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10 (Actually Fun) Workouts to Try in 2012

I don’t know about you, collegiettes, but after a long and lazy (I mean, relaxing) winter, I need a little motivation to get me back into a workout routine. It’s going to take more than a halfhearted jog on the treadmill to get me to abandon my warm bed during the cold winter months to tread to the gym.
 
Thankfully, 2012 is ushering in a number of innovative workouts that make getting in shape seem more fun than obligatory (yay, no more elliptical!).
 
Here are 10 awesome work s to try in 2012:
 
1. Piloxing

This workout mixes Pilates and boxing techniques. It blends the power and speed of boxing with the flexibility and muscle sculpting of Pilates, making it fun and challenging.
 
2. Nia
Nia draws inspiration from martial arts, dance, and healing arts. It’s a movement practice that is sensory-based and aims to strengthen your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Each class (taken barefoot!) combines 52 movements that focus on your base, core, and upper extremities. If you’re looking for a workout that will keep you fit in body and mind, check out a Nia class near you.
 
3. Pole Dancing
I know, I know. Pole dancing? Relax, collegiettes — this style of dance is no longer reserved for the, er, employees at seedy gentlemen’s clubs. Pole dancing has evolved into an intensive workout that combines dance and gymnastics and requires strength, flexibility, and endurance. The best news? This workout is now so mainstream that you won’t have a problem finding a class near you! So if you’re looking for a workout that will leave you feeling a little less inhibited, then this could be the class for you. Now, get out there and work that pole, ladies!
 
4. P90X
P90X is a home fitness program that implements a technique known as Muscle Confusion™. This means your body won’t become accustomed to the routines and “plateau” after a certain point. The exercises are diverse, which keeps your workouts effective and exciting. It includes resistance training, weight training, cardio, plyometrics, ab work, martial arts, stretching and yoga. It includes twelve different workouts and an accompanying nutrition plan. P90X is known for being super intense, so grab a group of friends for moral support and work out together! Check here for ordering information.
 

   5. TRX
This workout created by Navy SEALs is a suspension training exercise that develops balance, flexibility, strength and core stability simultaneously. The TRX Suspension Trainer ($189.95), a portable training tool, actually leverages gravity and your body weight for a number of effective workouts. Check out this video of Kelly Ripa trying out the TRX system on Live With Kelly this month. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to try anything that will get me looking as toned as Kelly!
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6. Pranavayu Yoga
Pranavayu Yoga (or PVYU) is a unique form of Vinyasa yoga. This yoga workout combines Buddhist-inspired techniques and structured postural sequencing, making it unlike any type of yoga practiced today. Find a PVYU instructor or listen to some meditation audio clips to help you feel more centered before you start a yoga session. Namaste, collegiettes!
 
7. Pure Barre
It’s time for us all to get back in touch with our inner ballerina (even if you didn’t like wearing the puffy, pink tutu when you were seven). This workout will tone your abs, thighs, and arms by combining isometric stretching and light weight lifting. Look for classes near you or check out the DVD and plié your way to a more toned bod this year!
 

8. SoulCycle
 Yes, spinning is an oldie but a goodie. And with the stamp of approval from super-fit Kelly Ripa, I really don’t see how this workout could do you wrong. While pedaling, you use resistance bands hanging from a sliding track above each stationary bike to tone your ab, shoulder, and back muscles for a full-body workout. Unfortunately, Soul Cycle is currently offering classes only in New York City, so Big Apple collegiettes, take advantage!
 
9. Bhangra
The Bhangra workout is an Indian dance-based fitness program. It incorporates energetic Bhangra and Bollywood movements into high-powered routines. If you love Zumba, this dance workout will definitely get you moving! Check here to see if any events or classes are coming to your area.
 
10. Nike+
Of course, there’s bound to be a technology-integrated way to track your workout – it is 2012, after all. Nike+ is free on iTunes and allows you to personalize your workout and select time, distance, or calorie goals. As you run, your iPhone or iPod updates you on your time, pace, distance, and calories burned. When you’re finished running, the data is automatically synced to nikeplus.com and allows you to analyze your progress, compare your workouts, and even compete with other runners. Need a workout buddy? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that!

Lauryn is a senior at Northeastern University majoring in journalism. She has written for Boston.com as well as the HC branch at Northeastern. Lauryn is also a teaching assistant for International Affairs students at Northeastern. In May and June of 2011, she embarked on a reporting trip to the Middle East, where she mastered the art of "man on the street" reporting and gained a new appreciation for falafel. In her spare time, Lauryn enjoys writing, walking around Boston aimlessly, traveling and a unhealthy obsession with her Kindle. She loves eating, French bulldogs and Anderson Cooper. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in foreign correspondence or magazine journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @laurynpaiva.
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