Then perhaps Sh'Bam is for you.
Currently only available in Scotland at gyms run by Edinburgh Leisure, expect to see this dance class springing up in other parts of the country. Sometimes described (inaccurately) as "Zumba, the next generation", it is a dance class incorporating set routines which can be as energetic or as sedate as you want to make it. It differs from Zumba in featuring a chart hits soundtrack and the moves have less of a Latin dance influence. Crucially, the set 45-minute routines, which change four times a year, mean that whichever class you go to, you should get the same routine, so you have a chance of getting better at it with repetition. Good news for those of us with John Sergeant's level of coordination.
Sh'Bam is the creation of Les Mills, the international company that licenses fitness training programmes worldwide, including gym staples Body Attack, Body Combat and CXWorx, and classes may only be led by fully qualified instructors.
I give it a try at Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh, with energetic instructor Aileen Rankin. When the music starts pumping, it's pretty clear that brain as well as body is going to get a work-out. We do some hip-shaking, then bring in the footwork. I've only just got the hang of it – walking sideways, passing right leg behind and then in front of left – when I realise I've forgotten the arm movements. No problem: we're on to something else. At one point we do some high energy ballet-inspired moves which involve running, jumping and turning in mid-air, which are great fun. Hoots of laughter break out around the room. I look more like Dawn French than Darcey Bussell and can see Len Goodman in my mind's eye giving me one of those slow head-shakes.
By the end, we're all pleasantly glowing and every limb feels looser and more supple. Sh'Bam burns up to 400 calories an hour, so is ideal for fat-burning as well as toning and improving coordination. A fun, sociable, easy-going way to kick-start the new year fitness regime.
Thirty classes a week at Edinburgh Leisure venues: go to www.edinburghleisure.co.uk
Feet poised tentatively on the pedals, I attempt to summon my inner Bradley Wiggins. I steadily crank up my speed, before hitting flat out and attempting to hold it steady as the seconds on the stopwatch count down.
My heart feels like it's going to burst out of my chest, legs and lungs burning. Finally, I can stop. But the respite is merely fleeting. I'm embarking on a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programme and it's time for my next set. Inwardly groaning (my thighs outwardly screaming), I prepare to go again.
HIIT is one of the latest buzz-phrases of the fitness world, involving short, powerful bursts of movement at maximum effort followed by brief recovery periods. Not only have sports scientists found it effective in building lean muscle mass and burning fat, but it has been credited with rapidly boosting baseline fitness, as well as helping keep heart disease and diabetes at bay.
Granted, interval training is nothing new, but ever since BBC's Horizon science programme pricked the public consciousness last year with details of a Heriot Watt University study – which claimed that two minutes of high intensity exercise per week could be more effective than long gym workouts – interest in HIIT has soared.
On paper it sounds like a dream come true for couch potatoes who want to see results with minimal effort, but here's the catch: interval training is hard.
With HIIT, the workouts are shorter, but it's exactly what it says on the tin: high-intensity. Depending on your preference, you can use a static bike, treadmill, rowing machine or plump to take it outdoors.
As for me, it's certainly helped kick-start my fitness after a mid-winter slump. The towering hill that previously left me wheezing more than Patty and Selma in The Simpsons? After 10 days of regular HIIT training it barely merits some puffed out cheeks.
Classes incorporating the technique include Metafit, available at Glasgow Club and Edinburgh Leisure gyms.
Browsing for information on functional fitness before my first session, it seems the idea is to mimic actions which would be used in everyday life, such as chopping wood. At the dedicated functional training zone at Bellahouston leisure centre in Glasgow, there's not a pile of axes but an array of equipment which looks even more scary.
However FT Fit is a pretty easy class to get the hang of once we get started. It's based on two circuits around eight zoned areas of equipment. The exercises – carried out for around a minute each – include swinging kettle bells, standing on a balance board while lifting a barbell and donning a pair of boxing gloves to have a go at a punch bag (presumably not to be applied to real life, this one).
A couple of pieces of equipment I hadn't come across before included the ViPR, a weighted tube which looks like a bit of discarded pipe and is carried above my head for one long painful minute, and TRX cables, which are resistance straps suspended from a metal frame, for mid-air pull-ups and press-ups.
The second circuit is made more difficult by adding quick bursts of high intensity exercise, such as running on the spot. After 45 minutes I'm exhausted, but can't also believe the time has gone so quickly.
As well as burning up the calories, functional fitness is said to help limit injuries in other sports such as running. Joanne Jardine, health and fitness co-ordinator at Glasgow Club Bellahouston, explains: "It's really the idea of trying to do movements that your body is used to doing. You are less likely to get injured as your body has not been overbuilding muscles that you wouldn't normally use on an everyday basis.
"You do a lot of strength work so you are building muscle and toning while you lose fat at the same time."
FT Fit classes are attended by everyone from teenagers to the over 70s. Another advantage is the exercises vary in each class. I'll be aiming to go back to functional fitness. Once my legs finally recover, that is.
Forty five FT Fit classes around Glasgow weekly,visitwwwglasgowlifeorguk/sport/
Is it a consequence of ongoing economic uncertainty? A desire to make life less complicated? It's hard to say exactly why bodyweight training has become so popular, but it has leapfrogged other well-established forms of training to become one of the hottest fitness trends of 2013.
Put simply, it's back-to-basics exercise, without equipment, using your own weight to create resistance. Its obvious benefit over using dumbbells or weight-training machines is that you can do it anywhere, any time, no gym membership required. A push-up is a classic, simple bodyweight exercise, for toning and strengthening your upper arms. Other standards include squats, crunches and lunges.
In recent years, however, bodyweight training has developed far beyond those humble beginnings. Some trainers incorporate breakdance moves, aspects of gymnastics, the fluid Brazilian martial art Capoeira, yoga, pilates and other disciplines. In this way, modern bodyweight training promotes flexibility, strength and balance.
In the American College of Sports Medicine's global survey of popular fitness trends published recently, canvassing nearly 3500 health and fitness experts, bodyweight training not only appeared in the top 10 for the first time, but was ranked as the third most popular trend going into 2013.
I try a bit of bodyweight training in the privacy of my own living room, using YouTube as my instructor, with only a puzzled cat as an audience. This'll be a piece of cake, I tell myself, doing a quick warm-up then a few squats. No sweat, I think, before moving on to the "sprawl". This involves dropping onto hands and feets from standing position, then stepping the legs back so you're briefly in plank position, then stepping the legs forward again and raising yourself quickly to standing. It looks simple on paper, but at the end of 10, I'm gasping.
Then come some push-ups, which frankly make me want to cry. To round things off, I try an ambitious breakdance "windmill", where you roll around on your upper torso and send your legs windmilling around in the air, and end up knocking a load of magazines off the coffee table and sending the cat belting for cover. "Needs work", as my piano teacher used to say. Given how puffed out I am afterwards, though, it's pretty clear why this retro trend is being hailed as such a good, all-round form of training.
Do it at home, or join a Metafit or pilates which incorporate bodyweight training elements
First we had aerobics, then circuits, before yoga made a comeback, followed by pilates, then Zumba. During the last 30 years, the fitness industry has been defined by a series of crazes, with wave after wave building then breaking, to be replaced by the Next Big Thing.
Fusing different types of fitness routine together is a way to keep punters interested, while maximising the range of benefits they derive from a particular class. The latest examples in Scotland include hydrospin, cyclocross, Chi Ball and cardio tennis.
Hydrospin involves cycling (spinning) in water. Biking in a pool allows the body to stay cooler than it would in a spinning class and provides support to help prevent back ache or joint pain. It also creates more resistance than air. The routine incorporates upper body exercises, making the class a full-body workout. The only Scottish classes are currently at Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool (fifeleisure.org.uk/fitnessclasses/hydrospin.html), but it's set to spread.
Chi Ball, combining elements of yoga, pilates, T'ai Chi and even the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, and using a ball covered in aromatherapy oils, is energising but ultimately relaxing, or that's the idea (available at the Glasgow Club). Edinburgh Leisure, meanwhile, does basketball/circuits and cardio tennis (doing tennis-based drills to music).
And will 2013 be the year that piloxing hits Scottish shores? This Hollywood craze combines, you guessed it, pilates and boxing. DVDs by Viveca Jensen are available from piloxing.com priced £12.40 ($19.95) plus p&p.