A morning workout session can be the best part of your day, and not just because it leaves your evenings free for other chores. According to Masala Bhangra ambassador Riddhi Gupta, the act of exercising makes the body release endorphins that keep you happy and super-charged, and even motivate you to stick to your diet throughout the day. The morning hours can be quite busy, what with tasks such as packing your children off to school, organizing breakfast or just prepping for the day ahead, but then morning exercise can even train your mind and body to set a routine that you are more likely to consistently stick to as compared to an evening workout.
Luckily for fitness conscious newbies or those bored of the same gym routine, when it comes to kick-starting your day, there are many entertaining fitness routines that have recently been introduced in India to choose from. Gupta, a Mumbai-based choreographer who runs House of Wow, a creative and performing arts space, swears by these workouts that will keep you entertained and your body and mind charged to seize the day!
This intense workout fuses pop and bhangra folk dance. It involves moving to the beat of the dhol, with several jumps and kicks thrown in, making for some excellent cardio activity to get your heart rate up and pumping. Click here for a sneak preview.
Founded in the 1990s by Colombian Beto Perez, Zumba has become vastly popular in India for its mix of Latin-inspired rhythms that combine a series of dance forms such as salsa, belly dancing, reggaeton and soca among others. Zumba has been further refined into many forms, such as Aqua Zumba (done in the pool), Zumba Gold (for senior citizens) and Zumba Kids. "It's made many people here fall in love with working out and opened a world of knowledge about other rhythms and styles that weren't available here," says Gupta. "The variety of moves is astounding but super easy for anyone to follow." Check it out here.
Morning yoga sessions are a no-brainer, especially when it comes to the ever-popular surya namaskar, a complete body workout that literally means, saluting the sun. "At times, muscles are stiffer in the morning, and there's nothing more effective than an authentic yoga session, followed by a relaxing shavasana (Here's how to do it right)," says Gupta.
Also Read: 10 Life Lessons in 108 Sun Salutations
We don't give Bollywood dancing the credit it deserves as a fitness routine. If you've ever had that moment in the gym where you're swinging your head in time to an old Bolly favourite, this is the class for you! "Not only do you realise you are working out, the music (that is so relatable) makes you want to keep going," says Gupta. "The style also opens your body up to challenging dance moves, making it more flexible."
The 'jump' workout as it is often referred to as, plyometrics falls under the high-intensity training category, and is not for the faint hearted. "The jumping or bounding exercises, this fitness form incorporates are excellent for building reactions, coordination and explosiveness, and also help in building resistance," says Gupta. In a nutshell, plyometrics aims at increasing sprinting speed and maximum muscle force in short time intervals. Here are 10 incredible plyometric exercises to start you off.
A deceivingly gentle workout, "Pilates is actually the hero of all morning workouts," says Gupta, adding that it not only helps strengthen the core, and increase flexibility, but is also an excellent fixer for weak backs and knees. Originally started by a German physical trainer, Pilates gained global prominence in 2005, but only made its way to India over the last decade, and continues to grow because of its emphasis on quality of the movement instead of quantity. For those looking to really up their core strength, here are 7 easy Pilates moves to start you off.
Finally for those who are not easily satiated with just one form of exercise, Piloxing is a new entrant into the fitness industry. And if you think that it sounds like a fusion of boxing and Pilates, you're not entirely wrong. Started by a Swedish dancer-turned Pilates-trainer Vivica Jenson, Piloxing is performed barefoot and with specially-weighted gloves. It is targeted primarily at women as a fitness empowerment programme. Check it out here.
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