When you want to escape the gloominess and cold of winter, hibernate at one of these beat-the-chill workout classes.
When it’s cold outside, it’s lovely to feel hot, hot, hot in your workout class. Heated workouts are great all year around but, in the winter, they seem particularly indulgent. The unique workout environment began with Bikram yoga – a yoga class practised in 40° heat – but is now being used by other fitness disciplines such as barre and Pilates. Why? Because proponents claim the heated room enables them to gain more flexibility than when doing the same moves at normal temperatures. If you’re new to heated workouts, begin in a class that takes place at a lower heat before progressing to scorching temperatures.
Dim lights, beautiful scents, down-tempo beats and 37° heat – you’ll feel a world away from your troubles in a Hotpod Yoga class. Taking place in an inflatable pod (like the one pictured) made for 20 yogis, these classes crop up all over the country. Expect flowing moves and an unmatched experience; hotpodyoga.com.
Led by celebrity trainer, Paola Di Lanzo, this barre class takes place in 38° heat. Its mix of Pilates, ballet-inspired moves, core conditioning and deep stretching is just what your body needs this winter; south kensington club.com.
Yoga Tips for Winter | Yoga Poses for Winter Photo Gallery
Treat yourself to one of these vinyasa flow yoga classes at any of London’s Good Vibes yoga studios. The room is heated by infrared to provide a warm – but not unbearably hot – environment. There’s also SAD lighting to boost your mood. Honestly, you’ll leave feeling as if you’ve been on holiday; good vibes fitness.co.uk.
DEEP CORE DARK
Boasting a heat-, oxygenation- and climate-controlled studio, Fierce Grace City offers a wide range of hot classes. Deep Core Dark is the latest addition – a relaxing core-focused class that’s set to meditation music and alpha waves and lit by candlelight; fierce grace city.com.
Winter can be particularly tough on the body – you’re more exposed to infections and illnesses, plus training in the cold increases your risk of injury due to tighter muscles and less pliable connective tissue. Enter recovery workout classes. An increasing number of gyms are launching classes, such as foam roller or stretch workouts to help members recover from intense cardiovascular and strength exercise. And there’s never been a better time to try one of these workouts than during the colder months, when your body aches and brain cries out for another hour of sleep.
Need to recover from a tough session?Gymbox members are in luck, as this class provides a full-body M0T. During each worKout, you’ll get the chance to scan your body for imbalances, then focus on how to repair and recover. It’s the perfect way to maintain a healthy body all season; gymbox.com/classes/rehab.
If you struggle to stretch on your own, barre STRETCH at barrecore in London is the class for you. Combining a recuperating mix of foam rolling, yoga and dance moves, the worKout will help your muscles lengthen and detoxify. And if you’re not London-bound, the class is also available online for a small fee; barrecore.co.uk.
Dance, combat, HIIT, yoga and meditation -just call this worRout everything your body requires for fitness. Split into simple blocKs of choreography, this class may not start off in a very relaxing manner (yes, you’ll sweat a lot), but it ends with some serene yoga and soothing meditation, which is great for recovery; blocRfit.co.uk
RELAX AND RESTORE
Restorative yoga – a practice that aims to relax and calm the body and mind – is available all over the country. If you feel most at ease in your own home, however, the Relax and Restore class on Yogaia.com is ideal. It includes 45 minutes of poses, which you’ll hold for longer than normal to relax fully. Don’t forget your pillow!
Find a balance between muscle strength and length at this form-focused Pilates class from Canary Wharf Third Space Gym. Moves will increase your range of movement and flexibility. Plus, you’ll learn all about postural muscle activation to improve your technique when doing everyday movements.
It’s not only your exercise Rit that can light up at night this winter; your worKout classes can also glow in the darR. Glow classes – sessions that taKe place in darR rooms under UV lighting, often with glow sticKs or light-up weights – are a thing. Sure, they can be a bit liRe an 8am rave if you hit an early morning class, but they’re great for your vitality levels. Expect upbeat tracRs and high-energy routines that can’t fail to brighten up your day. Just don’t forget to wear your best glow-in-the-darR fitness Rit if you really want to embrace the atmosphere.
DarR lights, flashing LED glow sticKs, fitness-boosting moves – your clubbing days just got a healthy maKeover. You can expect to learn street-dance moves set to club anthems, and burn 500 calories in the process! Find a local class at clubbercise.com or Virgin Active members can try the Clubbercise-powered Pulse workout.
New to Fitness First this year, Glow classes are taught in a darR Spin studio with glow-in-the-darR weights called Velobells. The hand-held Velobells shine under the UV lights as you pedal and press your way to a big calorie burn. Each worKout lasts for 40 minutes and involves a series of dance moves and Spinning reps; fitness first.co.uk.
Using glow-in-the-darR Ripstix weighted drumsticKs, Pound is a cardio worKout that fuses jumping and stationary resistance moves with a whole lot of imaginary drumming. Each 45-minute class is set to a range of rocR, rap, dubstep, pop and old-school tunes, giving you the chance to rocR out while unleashing your inner drummer; poundfit.com.
London’s BOOM Cycle classes are set under low-level lighting with a euphoric atmosphere. Using candles and changes in lighting levels, instructors claim that the lighting plays a big part in helping the riders get into ‘the zone’. Just thinK of this worKout as a party on your biRe!boom cycle.co.uR.
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