With the hectic holiday season upon us that’s filled with parties, dinners, and shopping in addition to your normal day-to-day, chances are you may struggle to find time to exercise. However, enticing yourself to stay fit during this time of year will not only help you to stay healthy and maybe allow for that additional gingerbread man or woman into your life, but will also give you more energy and help reduce stress. We found a few rewarding and physically challenging group fitness classes that are fun enough to take away the excuses or temptations not to go!

1. Black Light Wednesday Night Power Yoga at Hard Candy Fitness
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Nat’s Personal Stats: 1.5 hours – 545 kcal – 132bpm average heart rate
‘Humpdays’ (Wednesdays) at 7:30pm. For full schedule, visit web site.

Imagine checking out a DJ at a club where the sound system exceeds expectations and you’re surrounded by fans that are living in the moment.

It’s a natural high and that’s how you’ll feel during Lori Kirwan’s signature Black Light Electric Yoga class. She’s an instructor and trainer extraordinaire with a Ph.D in Exercise Physiology from University of Toronto. The live DJ, unparalleled stereo system and black lights, are the real thing. Coming decked out in fuchsia coloured fitness clothes, ready to sweat and detox through challenging vinyasa flow yoga sequences in the hot studio is a must!

In addition to challenging your upper body and core, you’ll find this class hits all the major muscle groups. The energy is second to none and it will sure make you look forward to the next time!

Prepare Yourself: this class is very dynamic and basic knowledge of yoga will come in handy (or make sure to come in a bit early and secure a spot close to Lori.) Strong wrists and shoulders will help as you’ll be doing a considerable number of chaturangas (I stopped counting at around 140); however Lori always gives alternatives.

While the Blacklight yoga won’t be back until January, Hard Candy Fitness is still open through the holidays.
Christmas Eve, December 24: 6am -5pm;
Christmas Day, December 25 – closed.
New Years Eve, December 31:
January 1: 6am – 5pm

For more info visit www.hardcandyfitnesstoronto.com

2. Stacked at Equinox

Nat’s Personal Stats: 50min – 610 kcal – 158bpm average heart rate

Mondays at 5:30pm. For full schedule, visit web-site.

Somewhere along the line you might need someone to really challenge you to exercise like you mean it during the holidays. I found this someone at Equinox’s Stacked class on Monday nights. Her name is Eva Redpath, a certified Group Fitness Expert and Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer. It was a pleasure to see an instructor sweat as much as the rest of the class, and made you want to work harder. Stacked is one of Equinox’s signature classes.

It’s dynamic and rewarding as it targets the entire body via “interval training through a series of patterns and exercises organized into unique ‘stacks’”. 45 minutes is all you’ll need to get the feeling like you’ve achieved the unachievable. That’s exactly why you’ll want to come here in the first place, and again afterwards.

Prepare Yourself: Get your legs and glutes ready for a workout that will also push your cardio fitness. Come to this class with lots of energy, as your heart will be racing. At a certain point you might want to give up… but you won’t have a chance to.

Thursday, January 1 – 8:00 AM to 3:00 AM
Wednesday, December 24 – 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Thursday, December 25 – 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Friday, December 26 – 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Wednesday, December 31 – 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM

For more info visit www.equinox.com or www.equinox.com/clubs/toronto/bayst

3. Blend at SURFSET Fitness
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Various classes available every hour. For full schedule, visit web-site.

Nat’s Personal Stats: 50 min – 345 kcal – 133bpm

You know that feeling after a full day at the office when you know you still have an evening event to attend but all you want to do is go home?

Unwinding and loosening up your body by exercising at a session like the Blend Class at Surfset Fitness, is ideal to get your energy levels up and take some much needed ‘you’ time. The Blend Class offers a balance between stabilizing, muscle resistance, strengthening and lengthening inspired by surfing for a challenging (but not too strenuous) effective body workout. The supportive and intimate atmosphere is also ideal for a humbling experience as you melt the fat off your body, build a strong core, and get ready to take on yet another holiday party.

Prepare Yourself: Your balance and strength will be tested!

Xmas Eve – Wed. Dec. 24th – 7am-1pm
Xmas Day – Thu. Dec. 25th – Closed
Boxing Day – Fri. Dec. 26th – Closed
Dec. 27th-30th – Regular Hours
New Year’s Eve – Wed. Dec. 31st – 7am-1pm
New Year’s Day – Thu. Jan. 1st – Closed

For more info visit Surfset at www.surfsettoronto.com

SUMMARY

Class Results Time
Power Yoga at Hard Candy Fitness 545 kcal, 132 bpm average heart rate 1.5 hours
Stacked! at Equinox 610 kcal – 158bpm average heart rate 50 min
Blend at Surfset Fitness 345 kcal – 133bpm average heart rate 50 min

Happy Holiday Sweating!

All personal stats are taken with Suunto Ambit2 for comparison purposes and are not to be relied on by other individuals. Of course total number of calories burned will depend on each individual.

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Natalie Korol

Nat Korol likes helping metropolitan dwellers lead a healthy, active lifestyle & especially enjoy the outdoors! She's a competing trail runner and an avid yogi. Follow Nat on Twitter + Instagram (@NatYKorol)