New year! New fitness plan?

What new forms of exercise will you attempt in 2013?

By Stacey Ritz


 “I will continue my commitment to live a fit and healthy life in the New Year!” shared Kaitlin Rohrer of Dayton. “In 2012 I not only ran my first 5k but also my first half marathon! It was so rewarding to set a goal and actually achieve it!” Rohrer goes on to explain, “I feel much better after exercise – both mentally and physically. And running is a great low cost form of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes and you’re ready for a good cardio workout.”

Always exploring new forms of exercise outside of the realm of running, Rohrer is taking a strong interest in a new fitness craze called Zumba. Zumba is a Colombian dance fitness program involving dance and aerobic elements. It incorporates hip-hop, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts and some belly dancing moves as well. “Zumba is a lot of fun! With multiple classes offered throughout the week, you are able to work it into your busy schedule. It is a great workout and very challenging. I am attending Zumba 2-4 times a week,” said Rohrer. “Some benefits I have seen have been weight loss, muscle toning, less stress and more energy!” Entering 2013, who doesn’t want to feel those benefits?

Tina and Ali Asgough look to become more active with Zumba in the New Year. “We do Zumba on the Wii and on Xbox.” Melissa McFarland also considers Zumba a part of her New Year’s Resolution, attending classes regularly at the local YMCA.

Water aerobics is the latest fitness craze that has hooked Camille Culbertson. “I just started water aerobics. I didn’t think I would like it, but I really do!” Water aerobics is a type of resistance training performed in the shallow waters of a swimming pool. If you love the water, but swimming lap after lap doesn’t appeal to you, water aerobics may be your calling.

Is jump-roping considered exercise? It sure is. Jump-roping and hula-hooping are some of the latest fitness crazes to make a comeback this New Year. When was the last time you hula-hooped? It’s quite possible that it was in elementary school, but not for some individuals like Amy Rayle. “I know it sounds funny, but I am 34 years old and I just bought a hula-hoop. I practice in the evenings and I think it’s a great cardio workout. It also takes focus and concentration. I am really enjoying it.” Jump-roping competitions between friends (how many jumps you can do in one-minute) are becoming a new trend locally as well. It may sound easy, but have you tried jump-roping lately? Can you jump more than 180 jumps in one minute? Dayton exercise enthusiast Kim Straw can.

Spinning is another popular New Year’s Resolution this year – and no, I don’t mean spinning in circles. Spinning is an exercise craze where you ride an indoor bike in a class setting. It’s a high-intensity cardiovascular workout that doesn’t place the pounding or pressure on your legs, unlike impact sports such as running.

“Yoga stretches my body and quiets my mind. I love how yoga makes me feel,” explained Linda Mohr. “A peaceful and centered feeling. A notion that I can tackle any hard or uncomfortable challenge and breathe my way through it. I am more flexible, stronger and taller. I can easily reach the top clothing rod in my closet now. My posture is improved.” Mohr views yoga as a lifetime exercise. “Yoga class trumps everything else that night … Yoga has been life changing for me in just a short time – both mentally and physically.” Mohr also hopes to take a stretching class in 2013.

Monica Hasek is the director of Yoga Springs Studio located in both Yellow Springs and Springfield. “We’re offering a New Year’s Cleanse package which includes a 7-day cleanse kit and 30 days of unlimited yoga in January. We’re kicking it off with an informational workshop on January 13th,” Hasek excitedly shared. “We tend to have students we have not seen in a while as well as people trying yoga for the first time after the holidays. Everyone is ready to start the New Year with wellness … the key is sticking with your intentions throughout the year to really reap the benefits of this practice.” Yoga Springs has more than 15 teachers that help guide individuals on the path of yoga, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Hasek recommends practicing yoga a minimum of twice a week or ten-minutes per day, stressing that it is best to find what works with your schedule.

Whether you opt for a traditional exercise such as running or a fitness craze like Zumba, the key to success is to keep your commitment to these New Year’s Resolutions. How will you continue on your path to health and wellness in 2013? Will you workout with a friend?  Keeping resolutions realistic and reasonable is essential to success. Whether you are exercising for weight loss, stress relief, heart health or all of the above, any form of exercise you choose will undoubtedly be better than sitting on the couch. Linda Mohr explained, “I set intentions for the year as well as select a key word to describe how I want to live the year. Yoga is part of my 2013 intentions, and my word is peace.”

Reach DCP freelance writer Stacey Ritz at

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