By Sophie McLean

Pound Fit

I'M standing in a room filled with people I don't know. Everyone seems to be going left, while I'm going right. I wave my drumsticks around as if to signal for help while everyone else drums away in sync to the beat.

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I'm at a Pound Fit class, which uses drumsticks to dance to rhythmic music. The trend was kicked off in the US by two female college athletes before coming here. It claims to be a fun activity for people of all ages, which will test your overall fitness, speed and endurance levels by making you perform a series of challenging movements using weighted drumsticks.

To find out if that was true I had a bash, literally, at the weekly Monday night class in Fratelli’s, Cambuslang. Instructor Christine Reid is bubbling over with enthusiasm and energy, which makes the class a fun, comfortable and upbeat place to improve their health by placing a great deal of emphasis on motivating yourself to push your body out of its comfort zone. This class fuses pilates, cardio and yoga in a dance room filled with disco lights and exuberant pop and rock music.

The first 20 minutes of the class, I felt as though I wasn't really working out, but after around 30 minutes, I could feel my core becoming more tense and my body struggling to keep up with the rigorous movements. The class was extremely demanding but acts as a great stress reliever as you beat the air with your Ripstixs instead of keeping track of the clock.

I performed a number of exercises and over 70 techniques including squatting, yoga and strength training without noticing because I had become distracted due to the increased focus on using the drumsticks in circular movements in beat with the music. It's claimed this fast-paced and strenuous drumming routine lowers your blood pressure, reduces anxiety and boosts your ability to concentrate. I felt exhausted once the class had finished but also like I had just performed a really effective work-out.

If your goal is to tone and strengthen your core then you will definitely notice a difference after participating in a few of these classes, which can burn up to 900 calories in a one-hour session.

Gin and Spin

Sitting on a stationary bike with the prospect of hammering away on the pedals for an hour isn't the most desirable way to spend a Saturday morning. However, sitting on a bike in a gym which feels like a disco with the prospect of being rewarded with a nice gin afterwards seems promising. One of Glasgow’s gym venues, The Club Gym, now has a Spin and Gin class every Saturday at 12pm. This upbeat yet challenging class claims to activate your glute and quad muscles as you cycle to dance music. Spin is a high impact exercise which can help to sculpt your legs and improve your cardiovascular system. The heart will pump more blood into your body which means there’s a chance of burning more calories. And there's gin. Did I mention that?

Muay Thai Boxing

Usually the idea of boxing evokes images of an intimidating and potentially sore experience. However, boxing has become an increasingly popular activity and can have a multitude of health benefits. Muay Thai is a combat sport which is similar to boxing but involves standing up and relies on fist, elbow, shin and knee strikes. This fitness trend burns calories quickly, improves muscle tone and builds stronger bones and ligaments as well as acting as a great stress and anxiety reliever. Boxfit Glasgow runs a free trial boxing session, see www.boxfitglasgow.com

Yoga

Yoga is a great stress reliever which enables the body to perform synchronised moving meditation to release tension in the lower back and spine. The main focus is on balance, flexibility and calming your mental well-being, which can improve general happiness and quality of life. Yoga is particularly beneficial to those who suffer from injuries in their lower back, muscle pain or arthritis because it improves blood circulation and muscle movements throughout the body. A productive yoga session can improve and strengthen your back and neck muscles which can lead to better posture long-term and improved core strength. Yoga can open your lungs and allow you to reconnect with your body. This is probably one of the best work-outs to help bring balance to your mind, body and soul. Hot yoga and yoga classes for men can be found at seasonalyoga.net or email info@seasonalyoga.net