Staying fit in Colombo is easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because there are so many activities just waiting to be tried out and difficult because we are really good at convincing ourselves why we don’t need to. That being said, the dawning new year is an opportunity to stay focused and realign our goals.
Keep aside the known health benefits of reducing a number of health conditions ranging from depression to high blood pressure, the feeling of being energized and looking confident cannot be measured in a scale. Staying healthy is more than toning and losing weight, but maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle while feeling great as well.
From Bollywood dancing to calisthenics at the park, Colombo now offers you a lot of ways to keep fit. For most of us, it’s a matter of assigning time out of our personal schedule to commit it to it regularly. You will start feeling different when physical changes are visible and when the psychological effects are real. It’s also exciting to experiment with a few activities before you narrow down on ones you truly like. And doing something you enjoy increases your chances of pursuing it in the long run.
Here are a few categories of indoor class categories you can engage in on a daily basis.
There are more than thirty gyms around Colombo city, and almost all the hotels have gyms that are open to public through memberships. The biggest benefit of a gym is the availability of various equipment that targets specific areas of your body. You can very well work out and exercise from home and use equipment such as dumbbells or a treadmill. However the impact of your daily workout can be greatly increased through a wider range of equipment and with guidance from fitness professionals. Fitness trainers will tell you exactly how to use specific equipment, the frequency of usage and the type of equipment you need to lose weight, gain muscle and tone while avoiding injury. Most gyms also offer weekly classes related to the below.
Yoga merges both body and mind. It strengthens both physique and psyche in a series of combined stretching poses that strengthens and relaxes at the same time. The ancient wisdom is now harnessed as a blueprint for other types of practices that aim to increase flexibility, circulation, metabolism and vitality. Yoga is an all-round full body workout that anyone in age can do without any equipment or unnecessary stress on their joints. It is now increasingly used by athletes as a cross training workout and for injury prevention and rehabilitation as proprioception can be greatly increased with regular practice.
There are many forms of yoga ranging from intense and fast-paced to gentle and relaxing. Yin and Iyengar are gentler forms of yoga while Ashtanga and Power yoga are more challenging as they are fast. Classes can be narrowed down here.
To dance is to sing with your body. One of the most enjoyable forms of staying fit no doubt. Colombo offers traditional Sri Lankan dancing style practices to more contemporary forms of dance such as Ballet, Ballroom, Latin (which includes styles such as Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba) Hip Hop and Experimental. You may choose to learn it as a fun activity or to train for competitions and regular events that are available here and abroad. Either way, it’s never too late, and is a really fun way of losing weight while grooving to music.
Although dance in itself is a form of exercise, Zumba was specifically created to stay fit by merging dance and fitness together. It combines dance and aerobic movements together and uses energetic music to propel you to move. The routine incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton and mambo with a touch of squats and lunges added for good measure. Zumba is taught and practiced at a number of places in Colombo and can be recommended to anyone regardless of age, gender or fitness level.
A combination of functional movements that incorporate the likes of gymnastics, weightlifting running, rowing, cardio, core training and many more. It is driven on measurable, observable and repeatable results. CrossFit teaches you to believe that you should train your body for the unknown and be physically prepared for almost anything. The idea is that you do more work in less time for the workout to be effective. Those who love hiking and other outdoor activities enjoy CrossFit as it trains them to try and achieve beyond their reach every day.
Martial arts is a sport of disciplining your mind and body while learning to express your soul. The art is not to learn how to get into a fight but to be able to confidently defend yourself if needed. The beauty of MMA is that it combines all the different types of martial arts and teaches you how to effectively use these arts to defend yourself in a wide variety of scenarios. If you’re standing on your feet then the skills of Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai will come into play. If you feel that the situation calls for you to take your opponent to the ground then Jiu Jitsu will teach you how to leverage your opponent’s body weight against them. The sport is also a great way to familiarize with your body while getting an intense, yet satisfying workout. Check out the fun MMA training classes available in Colombo on our site.
Spin is an indoor cycling class usually set to music and led by a certified instructor. Cycling is done in a spinner bike for about 40 to 60 minutes resulting in a great workout that engages the entire body and tones your abdomen and legs. Correct posture is important when targeting the right muscle group which is why it’s important to have an instructor to cue technique and posture. Over time you will feel your entire body toning up and no doubt you will feel great and look good — not to mention, you will be really hard to beat in a cycle race!
Aerobics is another full body workout that engages your entire body. It stimulates the heart rate and breathing that allows you to sustain the exercise session and combines rhythmic stretching and strength training routines with the goal of improving all elements of fitness (flexibility, muscular strength and cardio-vascular fitness). Aerobics is usually a group working out together in tune to music instructed by a professional although it can be done solo and without music. A balanced aerobic workout session will include a warm up, cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength, cool down and stretching and flexibility. Aerobics related classes can be browsed here.
Working out is never limited to indoor spaces however, and regularizing a sport or an outdoor hobby a great way to stay fit. From ultimate frisbee, inline skating, cycling to swimming, there are many clubs and sports organizations that you may find interesting enough to explore.
Staying fit may have a lot to do with looking great, but more to do with actually engaging your body and mind to do more. From the simple action of climbing up the stairs without taking the lift or taking a walk instead of your car to the nearby shop, certain lifestyle changes are also a big part of being fit. Transforming unhealthy patterns such as cutting down on sugar and processed foods will complement your fitness routine and benefit your health in a myriad of ways.
Your body is your temple, your vessel, the one place that you truly feel comfortable and at home. It is also the only place you will be living for the rest of your life. By respecting your body and treating it the way it should be treated, you can live a happy, healthy life and become the best person you can be, while you can.