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Emerald City Trapeze (Image courtesy of Emerald City Trapeze)
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7 unique fitness ideas putting a new twist on old resolutions

A brand new year is upon us, a classic time to put healthy goals at the top of our New Year’s resolutions. But instead of hopping back on a treadmill, maybe you need a whole new routine to shake things up on your wellness journey. Here are 7 suggestions to jumpstart those goals:

Fly through the air with the greatest of ease

The story goes that young Jules Léotard began his flying trapeze career while training at his father's gym. He would string up a cord and a bar above the gym's pool and practice his new moves. He is the inspiration behind Seattle's Emerald City Trapeze, helping others enjoy circus arts – no pool required. Numerous first-time students have taken classes here (up to 89 years of age!) and they say it is easier and takes less strength than one might think. Not sure if you’re coordinated enough? Don’t overthink it. Sure, it looks intimidating, but what a way to start out the year! Classes offered for men and women include flying trapeze and aerial silks, along with circus arts like the Cyr wheel.

Hang ten indoors

Boasting a shark-free environment, the Snohomish Aquatic Center offers a unique way to get in surf shape ahead of the season. Their FlowRider surf-simulation machine is sort of a mashup of snowboarding, skateboarding and wakeboarding. Essentially, the machine allows a thin "sheet" of water to flow over a hill to create a flawless ocean wave. Whether you opt for the boogie board or stand-up model, you’re in for a thrill. Open surf sessions run for one hour, are booked on a first-come, first surf basis and limited to six people per session. You can also opt for an all-you-can-surf private session, too.

Go on a treasure hunt

While many people enjoy going for walks or hikes, others need a little motivation. Enter Geocaching, which got its start in Oregon. Geocaching not only provides different places to explore but offers "treasures" to be found, as well. (Don’t get too excited – most are just little trinkets, but still!) From simple walks to challenging hikes, the concept behind geocaching is a simple one. First, download the Geocaching app and locate a geocache as near or as far as you like. Following the app’s GPS, navigate to the spot that is hiding your treasure. Once you find the container, open it up, mark the logbook inside and then put it back where you found it for the next explorer. Geocaching is great because it’s free, you can do it alone or with a group and you can go any time you like. There are many, many geocaches out there just waiting to be found. You might even forget you got exercise while doing it!

Become part of the crew

You gotta admit it: When you see athletes on a crew team zipping along the water, it looks pretty cool. Although your college days are behind you, there are many rowing clubs in the greater Seattle area that offer sessions for adults of all ages. Not sure that you’re ready to dive in for full commitment? Most offer free "learn to row" classes that will teach you the mechanics of how to successfully work as a team moving your craft through the water and many offer regular sessions all year long – including January. To begin your search, check out these websites for the Lake Stevens Rowing Club (Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville), Mount Baker Rowing & Sailing Center and Lake Washington Rowing Club (both operating on Lake Washington) and Green Lake Crew.

Take a tumble

Contrary to popular belief, gymnastics isn’t just for kids. Many of those same facilities that help children balance on beams and tumble like a pro also provide classes for adults, too. Alpha Gymnastics in Woodinville offers drop-in classes twice a week. These are semi-structured classes that are not designed as a regularly-attended class. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Gym in Kent offers both semi-structured classes (twice a week) as well as fully structured classes (once a week). Seattle Gymnastics in Columbia City offers hour-long classes twice a week using gymnastic skills, drills and conditioning using personalized workout plans.

Become a ninja

Before NBC’s American Ninja Warrior became a hit, "ninja training" wasn’t really a thing. Today, adults are taking it seriously all across the country. Sumner Ninja in Auburn has the distinction of being Seattle’s only Ninja Warrior training facility. They feature an intro class to get you started and offer other classes throughout the week at different times to work on upper body training, grip strength, proper form and cardio. In addition, they also offer Spartan training and gymnastic classes. They challenge all newbies to give them a chance for four weeks and you’ll see results.

Relive your grade school recess games

Underdog Sports Leagues has built its reputation as being an outlet for adults who enjoy sports, but who weren’t exactly jocks in high school. Underdog Seattle has teams across Western Washington and includes sports like kickball, dodgeball, flag football, volleyball, bowling, softball and more. Almost every league offers different skill divisions so anyone can fit in right away. "We spend much of our time protecting the average teams rather than catering to the great teams," they say. With locations as far north as Legion Park in Everett and as far south as Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent, everyone can become an Underdog. And like it!

So there you have it: 7 unique ways to work out and have fun doing it! We believe in you, especially since Seattle was just ranked the #1 U.S. city for keeping resolutions.

Jeff Totey is a freelance writer for Seattle Refined. See more of his work here.

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