Beauty & Wellness

Wild Workouts

Do you follow the same route around the gym floor so often you’ve worn out the carpet? It’s time to mix it up! Not only does following the same routine get boring, you might also be neglecting important areas of your body. Spicing up your fitness plan with some of the world’s wilder exercises is a great way to re-energize. You’ll end up burning muscles you never knew you had, and gain others you need to have. Here are some options:

Balancing Act
As if bending yourself into the shape of a pretzel wasn’t challenging enough — try doing it while balancing on a tightrope. Welcome to the world of slackline yoga — or slackasana. A piece of one-inch thick tubular webbing is stretched between two trees so participants can attempt to move through a variety of yoga poses without falling over. Yes, it sounds waaaaay too easy. But fear not: more advanced pupils can stay challenged by simply elongating the piece of tubing, with varying levels of difficulty.

Lift Up
The “mini cannonball with a handle” first showed up on the scene in 18th century Russia, and since then it’s been going strong, peaking a couple of years ago in popularity, dying off a bit and now coming back full force for the new decade. Lifting and controlling kettlebells provides a fantastic melding of cardio and weight training, with a great focus on working your core. These little (or not so little — sizes range up to 100 lbs) puppies have been adapted into a blinding array of routines, including some used by the military and special forces. If you’re at a loss as to where to start, there are more books and DVDs on kettlebell training then you can get through in a lifetime.

Pole Power
The tables have turned this season as an increasing number of men take firming up their bodies to a whole new extreme by signing up for male pole-dancing lessons. For plenty of headstrong gents, there’s very little that can deter them from reaching their fitness goals. Just don’t expect them to share it with anyone outside their class — or in the bedroom.

Forever Fit
Fitness has always been a hot topic. I find 60% of my clients who come to me for emotional issues also have weight problems. This actually inspired me to recently add a weight management program to my practice. There are three aspects of your life: physical, mental and emotional. It’s important to determine which you need help with most. Whether your life is full of stress due to a demanding job or the responsibilities of raising a family or trying to keep your marriage from falling apart, balance is crucial. Here are some tips: 1.) Accept weaknesses and find strengths; 2.) Set realistic expectations and goals; 3.) Say “Thank-you” more often; 4.) Learn to shift roles easily and lovingly; 5.) Find ways to minimize stress and maximize memory by balancing work with leisure time; 6.) Build relaxation breaks into your schedule; 7.) Give yourself credit for what you accomplish; 8.) Surround yourself with happy people; 9.) Learn what foods are best for your metabolism; 10.) Exercise as much as you can. In the end, there may be challenges along the way. That’s OK!. Make the time to care for yourself, your loved ones and be grateful for what you have not lost. Most importantly, realize you are truly blessed!

› Lisette N. Beraja is a psychotherapist, LMFT, and founder of Beraja Counseling Center. She’s been providing guidance and counseling to individuals, families and couples for more than 10 years. She’s also a Florida Supreme Court Family Mediator and an 11th Judicial Court approved Parenting Coordinator. To set up an appointment or consultation, call 305.858.7763 or visit

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds
if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
— Doug Larson

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