I tested 5 unusual fitness trends - including aerial yoga, an urban sweat lodge, and a prison-style bootcamp led by a former inmate - and saw how much exercise has changed
- Our lifestyles are changing, and so are the ways that we stay fit. People are always coming up with new ways to get better, faster, and stronger.
- In five days, I tried five of the most unusual fitness trends out there, including an urban sweat lodge, circus-inspired aerial yoga, a nightclub-like HIIT class, a prison workout taught by a former inmate, and whole-body cryotherapy.
- I came out the other side bruised, sore, and possibly slightly thinner.
- Most importantly, I had a better idea of which trends suited my fitness lifestyle and which ones didn't.
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I'm not really a fitness person. Or a trends person.
I basically keep fit by walking a lot and occasionally beating up a punching bag. Otherwise, I keep my head in the sand and my sneakers on the treadmill.But the world is full of fitness trends straight out of "Star Trek" or "Saturday Night Live." I had five days to try the most seemingly bizarre, cutting-edge, or unusual fitness trends that New York has to offer. And New York has a lot to offer.
I ended up focusing on five different kinds of classes:
- the urban sweat lodge
- circus-inspired aerial yoga
- nightclub-like HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
- prison-style workouts taught by former convicts
- whole-body cryotherapy
Over the course of a week, I sweated for an hour in an infrared blanket, hung upside-down from aerial silks, "turnt up" with kettlebells, did countless burpees and push-ups in a prison cell-style room, and stood naked in a futuristic chamber that blasted me with air that was -150 degrees Celsius.
Proponents of both sweating and cryotherapy claim that the treatments have calorie-burning and toning effects on the body, along with a whole host of benefits including easing pain and muscle stiffness, increased energy, and better sleep, though these claims have not been verified by the FDA.
When I visited my parents shortly after, my mom commented that I looked noticeably thinner than I was the last time I visited a month ago. The scale tells me I weigh the same, but I do feel lither. Maybe one or more of my unusual fitness efforts paid off.
Here's what my week was like: