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Failing Those New Year's Resolutions? Try A Little Ballet

Be Well

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If you're feeling a bit tired of your same old exercise routine, ideastream health reporter Sarah Jane Tribble has the story for you. She roamed Northeast Ohio with ideastream Associate Producer Lauren Wilson to test new workout offerings. They found plenty of new options to help you mix things up.

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:00 am

Inside this fitness studio in Broadview Heights, it's getting very warm. The thermostat is set on high and a group of women are stretching over mats as they begin a new workout called "Ballet Barre."

Bri Demastus, a former dancer who is now a mother of 10-month-old twins, is one of the women lined up next to the kind of balancing rails that you find in ballet studios. Feet are flying into the air with high kicks. Toes are pointed. And sweat is dripping.

"It's a JUMP into the dance world," Demastus says as she describes the class.

Instructor Angela Seitz, also a former dancer, says she designed the class after having her own son two years ago. She wanted to challenge her body and get in shape.

"Dance in general is a really great workout and so it's no surprise to me that now people are seeing the benefits of it," she says.

Ballet Barre is one of a handful of new fitness trends to hit Northeast Ohio. And the Cleveland Clinic's Fredina Usher-Weems, who specializes as a fitness program manager, says finding something fun is key to becoming someone who regularly works out.

"When you think about it, if you are forced to do something you don't want to do, will you continue to do it? No," Usher-Weems says.

This time of year - about three months after New Years resolutions are made and -perhaps broken - is a good time to try something new and unusual. Just make sure you do so understanding what your body needs, she says.

"If you had not worked out before and you jumped into a five-day a week workout you will be exhausted and drained. So you want to do a kind of gradual process. … try maybe one new one every month," Usher-Weems says.

Mary Beth Horton teaches a new class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood that includes both ballet moves and an intense cycling session. After teaching and working out for the past decade, Horton says it's essential to mix things up.

"Exercise is exercise. So I think the different formats that you do see out there are just reinventions of the same old stuff. Um, but it's all good because it works your body in a different way. Which is what you gotta do just to stay healthy. You gotta change it up," Horton says.

One of the newest fitness classes in the region is at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Westlake: A 60-minute class that is done entirely on giant trampolines that cover a warehouse floor.

"There's so much about it that makes you feel like you're young again," says participant Michelle Zeglen.

If you're looking for something a bit less intense, Mary Riley offers an anti-gravity yoga class.

"Thinking of sweating and doing all of those things isn't always exciting to a number of folks. So this brings people out that maybe wouldn't work out," she says.

In Riley's class, participants climb into giant red silk hammocks hanging from support beams in the ceiling. Throughout an hour-long restorative yoga class, you stretch and swing and stretch some more.

In the end, Riley tells the class: "One more nice BIG Enhale, exhale. Bring your hands to heart center, thank yourself for coming today and Namaste."

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