Check out these workout options that help tone your body

This exercise menu tells you what to expect from 11 different workout options. It also assesses the ability of each workout routine to build aerobic stamina, burn fat, build muscle and increase flexibility or coordination.

Making the right choice

It is important that you make exercise a part of your daily routine. The aim of this exercise list is to provide you with exercise options so that you know what to look out for when making exercise decisions.  Use this information to know what style of workout suits your goals and temperament; then select the best option suited to your needs.

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SPINNING

Burns fat

Builds muscle

Builds aerobic stamina

Needs coordination

Spinning is good for those who already have a good fitness level. A good spinning class gives your heart and lungs an intense workout while also building strength in the legs. It is an excellent exercise programme for fat burning.

But, you do need to feel confident on a bike. The instructor takes you through hill climbs, sprint races, time trials and group races.

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SALSA -AEROBICS

Needs coordination

Increases flexibility

Builds aerobic stamina

Burns fat

This is a form of dance that has been modified into an exercise class.  Aerobic and salsa moves are combined, making it a great workout for those who enjoy salsa dance. The intensity of this workout is low, but effective if done regularly for a long duration.

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AEROBIC CLASS

Burns fat

Builds stamina

Needs coordination

The main aim of this class is to raise the heart rate and burn calories. This form of exercise improves cardiovascular stamina, burns fat, and develops muscular endurance. Hand and leg coordination is required.

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STEP CLASS

Burns fat

Needs coordination

Increases flexibility

Builds aerobic stamina

This is a choreographed workout using the step. A good instructor will guide the class — how to step up and down from the step without causing injuries to the joints. This form of exercise improves cardiovascular stamina, burns fat, and develops muscular endurance — especially in the lower body. Hand and leg coordination is required.

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BOOT CAMP

Burns fat

Builds muscle

Tones the body

Builds aerobic strength

Needs coordination

Increases flexibility

 This workout is derived from the tough physical training of the army. This workout session involves squat thrusts, sit-ups, sprinting and other intense exercises. This is based on a circuit-training format that requires you to do a series of exercises for a set period of time. The class can last from 45 minutes to 2 hours. This form of training works the heart and muscles and provides an intense workout.

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BOXERCISE

Burns fat

Builds muscle

Builds aerobic stamina

Needs coordination

Boxercise mixes boxing movements with aerobic and sculpting exercise. Boxercise is an enjoyable way of using the benefits of boxing without the contact. The cardiovascular system is greatly challenged and the upper body strength in particular is emphasised.

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KICK-BOXING

Burns fat

Builds muscle

Builds aerobic stamina

Needs coordination

Kickboxing can be contact or non-contact exercise session. It involves kicking and punching moves. This exercise class needs great coordination and power to keep up with the fast changing drills and routines. As the routine picks up speed, the heart rate rises and the workout becomes cardiovascular.

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YOGA

Increases flexibility

Tones muscles

Improves blood circulation

Is therapeutic

Can build aerobic stamina

Yoga is a fantastic way to improve suppleness, strength and de-stress the mind. It improves blood flow around the body through holding postures and controlled breathing techniques. Yoga can be challenging, relaxing or simply therapeutic. It also brings mind-body awareness.

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PILATES

Builds core strength

Increases flexibility

Tones muscle

Needs coordination

Pilates concentrates primarily on developing strong stomach and back muscles. It improves posture and flexibility. All the movements aim to develop core strength, but it is not effective as a fat burning exercise form.

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TAI CHI

Increases flexibility

Needs coordination

This is an ancient Chinese exercise characterised by slow, graceful movements. In Chinese philosophy, Chi is the energy force that gives the body vitality. Tai chi is meditative and the emphasis is on inner strength. 

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AQUA-AEROBICS 

Burns fat

Builds aerobic strength and stamina

Tones muscle

Increases flexibility

The resistance of water makes this workout so effective. The body is lighter in water so there is far less stress on the joints. The aerobic session involves running, jumping and making dynamic movements against the waters resistance to increase the heart rate. Floats and paddle are added to increase resistance.

The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.