Fun indoor workouts to add to your 2013 fitness regimen

So the holidays are behind us and we are energized and raring to go with our list of goals for 2013. Since the new year has greeted us with sub-zero temperatures (at least it feels like that to me!), this week I highlight a few workouts to do indoors to help you reach your new healthful goals. Not to mention, these are fun ways to exercise!

After all, if you enjoy your fitness, you are much more likely to continue working out year-round, meeting and surpassing your goals.

Even if you already have a set workout plan, it’s always important to change-up your routine to avoid boredom or hitting an exercise plateau. So here are a few courses to consider this season.

Indoor rock climbing: Planet Rock

For a new experience altogether, indoor rock climbing not only works your muscles, but your mind as well, Cody Landry, instructor and manager of Planet Rock in Pontiac said.

With wall-to-wall climbing challenges—that aren’t solely vertical—participants can spend the day pushing their bodies to new heights—literally!

“It’s kind of a full-body workout but you’re not just working your muscles,” he said, “Most of our climbs that we have in here are very thought-intensive, too.”

Landry compares the various rock walls to a giant puzzle, “You have to figure out the sequences to get to the top.”

And Planet Rock has everyone covered, from first-timers to professionals, he said.

“It’s a really great workout—You’re having so much fun that you don’t realize how tired you are getting most of the time.”

For Landry, an indoor climbing gym helps him maintain his fitness goals but also to prepare for the outdoor season.

“I do a lot of outdoor climbing,” he said, “So I take what I learn here and then I transfer that outside and there’s nothing like being able to apply those skills and to do it for real somewhere.”

Guests can spend the entire day climbing if they choose by purchasing a day pass or membership. Beginners must take a lesson to learn the basics of tying knots, belaying (handling ropes) and being a belayer (or the person on the ground helping their partner down, should they fall).

“It’s just a really fun place,” he said, “Our members are super friendly and they’re really helpful with new people.”

Planet Rock is located in Pontiac (34 Rapid Street) and Ann Arbor (82 Aprill Drive).

For more information, visit or call 248-334-3904.

Winter biking: Lean Ryde cycle class

Cyclists looking to get as close to the trail ride as possible might consider an indoor Lean Ryde cycle course.

“It’s a stationary cycle but the bike sits on top of an 80-pound-fly wheel and allows the rider to pivot left or right,” Dawn Bajis, Lean Ryde cycle instructor at the Rochester Athletic Club said.

The 45-minute course engages upper body, core, and legs, she said, “It’s an entire full-body workout.”

Bajis says the course has a thrilling environment that some might even prefer over the summer trail ride.

With the lights low, and the music loud, “You can go wherever you need to in your brain to get that release,” she said, “Where you can’t really close your eyes outside.”

Instructing Lean Ryde classes since November, there’s nothing that Bajis dislikes when it comes to cycling.

To change up your routine, Bajis also recommends Core Ride courses that offer a portion of the cycle class on the bike as well as a portion focused on doing abdominal muscle workouts on a mat.

For more information about Lean Ryde cycling, be sure to visit or call 248-650-6200. The Rochester Athletic Club is located at 637 North Main Street.

Zumba: Dance fitness

Whether it is through a gym with your pals or in your living room with a DVD, Zumba can be a fun and exhilarating workout when snowed indoors this winter.

“Zumba is a dancing, full-body workout that incorporates different movements to target different body parts,” Mike Rushford, general manager of Burn Fitness in Rochester Hills said. “It’s just a great way to get active.”

Combining aerobics and dancing, Zumba has become a popular way to squeeze in 45 minutes of cardio fitness.

Even if you need to jumpstart your routine to get back into things, it’s a fun way to do it and the course keeps your attention, he said.

And anyone can do it as Zumba targets all fitness levels, Rushford said. Several gyms offer Zumba courses, as it has become a popular form of exercise. Burn Fitness (located at 2576 South Adams Road) offers a smaller, more intimate course of roughly 15 participants to have the feeling of a private session, he said.

Feel like you need to up the challenge? Burn Fitness also offers a Zumba toning course that uses a weighted maraca to help Zumba-goers burn more calories and tone more muscle.

Interested in learning more about Zumba? Visit and or call 248-853-2900.

About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at

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