Now that the holidays are over and done with it’s time to lose all that excess baggage and what better way than to join an Ugi Fitness class! Itâ€™s the cuddliest keep-fit fad created by a Canadian personal trainer Sara Shears. She claims that the regime combines toning and weight-loss along with the de-stressing elements of Yoga.
Shears calls the exercise regime as â€˜happiness trainingâ€™ and says of the routine, â€œThere are 1,440 minutes in every day. If you use 30 of them for physical activity, the other 1,410 feel better.â€ It is based on high-intensity interval training and according to its trainer UGI stands for â€˜I’ve Got Itâ€™. It involves the use of a cuddly piece of kit that looks like a giant stress ball. Itâ€™s done barefoot and is very fast-paced despite that thereâ€™s no yelling from the instructor. The equipment used in the class is weighted for resistance training but is light enough to be used for movement.
It comes in three variations of 6kg, 8kg, and 10kg depending on how to fit youâ€™re feeling. The class consists of 30 positions which are held for a minute each such as holding, pushing, throwing, catching, or balancing on the ball. Though the class is short it works every muscle in your body and raises your heart rate while burning up to 500 calories. According to Sarah Cowell an instructor,
â€œWe want people to work hard, but it’s more about having fun and working at your own pace and intensity, you can take ten-second breaks and alternate between the different weighted balls.â€
The class begins with throwing the ball above your head followed by a sequence of squats and is accompanied by a fast-paced soundtrack. Then the pace picks up and you have to run across the room carrying the ball. The ball is used during lunges and later you have teamed up with a partner to pass the ball between each other. All the moves require skill and balancing the ball under your feet while in a plank position.
By the end of the class you will have worked up a sweat and your arms will ache and it feels like you have pushed yourself to the limit. The class ends with stretches to cool down and relax the muscles. Itâ€™s a great option for people who are pressed for times as itâ€™s so short that it could fit into a lunch break. Ugi is a good endorphin booster and stress buster so try it out!!