Spinning? Boring. Treadmill? Triple boring! It's time to try one of these sports of a different sort. Starting with... cheerobics!
I've watched enough cheerleading flicks in my time to know that those smiley broads are so much more than matchy-matchy suits with a mild case of ADHD. They are incredibly athletic, and that's where a 'cheerobics' class comes in. This cross between cheerleading and aerobics shows how shaking pom-poms in the air like you just (really) do care makes for an impressive workout.
When I arrive at the class, I'm half expecting to see two squads challenging each other to 'bring it on'. Clearly, I'm nervous. But I needn't have worried: the 17 crop-topped girls in our group are all lovely. Cheerful even. We're told to grab a blue and white pom-pom and arrange ourselves in rows as a bumping bassline kicks off the proceedings.
If you've ever done a dance session, you'll know there's usually a warm-up, a routine, core conditioning and (my favourite bit) the cool down. Here, the ten-minute warm-up is all squats, marches and 'grapevines' - those sidesteps where you line-dance to the left and right. Class instructor Amona Kadiku encourages us to add some pizzazz to our moves. 'And don't forget to smile!' she shouts, every few minutes. That's easy enough when you're squatting in time to a fresh soundtrack and blowing kisses to yourself in the mirror. But during the routine? Not so much. The steps get faster with a few impossibly high kicks thrown in. We never stop shaking those pom-poms either, so everyone's arms are starting to ache.
By the time we get to the end, I'm a hot, sweaty mess. Thankfully, no one's judging here. And it's all good fun. Plus, I'm told, you can burn 700 calories in an hour. Pretty hard not to smile about that.
Great if... you're happy to smell like team spirit.
Avoid if... you'd rather leave the dancing to 'Strictly'.
Soho Gyms Waterloo, 1-5 Brad St, SE1 8TG. Waterloo. Cheerobics Tue 7.30pm-8.30pm. £8.Share the story