In shape for summer?

By MELISSA NELSON  |  July 25, 2012


DANCE WALKING Popularized by news personality Ben Aaron's viral YouTube video "Time to Dance Walk Baby," dance walking is a fun way to get your heart rate up — for free, and with plenty of grooving. Just put on one of your favorite upbeat songs and sashay on down Congress Street, or anywhere else, busting out your best dance moves while you walk. Get a group of friends together or go solo — finding strangers to dance along with you is a great way to make new friends if yours are too lame to join in.

PUNK ROPE Punk Rope was created in New York with the goal of "obliterating sedentary living," and looks something like a cross between gym class, recess, and a bad '90s music video. Participants do all sorts of wacky workouts to great music, with fun being the ultimate goal, rather than bulking up. Portland's Punk Rope is instructed by former members of Maine's Roller Derby, if that gives you any clue to its intensity and quirkiness, and is held from 6-7 pm on Tuesdays at the Riverton Elementary School cafeteria. It's $7 a class; see

BEST THINGS IN LIFE BOOT CAMP If you like the idea of a boot camp but would enjoy a more tender environment, the "fit body, quiet mind, happy heart" studio Zuja Wellness (75 West Commercial Street) now offers its own cross-training boot camp class. The course promises good music and good friends in addition to an excellent workout — which includes things like "mindful functional movements" in addition to the standard boot-camp cardio and body-weight exercises. All fitness levels are encouraged to join. Learn more at

AQUA ZUMBA Just in case you were getting tired of your regular spicy-Latin Zumba routine, now you can participate in Aqua Zumba at the Lewiston YWCA. Aqua Zumba is a lot like regular Zumba, except in the water, and with different moves for the verse, chorus, and bridge of each song — rather than one linear dance pattern. The water resistance offers an extra challenge while keeping the workout low-impact, but the Zumba class is still as sassy as ever. See

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