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From Mermaid Classes to Skateboard Pilates: This is How People Keep Fit Around the World

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HOME > JOURNAL > TRAVEL TIPS > From Mermaid Classes to Skateboard Pilates: This is How People Keep Fit Around the World

Summer is just around the corner, and for many of us that means our fitness regimes are in full swing as we aim to shape up ahead of our summer vacations. However, it is often more difficult to keep up the motivation once you are actually on holiday. With this in mind we were inspired to take a look around the globe to find out how people stay fit around the world. Perhaps you might wish to incorporate one of these weird and wonderful workouts into your next holiday, to help keep you in shape while travelling.

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Aerobics is a traditional form of exercise we’ve no doubt all tried at some point, but in Cambodia aerobics is much more than just a fitness class. Here, aerobics is a public event enjoyed out in the open air, with people taking to public parks to join in with mass outdoor aerobic sessions performed along to music. One of the most popular places for outdoor aerobics is the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. At around 4pm each day you can find large groups of locals gathered here to partake in the open air aerobics session and tourists are of course encouraged to join in too.

Have a look at an outdoor aerobics session below.


Indian club training is an ancient exercise which was first utilised by pre-19th century Persian wrestlers. Indian clubs can range from a few lbs in weight up to 100lbs. The exercise became particularly popular in the UK during the late Victorian period, when the clubs were used by everyone from military cadets to well-to-do ladies. The sport was also featured in the Olympics in both 1904 and 1932. The exercise has remained commonplace through to today, and while the clubs were once utilised in choreographed exercise nowadays they are more likely to be used as an individual strength training exercise.

Have a look below at exercises you can do with Indian clubs.


Mermaid classes are one of the latest fitness fads hitting the scene, and let’s be honest – who wouldn’t want to live out their childhood dreams of being a mermaid while also achieving a full body workout? The fun-filled class sees participants donned in mermaid fishtails while taking on aerobic, core work and swimming routines. Mermaid classes are taking off around the world, but the trend originated in Australia where there are many mermaid classes to choose from.

Check out mermaid classes on Instagram here.


Sepak Takraw is a popular sport in Southeast Asia, with a particularly large following in Malaysia. It could be described as a mix of both football and volleyball. The game is now so popular that it is set to be included in the Olympic Games in 2022 and so it will likely not be long before the sport gains further popularity around the globe. Currently, there are more than 20 countries with a national sepak takraw association.

Have a look below at some of the best sepak takraw shots.


As the name suggests, skateboard Pilates is a form of Pilates which also utilises a skateboard, which it is believed adds an extra level of complexity for the squat and lunge movement and builds further on improving flexibility and balance. The class was created by celebrity trainer Raphael Doub, whose clients include French ‘It Girls’ Léa Seydoux and Joséphine de La Baume. Doub says that the skateboard Pilates workout is “perfect for anyone”, whether you have previous skateboarding skills or not, and states it is also a fun workout for those people who get bored doing the same type of exercise day in, day out. Skateboard Pilates is still in its early infancy and it has been dubbed by many in the industry to be the next hot trend.

Check out skateboard pilates on Instagram here.


Yoga is a sport that has grown in popularity over the last two decades and as such a whole host of different spins on the sport have emerged. Of these, one of the most exciting is aerial yoga which sees participants suspended in the air on a hammock. Aerial yoga is also often referred to as anti-gravity yoga, and it is a particularly popular exercise with celebs, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Vanessa Hudgens. Aerial yoga is heralded as being helpful for relieving tension from bones and muscles as it allows for freer movement than traditional yoga. Aerial yoga trainer Heather Blair has been quoted as explaining, “When you’re upside down, your vertebrae actually open up so the space in between the vertebrae opens naturally and gently.”

Check out aerial yoga on Instagram here.


Capoeira is a combination of martial arts and fast-paced cardio. The sport originated in Brazil in the 16th-century and has become such an ingrained part of the culture, that in 2014 it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Capoeira packs in a lot, and if you’ve never tried martial arts before you’re sure to find your body working in new ways when trying out Capoeira. The workout will take on everything from building your strength to increasing stamina, improving your co-ordination and relieving stress. No doubt you will have seen Capoeira movements before even if you don’t realise, as moves from Capoeira have been used in many films and other forms of media including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rio 2 and Avengers: Infinity War.

Find out more about Capoeira and view some of the incredible moves in the video below.


Belly dancing is a sport that has taken the world by storm, with classes available in most countries, but the enchanting dance first originated in Egypt. Belly dancing is traditionally referred to as raks sharqi, which is Arabic for “dance of the east.”  This form of dance is an ancient sport, with the origins of belly dancing able to be traced back up to 6000 years ago. While belly dancing is a popular form of performing art, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an easy workout. Belly dancing works muscles that are more often than not neglected and can burn up to 300 calories in just one hour.

Have a look at the video below to see how you can use belly dancing for a serious workout.


One of the quirkiest new fitness trends to hit the scene is kangoo classes, which will quite literally put a spring in your step, as participants wear specially created shoes fitted with springs. The workout itself is a combination of dancing, running and jumping with the spring shoes allowing for greater movement while placing less stress on the joints. Kangoo shoes were originally created as a tool to helping athletes who were recovering from an injury get back into sport, but in the 1990s Swiss entrepreneur Denis Naville reinvented the shoes with a focus on comfort, design and performance and the shoes then became a whole new fitness tool of their own. The shoes have also been used by Nasa as a tool for rebounding astronauts after returning from the zero-gravity atmosphere in outer space.

Check out a what to expect from a kangoo workout in the video below.


Pound® is a fitness class for those who want to rock out while they work out, combining a cardio workout with a drumming routine. The innovative new fitness class was created by two US based personal trainers/drummers who wanted to infuse the energy of drumming into their workouts. The class utilises specially created drumsticks which are used to tap out rhythms on the floor throughout the routine. The workout was first created in 2011 and is now taught by over 11,000 instructors in over 50 countries with hundreds of thousands of participants joining in each week.

Check out on Pound®Instagram here.


Dubai have taken yoga to a whole new level – 1000ft in the air to be precise. In Dubai you can now enjoy your downward dogs with a view atop the incredible Jumeirah Emirates Towers. From your outdoor yoga space, you can take in the beautiful view of the sparkling skyscrapers and bustling streets. The trend for yoga with a view is spreading throughout Dubai with other hotels including the Sheraton Grand and the La Ville Hotel also having offered rooftop yoga sessions. Surely it won’t be long before the rest of the world catches on too.

Check out rooftop yoga on  Instagram here.


Exercise your body and your vocal chords with a cycle karaoke class. The creative new form of spin class will have you busting out moves on the bike and busting out tunes on the mic as you sing along to karaoke classics. The fun class is sure to be a lot better for you than simply hitting a karaoke bar, with spin classes estimated to burn around 740 calories in just one hour. The introduction of singing while you spin isn’t just for fun, singing along to the rhythm of the music actually helps you to keep your body in tune with the rhythm of the routine.

See how much fun karaoke spin looks in the video below:


Forza is an action-packed class as it utilises the traditional moves of Japanese samurais into routines performed using a wooden sword. While the workout borrows Japanese samurai movements, it was actually created in New York by fitness trainer Ilaria Montagnani. The name ‘forza’ is Italian for strength and the sport will work your upper and lower body, build body mass and can burn up to 500 calories per session. However, creator Montagnani says the greatest benefit of forza is its effect on the mind, as it is a focusing workout that helps you to concentrate.

See what to expect from a forza session below.


Bungee dance is a high-energy, high flying dance class where participants are attached to a bungee rope allowing them to soar through the air. In a beginner class the bungee rope simply provides additional support allowing dances to move with a freer flow and leap through the air seamlessly. For those more advanced participants bungee dance takes on even greater acrobatic elements with dancers suspended in the air using hoops and ropes. The workout originated in Bangkok but is already picking up popularity around the world. Instructors state that the workout can burn up to a whopping 1000 calories per session and is ideal for those looking for a combination of HIIT, cardio and muscle toning.

Check out bungee dance on Instagram here.

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