Rio 2016 is on and the nation is once again transfixed by sporting achievement. If you find yourself naturally drawn to the gymnastics, then pole fitness might be worth investigating: it's also a full body workout that burns some serious calories.
You may have seen or heard of pole fitness in a number of different contexts: from man-pleasing pole dances, to have-a-go on a hen do, through to jaw-dropping feats of aerial acrobatics on TV shows like Britain's Got Talent. Yet despite some forays into the mainstream, you might not think pole fitness is for you... Here's why we think it's worth a try.
A serious calorie-killer
Pole fitness is not the easy option. A beginner's pole fitness class can burn more than 400 calories per hour - more than aerobics, gymnastics, yoga and walking - whilst advanced pole fitness burns 700 calories per hour - more than swimming, running, cycling and Zumba.
Despite its high calorie-burning potential, pole fitness remains somewhat misunderstood. In a recent survey conducted by pole fitness brand X-POLE, 75% of all respondents admitted to not knowing the difference between pole dance and pole fitness, and respondents in the 16-24 age group were one of the lowest awareness groups: surprising for the generation that generally tends to be early adopters of emerging new trends.
Alongside a lack of awareness, the other barriers to trying pole were being too old (48%) and feeling uncomfortable (37%). The reality is though there are women as old as 63 competing in pole and an increase in confidence is said to be one of the most attractive benefits of practicing pole.
Irrespective of age, gender or existing fitness levels, pole fitness is a great way of getting people into physical activity, and not only that but the further you progress, the greater the skill levels required.
A full body workout
Pole fitness' emphasis is on a whole body workout: building serious upper body and core strength, coordination and flexibility. Combining strength, dance and cardio, it improves biceps, triceps, legs, bottom, shoulders, chest, back, abdominals, core and hips. And unlike traditional fitness classes, those who practice pole fitness find it incredibly rewarding. By progressively learning moves and putting them together to form a sequence, you'll not only experience a great cardio workout but also tone and strengthen muscles.
There are many different styles of pole dancing - from the artistic to the acrobatic - so you can combine as many or as few moves as you like. For some, it's about choreography and for others, it's about strength and coordination.
Even weight loss becomes a secondary consideration. Through pole fitness, we've seen people completely transform their bodies and their lives. It ends up being about so much more than just exercise; it's about dance, alignment, flexibility, body confidence, and that's what keeps them coming back.
There are other benefits too. The pole fitness community is incredibly supportive, so you'll find a warm welcome wherever you go. You'll have a giggle too, and of course, it's also a huge confidence booster as you learn to master moves you never thought possible. Something that combines physical and mental benefits - what's not to love?
To find out where your nearest pole fitness class is taking place, go to the Contact Us page at x-pole.co.uk.