Cost: Each class is $15. Hip scarf is optional.

4. CrossFit - difficulty: [&&&&&]

 The latest trend in exercising is closer than you may think. If you’ve watched a CrossFit competition on ESPN, then you may think it’s all about men and women pushing tires and lifting very heavy objects. And while that’s part of it, it’s certainly not all of it.

CrossFit is “a strength and conditioning program that is universally adaptable to any fitness level,” according to Todd Fanning, owner and head trainer at CrossFit Harford in Forest Hill. “The system is based on constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.”


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Fanning describes CrossFit as the “future of fitness,” which is why he opened his own facility—Harford’s first—in November 2011.

“Overall, it’s the whole package. The workout changes every day, which takes a lot of the thinking out of working out,” he says. “Our workouts are notoriously different and they can be scaled to any fitness level.”

Cost: Free introductory class is available. Drop-in sessions are $20 each. Discounts are available for full-time students, fire fighters, police officers and military personnel.

5. Mixed martial arts - difficulty: [&&&&]   

 Martial arts has always been regarded as a great way to learn self-defense, but it also doubles as a high-impact workout. At Top Flight MMA Academy in Belcamp, participants can learn various forms of martial arts, muy thai and Brazilian jujitsu.

“It’s a total body workout, and it confuses the body as far as muscle memory goes,” says Ron Stallings, owner and professional MMA fighter at Top Flight MMA. “It exercises all parts of the body, from big muscles to little muscles and there’s cardio at the same time. You’re not just going to the gym and lifting heavy weights.”

Stallings, whose Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter stage name is “The Choir Boy,” has been practicing mixed martial arts for about 12 years.

“As a professional fighter, I love the competitive aspect of it,” he says. “But outside of the competition, I love the discipline martial arts brings. Mixed martial arts is for everybody.”

Cost: A 30-day free trial is available.

Resources

101 Walter Ward Blvd. Abingdon
ymaryland.org 
410-679-9622

Harford
Community College
401 Thomas Run Road
Bel Air
harford.edu 
443-412-2000

Swingtime Ballroom
2315 Belair Road

Fallston
swingtimeballroom.com
410-877-2633

CrossFit Harford
1659-D Robin Circle
Forest Hill
crossfitharford.com
410-420-9009

Top Flight MMA
Academy
1371 Brass Mill Road
Suite M-L
Belcamp
topflightmma.com 
410-272-3799

Fun fitness gear:

Nike+ Fuel Band: Check out this sporty wristband that tracks your every move and syncs your progress with a handy mobile app. $149 at nikeplus.com.

Digifit iCardio: This free
app monitors your heart
rate and tracks your workouts. apple.com.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0: These shoes are custom-designed for CrossFit workouts. $109.99 at
shop.reebok.com.