With New Year’s Eve coming up sooner than I thought was humanly possible, diet crazes are about to run rampant. When I was in college, I vowed to try anything once, and twice if I liked it. Back then, that applied to activities that were mostly fun, and sometimes illegal. Now it pertains to exercise classes.
As a postgrad, it’s basically expected that I spend my free time burning off the calories that are so easy to consume. After all, when I’m not sitting at my desk or on yet another Netflix binge, I’m drinking, so it makes sense that in my free time I’m looking for the perfect activity to burn said calories in a chic way. If only working out felt as good as fro-yo tastes.
1. Pure Barre
Pure Barre is pure evil. Sure, you get physically fit, but at what cost? The demographic is mostly Mayflower descended Daughters of the Revolution, WASPy types who spent hundreds on Lululemon leggings (they look exactly the same as Target ones) for the sole purpose of showing them off to other ladies, because let’s be honest, no dude would come within a five mile radius of Pure Barre. Like Lulu leggings, Pure Barre is made for skinny folks. The tube they give you is probably to encourage you to keep coming back for more, because if you put on even five pounds, you won’t be able to squeeze your thighs inside of it.
To do Pure Barre, you have to be willing to throw down roughly thirty bucks for the privilege of a tiny lady telling you how to do tiny humping motions that look easy, but feel like the fires of hell. After you drop a couple hundo on the packages and gear, prepare to throw down for special socks so you don’t look even more ridiculous flailing around on the floor. If you’re doing Pure Barre, you were probably a dancer at some point in your life, and it’s the perfect activity to remind you that you will never be able to easily do a split again. RIP to the flexibility of my youth. While the soccer moms in class have it under control in a serious way, if you don’t have the dollars or dedication to attend classes regularly, prepare to feel the burn. I thought Pure Barre would make me feel like a ballerina, but I didn’t even get to wear a tutu. I spent a lot of money on Pure Barre, but I would spend even more money if it meant I never had to do it again.
Zumba is the Jazzercise of our generation. If you want to feel like a fiery Latina who’s getting down at the club, this is the activity for you. If your favorite musicians are Pitbull, Shakira, and Flo Rida, get ready to twerk to your heart’s content. The Zumba outfits are far stranger than the Pure Barre ones. They comprise of parachute pants that look like neon Hot Topic finds, bandage tops with “ZUMBA!” emblazoned on them in rhinestones, and special sneakers that are reminiscent of the Puma slip-ons of your youth, which were far better left in the past. Zumba is the best, because you’re doing the same ridiculous grinding as when you’re drunk at the club, but sober, in bright light, in front of a couple dozen people who look even more ridiculous than you.
Yoga is perfect if you want to do an exercise that sounds real and sexy, but also involves “child’s pose,” where you reflect on your life while lying on the floor, which is basically a hobby of mine anyway. Let’s be honest, any exercise that has “downward dog” will seemingly make you more appealing to the opposite sex, a la Adam Levine. Yoga is great because you don’t actually sweat too much (unless you’re doing hot yoga, in which case you might die), you improve your flexibility, and you can get your own trendy mat to show your dedication.
I have absolutely nothing against running, except for the fact that it seems like no one can do it without announcing it on at least five different social media channels. The runners I know are all pretty similar, as far as human beings go. Flat-chested (to really run, anyone who isn’t would need to wear at least 5 sports bras at the same time), injured by the time they’re 25 (ouch), and have apps that somehow notify me every time they so much as think about running .5 miles. Runners are great because they actually workout in the real world, instead of struggling on a treadmill in an ugly gym while watching the Food Network, but your race times mean nothing to me. While you have to be seriously intense to do a Tough Mudder, I’ll never understand the appeal. However, if you’re interested, I am available to fling mud at you while you run for the low price of $400.
5. Juice Cleanse
While juice cleanses aren’t actually exercise, per se, they fit the same qualifications of the above. They involve using social media to tell everyone just how skinny you’re getting. They also involve dropping beaucoup bucks in the quest to not eat anything. Unfortunately, I just don’t like kale enough to be as chic as Gwyneth Paltrow, in all her Goop glory. Honestly, I would rather save all that money by not buying groceries. Back in the good ‘ol days, people were skinny because they couldn’t afford food, and now we’re spending dollars on spinach juice that calls for bathroom breaks and hypoglycemia for the same exact privilege. If you’ve never been friends (Facebook or otherwise) with someone on a cleanse, you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the stages of it. It starts with enthusiasm, bottoms out with incessant bravado, and ends with a lot of hanger (hungry anger). I know I’m missing out, but I prefer my body full of natural ingredients, like liquor and carbs.