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The modern way to get a better body

Adult ballet classes at CoisCeim Dance Theatre on Sackville Place are booked out, and many in the beginners' class had never attempted a pirouette before joining.

Dancers in the intermediate class are likely to have done ballet classes as a child. A spokesperson for the school said, "The growing interest in ballet for adults happened even before Black Swan which is only in cinemas now."

Cherry Juice

Hugely popular in Turkey, cherry juice is the next fruit juice expected to take off here. Cherry juice also boasts a host of health benefits, and is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties — tart cherries have been shown significantly to reduce muscle pain following rigorous exercise — and is said to help remove toxins from the blood, meaning it’s great for your skin.

Tart cherry juice is also proven to make you sleep better because of its relatively high content of melatonin, a natural antioxidant that has been shown in previous research to help induce sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day. Cherry juice is available at Marks and Spencer.

Barefoot training

Exercising with bare feet is expected to get even bigger in 2011. Research done into running with bare feet and the benefits of it has found that it is the natural way to run, and means you usually land on the front of your foot, which reduces impact. If you wear trainers, you tend to land on the heel, which is not good for your legs, and can even lead to knee and shin problems. Exercising barefoot is said to help to develop ankle, knee and hip stability, promote good movement and prevent injury.

A new book on barefoot running, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Barefoot Running by Dr Craig Richards, is published on February 1.

Meanwhile, Vibram FiveFingers (pictured below), manufacture a type of shoe that acts like a glove for the foot, allowing you to mimic exercising barefoot while actually wearing some protection.

More info is available on www.barefoot.ie.


Kettlebells are rapidly gaining popularity, especially among women. These weights have been described as cannonballs with handles and are much more versatile than regular dumb-bells.

Kettlebell exercises can be added to interval-training workouts and they focus on building strength, endurance and flexibility. Working them into your routine will challenge your core muscles.

Hollywood fans of the kettlebell are said to include Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Geri Halliwell.

KettlebellsIreland.com was set up in 2008 and offers group and personal training in kettlebell, strength and conditioning and Pilates training.

Boot Camps

Outdoor military training sessions have been growing in prominence during the past few years, but are set to soar in 2011.

The American College of Sports Medicine, the largest sports medicine and exercise science organisation in the world, has announced its projected top 20 fitness trends worldwide, and has predicted boot-camp workouts will grow in popularity in the coming year.

Modelled on military training that includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility exercises, you might have already noticed classes taking place in your local park.

Bootcamp Ireland has seen signings for the camps grow year on year: “About 70pc of participants are women,” says Adam Short. “Unlike going to a gym, there is a lot of variety in what people do in boot camp, and there is a social aspect to getting fit this way as well.”

For more information log onto www.bootcampireland.com.

The Satiety Index

After years of fad diets such as the Zone, South Beach and Atkins, 2011 looks set to be the year when many return to a more balanced approach to nutrition. One buzz term you will hear is “the satiety index”, which is based on the idea that certain foods will help you feel full quicker and for longer. They tend to be foods higher in protein, such as lean meat and fish, and foods that have a high fibre content, such as beans and pulses.

Ellie Hughes, editor of Top Sante magazine, says: “People still want to lose weight, perhaps more than ever, but there’s still a lot of confusion. But we are seeing a trend for people wanting to make healthier choices. So, for example, the WeightWatchers Pro Points plan has moved away from just counting calories to looking at what is in those calories.

Before, you could get your calories from chocolate bars if you wanted, whereas now, it’s about making more satisfying choices.”

Toning Clothing

Footwear designed to tone up your legs and bum has been all the rage with the likes of Fit- Flops, Skechers Tone-Ups and New Balance Rock & Tone just some of the shoes flooding the market.

Reebok’s offering, EasyTone, was so successful that it decided to expand its toning category to include a range of clothing, Reebok EasyTone Apparel, which has just launched. Unlike your run-of-the-mill workout kit, this gear has built-in resistance bands to keep your muscles working just by wearing them.

While the tops are designed to strengthen and tone upperbody muscles and improve posture and body alignment, the bottoms strengthen and tone the hamstring, quadriceps and bum muscles with every step that you take.