Shanghai is a continually evolving and extremely dynamic city. With this comes a need to not only find your place in it, but to also find value in what you are doing. Whether you have lived here for years or are new to this thriving metropolis, the desire and opportunities to reinvent your existence are ongoing. Friends come and go, and circumstances change, often prompting us to step back and re-evaluate the things that make life fulfilling. This is where our Mind, Body and Soul cover story can help.
Instead of providing a back-to-school guide for the kids as the summer draws to an end, this one is for the moms and dads out there. Our three sections are filled with inspirations to help you settle into a healthy routine and re-establish yourself within it after a relaxing summer holiday.
Feel good, look good, inside and out. It comes down not only to the choices we make but more importantly, the habits we form. Here, we introduce a range of fitness regimes that are not only right for your body (and we all know the positive, stress-reducing, hormone-inducing effects of exercise on the mind), but are also fun, varied, socially connecting and motivating. Right here in Shanghai, these welcoming communities are eager to become a part of your lifestyle, challenge you and keep you feeling your best.
Z&B stands for Zumba and Barre, though these impressive studios on Changle Lu and Shaanxi Bei Lu have a lot more to offer. With over 250 classes a week delivered by 70 well-trained instructors, there is a workout for everyone. Plus, they have a deckedout gym you can join for additional training around your classes. Choose from dance classes like BODYJAM, Zumba and step to high-intensity training like spinning, GRIT, TRX, Piloxing, Tabata, BODYCOMBAT or CXWORX. Yes, they have a lot. Our recommendation for those looking to tone up the body is their signature MYbarre class for a combination of dance, body-sculpting and core exercises. This full-body workout is performed at the ballet barre, repeating movements with added intensity from hand weights, stretching bands or body resistance to provide the ultimate conditioning. Otherwise, give Zfly Aerial a try. By suspending yourself from fabric ribbons, you will build strength, increase body tone and develop stability. Over time, you will see visible results from this class as you confidently 'fly' through the studio. RMB50 gets you into a trial class, and I am sure your journey won't end there.
See listings for Z&B Fitness here.
With a theory that anyone can become a boxer, WeBox is the next step towards empowering women through fitness. If you're looking to get into shape, then we recommend you try boxing at this new studio on Donghu Lu. Condition your body, sharpen your instincts and push your mental and physical limits with a boxing workout that will have you in shape and stronger than ever before. You don't need to be a seasoned boxer to join, as they welcome beginners and will take pride in your development as you train hard and see results. A certified WeBox trainer will take you through the steps – this doesn't have to be about fighting; it's about fitness. To get fit, WeBox has women only, 30-minute high-intensity classes four to five times a week.
See listing for WeBox Gym here.
High-Intensity Interval Training
F45 Training is a team-based workout, consisting of a mixture of high-intensity interval, circuit-based resistance and function training. The 'F' stands for functional, meaning the development of exercises which allows you to perform daily activities without injury; and '45' is the duration of the workout. This Australian-born concept has gone global. So far, there are two in Shanghai, one in Xuhui and the other in Jing’an. The unique factor with F45 is that you will never do the same workout routine twice – even the music is customized. The success of this workout is that it gets results by burning fat and building lean muscle. Along with this, the group training mentality connects you with other participants, allowing you to forge friendships in the process. With a large base of female members, the concept of no powerlifting is appealing to those who want to be lean and fit without the muscle strain. They also run eight-week nutrition-based challenges throughout the year that combine fitness, meal plans and nutritional advice to push you further. Check out their free two-week trial to understand the F45 movement – you won't be disappointed.
See listings for F45 Training here.
Running & High-Intensity Interval Training
Staying fit has never been easier than with FitFam. This free, community-based training group requires no membership. To join, simply register online, show up and immerse yourself in these high-quality, volunteer-led training sessions that cover a range of fitness activities. What started as six friends working out has turned into thousands of fitness-loving locals coming together to stay in shape and have fun. With the philosophy that fitness should be accessible to everyone, the FitFam mission is to empower the community to achieve results, draw motivation from each other and bond with like-minded people. With 43 weekly workouts in over 20 locations around the city, there is bound to be a FitFam session that suits you. Choose from high-intensity interval cross training, yoga, boxing or running. These 60-minute workouts take place outside or in fitness studios in both Puxi and Pudong. Our recommendation is the 5.30am Empty Streets Run, because what better way is there to experience the city than having it to yourself as the sun rises and before the hustle begins? There is also a track session on Saturday mornings, a ladies running group and their highly-recommended Papas and Pipsqueaks class (for mums, dads and kids up to 5 years old) which takes place every Sunday 10-11am at Cages Sports on Jiangning Lu. To see the schedule, visit the official FitFam website www.wefitfam.com, or follow their WeChat account, and sign up to attend a training session run led by a group of impressive fitness-savvy volunteers.
Reebok CrossFit MeWellness
CrossFit has been shaping bodies since it launched in the US in 1995, which means you've probably heard of this fitness method and seen the results. As a strength and conditioning program, CrossFit classes consist of running, rowing, plyometrics and weight training, and they are suitable for all levels and ages. During each class, you will use a variety of equipment including barbells, dumbbells, pull-up bars, jump ropes, resistance bands and medicine balls. But don't worry, this is a scalable workout, meaning there is no baseline level of fitness required to participate. You will receive a tailored weight load and intensity, appropriate to your level of fitness, but enough to push you further. They do have a foundation class and bootcamp, which is recommended for those who have never undertaken a CrossFit workout before. These will safely prepare you for the CrossFit regime, exposing you to the fundamental movements, structure and terminology used during each session. Reebok CrossFit MeWellness is a supportive, non-competitive and incredibly motivating option. It has been operating in Shanghai for five years and is open seven days a week with 42 classes a week. Check out the official Reebok CrossFit MeWellness gym in Jing'an for a trial class and see if this fitness method is the one for you.
See listing for Reebok CrossFit MeWellness here.
Originating from the US, Orangetheory Fitness has over 1,000 franchises around the world, including the first Shanghai branch on Maoming Bei Lu. Their classes are 60 minutes of heart-rate based interval training, giving you a personalized workout in a group setting. There is no getting bored with Orangetheory as every class is different, each with a specific target as you work across the treadmills, rowers and weight floor, and you won't know what exercises you're doing until you turn up. Endurance classes have extended durations on the treadmill with highrepetition floor exercises. Strength classes push you with uphill climbs on the treadmill and heavy weights on the floor. In power classes, you'll work on quick sprints and explosive weight floor movements. Every member in the class wears a heart rate monitor, which is displayed throughout the studio. For competitive types, this is all the motivation you need to leave nothing behind during this intense workout. The goal in this class is to spend as much time to push your heart rate to the orange zone, which is 84 percent or higher. If you spend 12 minutes or more in the orange zone, you produce the after-burn effect, which causes your body to continue burning calories long after the class has finished. The aim here is to maximize your metabolic burn while having a fun and engaging workout. With Orangetheory, the coaches will have you undertake the workout at your level, challenging you safely at your own pace.
See listing for Orangetheory Fitness here.
Zy Dance Studio
Zy Dance Studio is a premier dancing studio in central Jing'an near HKRI Taikoo Hui, founded by former soloist dancer and current ballet master at the Shanghai Opera Dance Company, Shi Zhongyi. He has a team of talented multi-lingual instructors who are former or current professional dancers, hailing from countries such as Australia, Germany and China. They have a wide-ranging schedule with both evening and daytime classes available every day of the week. Whether you're a total beginner, intermediate or advanced level dancer with professional training, join this welcoming and friendly community where you are free to express yourself openly through dance.
Zy Dance Studio offers classes across a variety of artistic styles including classical ballet, contemporary dance, modern jazz, and Chinese dance. Pilates and PBT Ballet Ball sessions are also offered for you to complement your dancing by further developing core strength, flexibility and coordination. This well-appointed studio is in a convenient location, allowing you to easily put time aside in your schedule to take up dancing as a new challenge or refine existing skills.
See listing for Zy Dance Studio here.
SpaceCycle is a music-driven, full-body cardio workout venue dedicated to studio cycling.Cutting-edge technology invigorates the senses, as lighting, video mapping projection and music create the ultimate workout experience. Their classes run for 45 minutes, and you can choose between two levels: Cycle Light or Space Cycle. Designed for newcomers, Cycle Light is ideal for anyone looking to build up stamina and strength. The class includes moderate interval training, along with hand weights for upper body sculpting. SpaceCycle is a high-intensity option with challenging weights movements and
additional power requirements for seasoned riders. Both levels provide a thorough workout matched to inspiring music that's bound to motivate anyone to get out of the seat and work it. The SpaceCycle studio also runs barre, yoga and dance classes.
See listing for SpaceCycle here.
[Cover image via Pexels]