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Thrive: Your New Year's Resolution — to Have Fun

With this trio of workouts offered in the East End, you can have a blast while exercising.



It’s January, which means that we’re all seeing the same advertisements for weight-loss plans and discounted gym memberships. If your goal is to be healthier in 2015, though, why not try a different strategy: Find local workouts that are more fun than work. This year, we’re trading in chin-up bars for aerial silks and ditching dumbbells for drums. And instead of staying still in downward dog, we’re adding some Beyoncé-style booty shakes to our yoga practice. Here are three fun and friendly drop-in classes that will get you moving . . . and actually enjoying it:
 

Aerial silk fitness. 

If you’re looking to get strong, try dangling from a silken ribbon hanging from the ceiling. Then try moving into graceful poses by climbing, twisting and spiraling with the fabric. Holly Dayton-Kirby, founder of Pittsburgh Aerial Silks, came to the practice with a ballroom-dancing pedigree and years of experience as a personal trainer. Still, she found it challenging. “When you hold your own weight in your hands and feet, you’ll use your muscles to pure exhaustion,” she says. You can take the classes at your own pace — Dayton-Kirby offers three different sections of the beginning silks class each week.
WHERE: Pittsburgh Dance Center, 4765 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield
COST: $20/class


Buti shaking. 

Buti is in the yoga family, but it’s yoga’s hip-hop-listening cousin. Don’t expect calming New-Age music to accompany your sun salutation — instead, you’ll be shaking your hips through your warrior poses. Former competitive skier Bizzie Gold developed Buti in 2010 in California, and the classes’ popularity quickly spread across the country. Metamorphosis Salon is the first studio to bring the trend to Pittsburgh.
Where: Metamorphosis Salon, 5112 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Cost: $15/class


Drumming and dancing. 

Les Ballets Africains, the national ballet of Guinea, pairs dancing and drumming in its tours across the world. Mito Camara was with the ballet for 11 years and now shares with Pittsburgh the pairing of drumming and dance as a class on Friday nights at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. Stop by the weekly African Dance Class (except for the first Friday of each month; then enjoy the monthly Unblurred art walk down Penn) for a mix of movement and playing the sangban, a West African drum.
Where: Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, 5006 Penn Ave., Garfield
Cost: $15/class

 

Nutrition: What food should you incorporate into your diet this month?

We asked Nick Fischer, a registered dietitian and founder of Fischer Nutrition, to recommend one food to incorporate into our diet this month. His answer — mushrooms. Specifically, sun-dried shiitake mushrooms. “During the winter, especially in Pittsburgh, people get less sunlight. This can negatively impact our vitamin D levels, which are important for calcium absorption, cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation,” he says. “One way to combat this is to increase consumption of foods containing vitamin D, such as fatty fish, fortified cereals, dairy and, my preferred method, mushrooms.” The drying process increases the vitamin D content. Fischer says if you aren’t a fan of the dried mushrooms’ texture, rehydrate them in broth overnight, purée them and use them to make soup, rice, sauces or gravies.

 

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