On telling my husband that I had joined the ‘Bounce Army’, he politely informed me it was a fad, which is man-speak for not real exercise. He was wrong. I went, I bounced… and then I spent all day Thursday and part of Friday aching. Really, really aching. Whilst I ached (without a single moan, honestly), I started researching… Which exercise ‘fads’ would help a bride fit into her perfect dress without a so much as a pinch or a squeeze?
Endorsed by Marisa Tomei and even attempted by Michelle Obama, Hoopnotica has turned a child’s toy into the latest way to lose pounds, lots of them. Jen Moore, who has since become a Hoopnotica instructor, lost 140 lbs, whilst her husband, Keith, also claims to have lost 100 lbs. So it should come as no surprise that according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), hooping burns 210 calories per 30 minute session, that’s an average of 7 calories per minute. To put this in context, ACE states that Power Yoga or Step Aerobics both burn 5.9 calories per minute and it’s only half a calorie per minute less than what you’d burn through boot camp! Hmm… let me think… drill sergeant or hula-hoop? I know my pick.
2. Aerial Yoga
Otherwise known as Anti-Gravity Yoga, Aerial Yoga claims to benefit your body and your mind, making it an ideal choice for brides looking for a way to de-stress before their big day. Combining dance, pilates, callisthenics (that’s exercises that use your own body-weight to you and me) and of course, physics, aerial yogis benefit from increased flexibility, brain plasticity and core strengthening. Said to align your whole body, from head to toe, it may make you feel more streamlined, a definite plus if you’ve chosen a figure-hugging gown for your big day.
Of course, if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, then there’s always rucking to consider. Rucking (or a version of it) is probably an activity we have all done at some point in our lives, whether we realise it or not. Although I’d love you to believe that The Fairytale Bride’s life is always sparkly and glamorous, the reality is that I am frequently found carrying a tantruming toddler (whom I love dearly) around a wet and dreary dogpark; these days I’m more often dressed in wellies than kitten-heels. (Sigh.) Nevertheless, I am an advocate for walking and rucking is just that: hiking with your friends whilst carrying a weight on your back. It’s a social activity and accessible to do as a family, should you wish to. If your husband-to-be prefers strength training, get him to add more weight; if you prefer a cardio-based workout, decrease it. Balance the two and you have the perfect cardio and strength training workout that you can do anywhere, anytime, at no cost (aside from a comfy bag and boots), which is great news for all brides-to-be who are looking to save money.
4. Mermaid Fitness
Who needs feet when you could have a fin? We’ve known for years that swimming is a great, low impact form of exercise, and for those of you like me, who grew up wishing you had a friend called Flounder and another named Sebastian, then mermaid fitness might be the perfect way to lose weight. It is an entire body workout, with the signature move, the dolphin kick, engaging the abs, quads and glutes far more than regular swimming might do. Some hardcore mermaids learn to free-dive too, turning their weekly workout into an extreme sport. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable taking it that far, but the thought of wearing a shimmery fin certainly wets my appetite!
Which brings us back to Bounce. Aiming to burn 700 calories an hour, bouncing practically non-stop on a trampoline is not for the faint-hearted. However, unlike many other exercise classes it is much easier on the joints. Whilst the trampoline absorbs 87% of the shock impact, the extra gravitational force can lead to rapid cardio weight loss. And I do mean rapid; their website claims you will lose weight 3 times quicker than any exercise done on the ground. Who knew? It’s also great for toning as each cardio session is followed by a blast of body conditioning. Wearing crazily coloured leggings is optional of course, though with newly toned limbs and abs to match, you could be forgiven for wanting to parade around in skin-tight clobber. And I have to confess, it’s immensely fun and my inner kangaroo spirit has been found; I am indeed a Bounce addict. Far from being a ‘fad’, it looks like the Bounce army is here to stay (minus the flabby bits).