight. This may help you achieve more advanced poses and deepen your stretches.

Just make sure to listen to your body during your first class. Most of us aren't used to being upside down very often (or for any length of time), so you may need to take more breaks. I know I did!

How to check it out: Unnata Aerial Yoga has studio locations around the country, but not in all states. You may also be able to find a class in your area at a facility that offers acrobatics classes.

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Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Geriatric Medicine

NYS Veterans' Home at Oxford

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a 242 bed facility located in Chenango County about thirty miles north of Binghamton NY. Situated on a sixty acre site, the Home has spectacular scenic views of rural countryland. We provide state of the art medical, nursing, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services to our residents. We also have several academic affiliations including the Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine/Clinical Campus at Binghamton.

About Us
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a long term care skilled nursing facility. We are located in Oxford NY, and we serve the Central New York Region. We provide care for veterans and their dependents. Our current building has 242 beds in seven different units, including our rehabilitation unit and our dementia unit. Our facility is clean and pleasant, and our staff is friendly and professional. We welcome you to a guided tour upon request!

Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Dr. Dzwonczyk Receives Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Philip J. Dzwonczyk, MD has been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dzwonczyk joins more than nineteen hundred fellow physicians to have achieved such certification.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical discipline of the broad therapeutic model known as hospice and palliative care. The discipline and model of care are devoted to achieving the best possible quality of life for the patient and family throughout the course of a life-threatening illness through the relief of suffering and the control of symptoms. Hospice and palliative medicine helps the patient and family face the prospect of death assured that comfort will be a priority, values and decisions will be respected, spiritual and psychosocial needs will be addressed, practical support will be available and opportunities will exist for growth and development. Hospice in the United States is an organized program that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients and supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others.

Dr. Dzwonczyk is the medical director of the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford. He recently completed the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and has worked for many years as an internist and geriatrician practicing in central New York. Dr. Dzwonczyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds specialty certificates in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He has achieved Certified Medical Director status from the American Medical Directors Association and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Dzwonczyk has directed the medical care of patients at the New York State Veterans Home since 1993 and has been active as a medical educator. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Upstate Medical University and is active as a member of the faculty of the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship of the Clinical Campus in Binghamton. In addition to his interest in palliative care, Dr. Dzwonczyk has an interest in the evaluation and management of cognitive and mood disorders of the elderly.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was formed in 1995 to establish and measure the level of knowledge, attitudes and skills required for certification of physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine. Eligibility requirements for certification are significant. In order to be eligible to sit for the certifying examination, applicants must have received prior major specialty certification, practiced at least two years following residency, worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team for at least two years and have directly participated in the active care of at least fifty terminally ill patients in the preceding three years. Alternatively, applicants must have completed specialty fellowship training in palliative medicine. The fellowship training program must be at least one year in length and must meet the established voluntary standards for such a program.

ABHPM conducts its Certification Examination in Hospice and Palliative Medicine annually at multiple sites through the United States. Currently, 1908 physicians have been certified by virtue of meeting certification requirements, including successful completion of this examination. A listing of currently certified physicians may be viewed on the Boards website at www.ABHPM.org.

Information on the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine may be obtained from the website at www.ABHPM.org or by call (301) 439-8001.

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford