The Un-Running Sports: MovNat, Aerial Yoga & ElliptiGo

Every Tuesday the Wall Street Journal publishes a column “what’s your workout” which features an everyday athlete, like you or I, and describes his or her [usually unique] sport and the workout routine that goes along with it.  It is interesting to read what others do to keep fit, their diet plans, gear that’s required for the sport, etc. Though I admit, I am ethnocentric about running—I think running is ‘it’ —THE sport and as a result I compare everything else to running.  Which is why reading about other extreme or unusual sports is good to do—I call it thinking out of the running box.  Another reason I like to read the column is it is somewhat therapeutic because the thought of not being able to run due to an injury, old age or something equally horrific, cases me considerable anxiety. Yet, my rational side say this is quite silly, there are very fit and healthy people who don’t run— which you will see via the athlete profiles in this post.  I’ve chosen three athletes [two previous runners] and their sports that are unique and interesting.

MovNat: Make Nature Your Gym

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Working out using nature is the premise for MovNat program

This workout is most unusual. The athlete, Ret Taylor, featured here used to be a hardcore runner; logged as many as 70 miles a week. He had to stop due [no kidding!] to a chronic injury, plantar fasciitis, that left him unable to run.  The idea of using the outdoors as your gym sounds most strange, but Ret was inspired by the MovNat program founded by France’s Erwan Le Corre in 2008. The idea is simple: Turn nature into your gym. Get out in the sunlight and run in fresh air. Rocks become dumbbells and tree branches become pull-up bars. The gear required is pretty minimal [and cheap] though Ret wears minimalist shoes, Virbrams that keep  him pretty closely connected to nature [otherwise he might was well go barefoot]. You can read more in the article, here.

ElliptiGO Biking

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The ElliptiGO bike mimics a runner’s stride

Yet another athlete that switched from running to something completely different is Missy Park, who works at a women’s athletic clothing company, Title IX where they encourage employees to workout.  She workouts out in the gym at work which is in the middle of the office, [how cool is that], and for cardio she switched to the ElliptiGO bike. It looks rather strange, but apparently mimics the runners stride pretty closely. What I find appealing is that one can enjoy the outdoors at the same time, just like running.  You can read more about Missy’s workout here.

Aerial yoga

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Hammocks are used in Aerial yoga classes

This sport, or practice might be a better word, is most unique. Yoga that is done in a fabric hammock connected to the ceiling. Apparently, supporters that swear by this type of yoga, says it helps to align the body.  Various poses are performed sitting, lying or even spinning upside down in the hammock, which acts like a trapeze.  Personally I don’t find this appealing, as for the most part Yoga is not my thing, [I get dizzy and often feel sick to my stomach when on the ground, being suspended would likely cause motion sickness]. Yet it certainly gets points for creativity in fitness. You can read more about the workout, and aerial yoga here.

Enjoy reading! If you have a unique sport to share, please do! We’d love to hear from you!