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Ditch the gym and have fun with your health this year

Creative alternatives to get your pulse pumping

fitness in the new year and yoga

Is your resolution for 2019 to get out of your comfort zone and try something you have never tried before? Maybe it’s to get fit and feel sexy and confident! You can achieve all of that and more at a pole dancing class.

HVP blogger, yoga instructor and hypnotist, Joan Miller, has been teaching pole dancing classes for four years now and currently teaches women at Fitness Works in Pine Bush. She insists that pole dancing is a great workout for your whole body. “Pole dancing centers on mainly your core and upper body, but once you get into climbing and inversions, the legs get a great workout too,” says Miller. “Asking your body and brain to do something new makes for a great experience and overall workout.”

Read more in our Me Time: Just for Women January Article

Want to get fit and have fun this year? We’ve compiled a list of some creative fitness alternatives to the gym just for YOU! Happy Fitness!

1. Pole Dancing

Pole dancing is not only good for your body. You will leave class feeling supported, confident and sexy! “Pole dance helps us remember that before we were moms, we were women. These classes remind us that the woman burping a baby, driving kids to soccer and organizing the PTA food drive is a woman who loves to move, enjoys dancing and is sexy,” says Miller. “You will amaze yourself with the strength you build and you will find yourself moving in ways you may have forgotten were possible.”

2. Yoga

Though so many local gyms, such as the new Gold’s Gym in Newburgh offer yoga classes now, we are sneaking it in here anyway because… it’s yoga, and it’s fun! Spaces offering unique and tailored yoga programs have been popping up all over the Hudson Valley in the last few years –from salt caves in Poughkeepsie to antigravity Aerial Yoga in Newburgh and much more! Yoga has so many benefits for your body and self, including increasing muscle strength and flexibility, losing weight, cardio and circulatory health benefits, improve respiration, energy and vitality and balancing metabolism. In addition, if it’s something you practice (though you don’t necessarily need to for yoga) it can have a lasting positive influence on your overall mental and spiritual wellbeing as well.

3. Crossfit

Hitting the world by storm in 2000, Crossfit has taken off to be one of the biggest non-gym gyms in the Hudson Valley over the last few years. Crossfit is a competitive fitness sport combining high-intensity training with powerlifting, gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting and others. Programs in Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, New Windsor, Highland and more offer classes and workshop and many even have programs for teens and kids too!

4. Register to Run a Race

Don’t want to join a gym, no problem, but how about setting goals and a deadline to reach them when you sign up for a race this year. You can set your sights big and go for a marathon or start a bit smaller with a 5K. Not a runner? You can start even smaller and register for a fun run and feel free to walk your way through it. We love when the Color Run comes to town, or the inflatable 5K is a good one too. For the more serious runners why not try a Spartan race or tough mudder competition? Visit for a full list of races near you.

5. Sports

Yup, I said sports. Did you think they were just for kids? Playing a sport is much more engaging than hitting the gym. Plus in addition to getting just as good of a workout you are also team building, socializing and boosting your self-esteem all things just as important for adults as kids. There are adult leagues for most any sport in the Hudson Valley or take up something you can do solo or with a friend like swimming, tennis, fencing or shooting hoops!

6. Martial Arts

Did you want to be a ninja or a samurai as a kid? Now’s the time to make that happen! Signing up for Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, Judo, MMA, etc, will not only keep you fit but will have an overall positive effect on your discipline, confidence and patients.

7. Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a great workout that your whole family can do together. Benefits include cardio and strength building to burn calories quick. Rock climbing uses a wide range of motion that increases flexibility and circulation, is a great way to reduce stress and flexes your brain muscles through problem-solving and hand-eye coordination. Best of all, not only is rock climbing great for your body, it helps fight fears, build confidence and self-esteem!

8. Dance

If you are up for it, you could always hit the local nightclub or bar… but if that’s not quite your scene anymore why not sign up for a dance class for adults? Other options include Zumba, belly dancing, hula hoops, ballroom and line dancing. Benefits include increasing endurance, muscle tone, coordination, flexibility, strengthening bones and muscles and much more. Overall, dance promotes a greater well-being, improved self-confidence and better social skills.

9. Geocaching and hiking

Go on an adventure and get healthy doing it with geocaching! Geocaching can be done anywhere, at anytime with an app on your phone and you use your GPS location to find local hidden treasures. You will often discover paths you’ve never been on before! While this activity does require a smartphone, it has a load of benefits for your whole family! Geocaching will get your family breathing fresh air, exercising and connecting in no time! For ideas on family friendly hikes in the Hudson Valley, click here.