900 Windmill Road, Suite 107, Dartmouth, 407-2525
Maybe you've quit working out at the gym because you find it too impersonal. If so, you'll find everyone knows your name at 360fit. Best of Halifax-winner Devin Sherrington opened 360fit with his wife Geena because he found that at conventional clubs, "Nobody cared. They just wanted your money." Sherrington promises you'll never be left alone to workout at his gym. Instead you'll receive plenty of individual encouragement from trainers or you can join group classes. If you work in Burnside, try squeezing in 360fit's "Total Body Assault" class for 30 intense minutes or taking a 45-minute yoga or spin class.
50 Queen Street, Dartmouth, 407-3338
Stashing your bike in the basement for the winter doesn't have to mean it's time to sulk around reminiscing about sunny cycling trips to the lake. Cycling enthusiasts can get their fix at Dartmouth's Core Essentials. Their RealRyder Bikes can actually move side to side, creating a similar feel to road riding. Real Rider classes attract triathletes and serious cyclists, who come packing their own cycling shoes. Club owner Laurissa Manning says many find their first ride exhausting, but promises "it's a lot of fun." The club even plans to kick off February weekends by bringing a DJ to Friday cycling classes. Try your first two classes for $25.
5540 Cunard Street, 497-1557
Maybe you've stopped going to the gym because using the machines makes you feel like too much of a cyborg. You won't working out at CrossFit Kinetics---the gym limits its equipment to basics such as pull-up bars, kettle bells and medicine balls. If you go enough you'll end up doing things like handstand push-ups. "CrossFit just focuses on the exercises that are important. It's all about functional training," says head trainer Jim Hardy. Students, military, police and firefighters all get 15 percent off class prices.
Dende Do Recife Grupo De Capoiera
2827 Isleville Street, 448-6497
If gyms aren't your scene and you're a music lover looking for an intense workout, try learning Capoeira with the group Dendê Do Recife. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian practice that integrates martial arts, music and dance. "You use the ground a lot. There's lots of acrobatics and lots of kicks," explains instructor Zak Miller.
Visit goodlifefitness.com to find clubs in Halifax, Lower Sackville, Dartmouth and Bedford
Being strapped for cash doesn't have to stop you from trying new fitness classes. Goodlife clubs all across the HRM will let you try three classes for free. You can get in shape while jiggling to Latin beats with Zumba or with the intense martial-arts workout LesMils Body Combat. Experience an '80s flashback by working out in a step class.
1505 Barrington Street, 422-2006
halifaxdanceassoc.ns.ca Here's a more offbeat workout than a conventional aerobics class: Monique Ryan's "Bollywood Fusion." Ryan draws upon the hand and arm movements of Bollywood dancing to create an intense workout. You can sign up for the 11-week winter workshop at Halifax Dance for $136.
58 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth, 469-2700
If you'd like to take your yoga practice to the next level but you topple over every time you attempt The Tree, this is for you: Anti-Gravity Yoga at Interlude Spa in Dartmouth. You'll hang suspended upside down in silk slings, while improving strength, flexibility and agility. "It's really fun," says instructor Kim Kraushar. "You feel like a circus performer. It's done to really funky new-agey music and you kind of feel like a kid because you're swinging around in these hammocks." Dangling upside down can improve circulation and relieve stress.
Studio In Essence
1717 Barrington Street, 405-5500
Studio In Essence's sauna will warm you up if you're the sort who'd rather laze around sipping whiskey by the fire than go to the gym. Owner Christy Sanford explains that a sitting for 30 minutes in one of their infrared saunas can burn 300-500 calories and can also help you relax or sweat out toxins after a night out. "You just feel great afterwards," says Sanford. Once the promise of a warm sauna has got you out of the house, try some of the studio's quirky group classes, such as hula hooping, pole dancing or breakdancing. Check the online schedule to sign up for $8 intro classes.
Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada, Atlantic Branch
2029 North Park Street, 422-8142
Recovering from an injury or illness doesn't always have to prevent you from getting active. A health recovery class with the Taoist Tai Chi Society ($10 per month plus $20 registration fee) helps participants improve their circulation, balance and flexibility, while moving at their own pace and receiving one-on-one attention from instructors.