Body Conscious

Exercise: It’s the resolution everyone loves to break. Stick with these workouts and see results by Valentine’s Day

It’s the resolution that echoes through time immemorial: I’m going to get in shape this year. I’m going to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to look amazing for my high-school reunion. Even though we reap numerous benefits from exercise and being fit—and you’ve probably heard them all, from lower blood pressure to greater productivity—routines can be really hard to stick with. So here are some fat-shredding, muscle-building, heart-pumping workouts that will give you visible results within a month of regular attendance. Because nothing will keep you on the wagon more than seeing your body transform. So what are you waiting for? Get moving!


It’s been said that an hour of pedaling a stationary bike as though your life depends upon it burns up to 800 calories in an hour. So if you want to drop poundage while quickly toning legs and glutes, spin. The Shed prides itself on its Spin & Abs and Spin & Strength classes, which add core workouts or weight training, respectively, to the crazy-popular spin class. Believe it or not, your heart will thank you. The Shed, 2800 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-720-2121,

Barre and Core Fusion

The class description uses terms you may not know, like isometrics, Lottie Berk, and SPRI tubes. Don’t let lingo hold you back. You will use your body as resistance to sculpt and shape your muscles into that of a ballerina’s: long and lean, with major muscle and flexibility. It’s not yoga or Pilates, but devotees looking to shake it up might love this workout. Sigh Yoga, 612 W. 54th St., Mpls., 612-824-1317,


Dancing doesn’t seem like a workout until you swing your calves out of bed the morning after a night on the dance floor, right? Dancing burns calories by the hundreds—you’ll be breaking a sweat 10 minutes into the funk class at The Firm. But you’ll be so focused on getting rowdy that you’ll forget you’re on the clock. The Firm, 245 Aldrich Ave. N., Mpls., 612-377-3003,

Personal Training

Dialing up a personal trainer might feel overindulgent, but then again, so did eating spritz cookies by the dozens. If the thought doing downward dog in a pack makes you shudder, employ an expert. Trainers will even come to you. Steele Fitness, locations in Wayzata, Edina, and St. Paul,


Invented by Russians and adopted by U.S. special forces, kettlebells build strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination. Hefting weights shouldn’t be taken lightly (pardon the pun), so work with Vitality instructors, who are Russian Kettlebell Challenge certified to teach—and not just to Navy SEALS. Vitality, 145 E. 10th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4151,