We’re all for sticking with an exercise program, but sometimes it pays to shake up the routine.
Your body — and your brain — will appreciate the variety, and you can always go back to your tried-and-true sessions later on. In the meantime, mix it up with one of these fun options offered in the Austin area.
Bounce it off
We found two quirky options at Define Body & Mind — one that involves bouncing on a trampoline and another that gets you swinging in a hammock.
In the rhythm-based trampoline class, students jog on small trampolines as music plays, hopping off periodically to hoist weights, knock off lunges or do other muscle-targeting exercises.
The hammocks class quiets things down, providing a restorative, meditative respite from more hard-hitting fitness classes. Students use hammocks hung from ceiling beams to do inversions, stretches and basic poses.
“You hop in it a certain way and flip upside down. The focus is on hanging. It alleviates tension and forces gravity to pull your body in the opposite direction,” says instructor Natalie Guinn.
The studio has two locations — 1818 W. 35th St., 512-374-1800, and 809 S. Lamar, 512-222-5711; email@example.com. Cost for a drop-in class is $22. For more information, go to austin.definebody.com.
Take a plunge
At 9:30 a.m. every Wednesday morning, weather permitting, Kathleen Parker motors up to the dock at Walsh Landing on Lake Austin in a MasterCraft speedboat and picks up participants in the weekly Lake Escape class.
The four-hour, women’s-only class, offered by iGnite Your Life Fitness, typically draws a slightly older crowd, but all ages are welcome as long as they bring a fun attitude, Parker says.
“We all slalom first thing when we get out there to take advantage of the glassy water, and then we crank up the music, fill up the ballasts and wake surf,” Parker says.
Cold water doesn’t stop this crew in the winter, either. When temperatures drop, they don wetsuits and keep going. They’ve also been known to wear Halloween costumes in October and Santa hats in December.
“It’s a great adrenaline rush, and we all need adrenaline in our lives,” Parker says. “Second, when you’re near, in or by water, you’re happier. And third, it’s a blast. We jump off docks and go on rope swings. It’s just getting women out of their comfort zone and back on the water.”
Cost is $15 for iGnite Your Life members; nonmembers pay an additional $25 drop-in fee. No prior experience needed. If you don’t have your own gear, Parker can provide it. For more information, go to igniteyourlifenow.com. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stop by Modo Yoga to pump a little pop culture into your stretching routine.
This month, it’s all about “Game of Thrones,” and participants in the studio’s hydration challenge are divided into one of four teams related to the cable series.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday nights, the studio offers a themed class — a hip-hop glow class to honor the dragons and flames of House Targaryen; wolf yoga, complete with howling, as a nod to House Stark; a blindfolded yoga session for House Lannister; and a moody, song-scripted class for House Tyrell. Participants get points for attending classes, drinking water and more.
Later this year, the studio will host a family-oriented “A Very Harry Christmas” challenge to salute everyone’s favorite wizard, Harry Potter.
“The idea is to bring in a conscious awareness of how much one drinks during a day,” says studio owner Gillian Brockett. “It’s also a way to bring a lot more fun to practice.”
A hydration challenge pass costs $50. Guests of challenge participants can attend the Friday themed classes for $5. Modo Yoga is located at 7010 Easy Wind Drive, Suite 130. For more information, go to austin.modoyoga.com or call 512-383-5693.
Vinyasa at the vineyard
Tired of the same old yoga studio? Take your downward dog to Hawk’s Shadow Winery, where you can indulge in a vinyasa flow class that unfolds in the tasting room. If the weather’s nice, instructor Lisa Reed will roll up the glass garage-door style walls and let the sun shine in.
“It’s getting to have that view and connecting with nature,” Reed says. “It’s so serene.”
The class takes place in a nonheated space, because, well, Hawk’s Shadow’s priority is making wine, and that requires cooler temperatures.
Wine sipping isn’t part of the yoga class, but if you return between noon and 6 p.m. any Saturday, you can sample the lineup, which includes reds and whites made with Texas grapes, bearing names like Texas Gal, Luna Vieja and Wild Child, for $10.
The hourlong classes, suitable for all ages and fitness levels, start at 9 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the winery, 7500 McGregor Lane in Dripping Springs. Cost is $10 for adults or $5 for students. Bring clothes you can move in, something to drink and a mat and towel. If you forget, you can rent them for $1 each.
For more information, go to hawksshadow.com or call 512-587-9085.
Take a spin
When Nicki Minaj squared off against Iggy Azalea during a spin class at Love Cycling Studio earlier this year, everyone’s leg muscles came out the clear-cut winners.
The studio hosts intense, high-energy spinning classes that make you feel like you’ve been air-dropped into a 1980s aerobics class inside a New York City disco. In a good way, of course. Now the studio is offering a weekly “family love” class suitable for everyone in your family, as long as they can reach the pedals.
The family classes are scheduled for 4 p.m. every Sunday (next Sunday features music by Taylor Swift and all her exes). Expect kid-friendly pop music, flashing lights and choreographed moves.
And thanks to hand weights conveniently stashed on the back of each bike, it’s an upper body workout as much as a leg workout. When the lights dim at the end of class, participants are encouraged to dial up their own level of struggle on their bike’s resistance meter for the final climb.
Don’t want to share class time with the kiddos? Drop by for one of the studio’s special music video classes, when you can spin while soaking up snippets of your favorite songsters on a big screen behind the instructor. (The Oct. 16 class will feature ’80s videos.)
A drop-in class costs $22. Book in advance. The studio is located at 507 Pressler St., Suite 900. For more information, go to lovecyclingstudio.com or call 512-761-3398.
Boot camp on the waves
When regular boot camp gets old, take it to the lake with a PaddleFit class.
The classes, taught by Cindy Present, feature just about anything you’d do during a dryland camp, only executed on a standup paddleboard.
“It’s a great way to truly realize and work on flexibility, balance, strength and cardio,” Present says. “You can still do burpies, squats, pushups and triceps work. The thing I love about teaching on a board is it provides so much more sensory feedback than dryland.”
She teaches the classes through Lake Austin Spa — both overnight and day spa guests can take them. She also teaches privately, on Fridays and Sundays by appointment. The classes typically continue through November, depending on weather.