New Routines

BY Laura Rectenwald

The New Year is upon us.

You want to be fit and healthy (and burn off those last few slices of pumpkin pie) but curling up in bed seems more appealing than walking on the treadmill. We know how you feel. You’re looking for something new something fresh and exciting something that will get you out there and keep you coming back. We talked to several Azalea Coast fitness experts who said that changing your workout routines can make exercising fun again. And fun sounds good to us. The best news is that these cool ways to stay fit don’t involve treadmills or dumbbells. These are the newest hippest exercise systems to keep your body looking fabulous and your mojo motivated all year long plus some exercises you can do on your own. Whether it’s cardio strength training increased flexibility or balance one of these classes will get you excited about getting your body in the best shape it has ever been. See page 42 of our virtual magazine for exercise instructions.

Body Combat

This class is one of the newest and most popular classes at Gold’s Gym which is no surprise to those who have taken it. This high-intensity class incorporates martial arts tae kwon do muay thai and tai chi — all set to upbeat modern music that will definitely get your blood pumping. And don’t be surprised if you want to take on the world after this class: With all the jabs hooks and upper cuts being thrown even the meekest participants are sure to leave with added confidence. Lisa Rhodes group fitness manager at Gold’s Gym knows exactly why this class has been so successful. “Everyone likes to bring out his or her inner warrior ” she says. Body Combat isn’t too “dance-y ” like some typical aerobics classes can be. Each move is designed for everyone beginners on up but be prepared for your instructor to challenge you with some optional level 2 jumps and kicks. You’ll leave empowered and ready to take on the day.


This new and exciting class taught by Grace Swartz director of group fitness at Crest and the host of our local Your Hometown Show blends the balance and peacefulness of yoga with the core and strength work of Pilates. “This class is about engaging the core while at the same time trying to get back to the peacefulness ” says Swartz. “During one song we’ll do Pilates and for another we’ll do yoga. This keeps it fresh and interesting.” If you’ve never tried yoga or Pilates and are unsure about the moves 30-minute “Break it Down” classes are offered to help you learn the basics and feel comfortable with the new ways your body is moving. “Fitness is about progression not perfection ” says Swartz “but we try to make sure that everyone has the movements down so that they can benefit from the class. We encourage everyone to feel comfortable. Most importantly we want you meet your goals.”

Boot Camp

For those of you who love the outdoors (especially the beach) and can’t bear the thought of being in the gym or paying a lot of money for a personal fitness trainer Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation’s Boot Camp is what you’ve been waiting for. This six-week program is anything but monotonous and includes exercises that have long been known to aid in weight loss and overall health such as cardio intervals pushups bleachers benches and resistance-band work. “You won’t get bored with this regimen ” says Katie Ryan program supervisor at Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation. “It’s a class you come to not knowing what to expect and that’s why it’s effective. Each boot camp is different and equally challenging.” It’s also a class that is suitable for all ages whether you’re looking for a new way to stay bikini-ready or if you’re simply trying to maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active. Katie also suggests bringing a friend or family member along for motivation and yes even a little competition. “This is such a great class for everyone in the family. We live in such a beautiful place; why waste it in a gym?”

Rhythmic Flow Yoga

Kristin Cooper Gulak ERYT director of the Wilmington Yoga Center and creator of Rhythmic Flow yoga wanted to create a class in which participants could explore new and different movements while being accompanied by live drums. The class held on the first Sunday of every month from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. is a challenging vinyasa — a flowing dynamic form of yoga centered on unifying rhythmic movement of the body and breath — with the underlying rhythm of live drumming by Loren Gulak Troy Pierce Adam Stetten and Kristin Cooper Gulak. Open to people of all levels this class encourages free flow movements and personal interpretation. Tara Folton retail manager at the Wilmington Yoga Center describes the class as a union of the mind and the body. “The sounds of the drums totally become absorbed in your body allowing you to move freely sending you into your own creative flow. It’s really like no one else is watching and you feel so free in that moment.” Rhythmic Flow Yoga is a refreshing change from a typical yoga class which for some can become repetitive and less challenging over time. It incorporates more involvement of your mind and soul and pushes you to explore your body’s limitations and freedoms. If you already love yoga this class will only further your progress and if you’ve never given yoga a chance it will thoroughly stimulate you and keep you coming back for more.

Tower Pilates

Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates Method in the early 20th century a method that helps to strengthen the body/core and increase flexibility. Pilates has long since been practiced and respected all over the world and there is little need to deviate from the original method. Carrie Pagés owner of In Balance Pilates Studio and senior Pilates instructor values the traditional Pilates method and its order but also enjoys keeping her classes fresh with new movements. “We know how important it is to keep classes exciting so we take a move out here add a move in there and incorporate both mat work and tower work ” she says. “One of the differences between this class and your typical gym Pilates class is the tower work which aids in strengthening areas of your body that are often ignored in Pilates mat classes: the butt thighs and arms. This is a whole-body strengthening workout.” People are encouraged to do between three and five private lessons first to understand the movements before moving into a regular class (Who doesn’t like a one-on-one session?). If stronger longer and leaner is how you’d like to look and feel a tower pilates class may be just what the doctor ordered.

Where to go

Crest Fitness
Galleria Mall
6766 Wrightsville Ave.
(910) 509-3044

Wilmington Yoga Center
5329 Oleander Drive
(910) 350-0234

Gold’s Gym
200 Racine Drive
(910) 392-3999

Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation
321 Causeway Drive
(910) 256-7925

In Balance Pilates Studio
5101 Dunlea Court #103 (Across from Target)
(910) 762-1449