Get in shape. Lose weight. Be more active. Sigh. New Year's resolution time. These sound familiar? And—honestly—old hat? Here's a novel thought: Quit those humdrum treadmill workouts. They're tired, uninspired, and do very little for the soul. Instead, outpace your calorie attacks with Nia (pronounced nee-uh), a dance-party meets aerobics-class meets yoga-retreat workout popping up locally.
Intrigued? So were we when we stumbled upon a Nia class at a small dance studio in Boulder. Short for "neuromuscular integrative action," Nia originated on the West Coast 25 years ago, though Boulder is an epicenter. Under the energetic tutelage of instructor Kendra Howard, the 75-minute sessions are just downright fun. Most folks can learn the nine easy-to-master movement groups drawn from dance, healing arts, and martial arts, and improvisation is encouraged. Plus, the tunes are so good—from energy-grounding world music to jump-up-and-down pop rock—it's easy to get your groove on. "Nia is well-structured, in terms of balancing body, mind, and spirit," Howard says. "And it's a good model for bringing about well-being." Agreed. Treadmills are so 2008.
Find it Kendra Howard teaches Nia classes at Alchemy of Movement (2436 30th St., Boulder, 303-449-4410) and RallySport Health and Fitness Club (2727 29th St., Boulder, 303-449-4800). In Denver, try Studio Soma (2540 W. 29th Ave., 303-477-5531).