New Ways Old School Sports Are Changing Fitness

By Sandy Schroeder

Yes, a whole lot of people are still out there exercising on their mats, or spinning at the gym, but according to Lauren Mechling in the New York Times, a lot of people are trading in costly classes to do physical old-school laps, jogs and hoops. Mechling says, “They’re shooting hoops, picking up squash, playing tennis in city parks, and swimming laps at the Y. And they may be getting a better workout.”

If you are part of the growing discontent with current gym or other fitness routines, this trend may have answers for you. 

Look at What’s Going On

One lifelong runner started going to a boutique gym after suffering a hamstring injury. She found herself paying a fortune and being jammed into a body-to-body fitness class. She decided to leave when the woman next to her asked her to move, saying there was not enough space. The runner left for good and found a better answer. Now she swims laps at the Parks and Recreation Department pool and believes she is getting a much better workout with ample space and a lot less bucks.

Going Against the Current

Boutique fitness gyms like the one the runner ran out of are still showing up on Facebook and are considered a fast growing part of the exercise business. But the thinkers like the runner are looking beyond. They have found basketball, tennis, squash, running and swimming to be better at raising the heartrate and toning muscles.

Like a Fresh Breeze

Many of them say people who are out to get some real exercise, not just attend a class, are showing up for down-to-earth choices like the public school gym that offers a 55-minute weekly pickup game of basketball that's really a rigorous workout. The gym currently has a waiting list and observers say the participants are having a blast. The organizer of the group says, “If you take winning out of the equation, it becomes so silly. If you stop and think about sports and ask, ‘What are we doing?,’ it’s like, ‘OK, I’m running and I’m tripping and I’m really trying to make a basket.’ It’s very strange, which I love. And we get sweaty, a bonus.”

In another part of town, every Thursday night a loft dance studio offers a spirited dance class that is always jammed. When dancers asked why they were there, many said they had enjoyed dancing since they were kids and this brings all of the fun back.

If this sounds intriguing, you might slide right out of your gym, too, and around for community swimming pools, pickup basketball games, tennis tournaments and cool dance studios. Biking and skating might fit into this list, as well. Enjoy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hoboken, N.J.

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