Back to the future fitness

Could the exercises you did years ago be the answer to your workout rut? 

It's time to pull out those leotards, leg warmers and leggings. The workouts we did a couple of decades ago are experiencing a resurgence.

Michael Cunico, National Training Program Manager for Fitness First, agrees that we're looking back and trying simpler workouts.

 “Lots of gyms are introducing old-school training sessions and they're proving popular and effective,” he says.
Here are 5 of our favourites: 

Move more

“A hundred years ago, they had the perfect way to [stay fit],” says Cunico. “Our forefathers constantly moved – picking up heavy things – simple exercises which [helped] build strong bodies. Exercise machines were invented to make it easier and simpler for people to work out. Which it did, but it's not the best way [to exercise], especially when we're spending so much of our day in a seated position each day. To then go and exercise in that position is counter-productive.”

Use your body

According to Cunico, there's been an increase in the number of body weight training classes, such as gymnastics, exercising on old-school equipment, and the new fancier-named ‘Animal flow’ and Zuu exercise classes. “These work the whole body and keep participants interested,” he says.

ladies jumping on trampoline

Try trampolining

Trampolining isn't just for the kids! According to research by NASA, trampolining can help improve your balance, and gets your oxygen intake and your heart rate up too.

Dig out your leg warmers

Remember those exercise classes and videos championed by aerobic queens in leotards and leg warmers from the 80's?

It's time to dig out your leotard, because aerobic exercise, or aerobic exercise together with resistance training, has been found to burn more fat than resistance training alone in people who are overweight.

According to Leslie Willis, exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center. "[To lose fat, it's best to] focus on aerobic training. When you lose fat, it is likely you are also losing visceral fat [the fat stored around your internal organs in your stomach area], which is known to be associated with cardiovascular and other health benefits."

“Any sort of exercise which keeps you interested is great,” says Cunico. So whether it's old-school weights, gymnastics, or some new dance craze, just get out there and get moving!

But don’t forget: if you’ve not been active for a while, are pregnant, have an injury or have any health problems or concerns, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor to check if these are suitable activities for you before starting.
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