I’m a pretty ballerina.
Backstage at a recital in 2007.

There are so many fun ways to workout, it’s a shame when someone doesn’t give him or herself the gift to taking the time to find a workout they enjoy, and instead keep going to the gym and suffering through boredom on the cardio machines for the sake of “working out.” (Seriously, does anyone ever actually enjoy themselves on the elliptical?)

What are some fun ways you can workout? Other than running, which I personally think is awesome? (In case you couldn’t tell.)

There’s the usual: biking, swimming, yoga, hiking. Group sports like volleyball, softball, basketball, soccer – in most areas you can find leagues or drop-in. (Bonus: post-game beer with teammates.) There’s also dance class – ballet (tutus!), modern, tap, jazz, belly dance, hip hop, lyrical, swing, ballroom, burlesque. In the winter there is also ice skating, skiing, snow boarding.  There’s martial arts. Boxing. Roller derby (with or without the risk of concussion). Trapeze. If you’re my brother, BMX.

My point is, there are lots of ways to move your body and stay healthy. Working out doesn’t have to be boring.

Last December, I took a free trapeze class. It was a lot of fun and a killer workout and I really really really wanted to sign up for a session of classes, even if it meant driving an hour or more each way in rush hour traffic to get to them, but ultimately decided it was out of my budget.

Burlesque workshop in 2009 for a bachelorette party.
I’m on the left (gray shirt/black capris/purple boa).
(This is not my SIL’s studio.) 

A more affordable alternative workout: my sister-in-law teaches burlesque (and ballet), and earlier this year I decided to get in touch with my sexy side (which is more funny than sexy) and take a session. (If you’re in Chicago-proper, a few of my friends have taken classes here.)

If you’re interested in burlesque, but nervous about it, don’t be. It’s a very non-judgmental scene, and in my experience there is no nudity during classes. My SIL says most of her students are the moms of her ballet kids.

With the cold weather outside, I’m inspired once again to take some more dance classes. (Gotta cross-train, right?) (Especially since I think I already have a great burlesque name for myself … that’s what’s really important, right?)

Although my SIL moved her studio into a new space with really tall ceilings … think I can convince her to put in a trapeze swing?