By Emily McNeely, exhale’s Marketing Coordinator + Copywriter (and new Cardio convert!)

I’m just going to come right out and say it: cardio is not my thing. As a former professional ballet and modern dancer, I recall (with a grimace) the many hours I spent on a treadmill attempting to increase my stamina for a grueling winter season. Let’s just say, I made it through Nutcracker, but that stamina didn’t stick around. Neither did the six-pack.

See, the treadmill – or the elliptical, the stationary bike, even running outside – wasn’t a cardio routine I could stick with. It was just…. boring. Maybe dance (or just life, because I know I’m not the only one) conditioned me to crave dynamic movement, exhilarating music, something to engage both my mind and body at once. I had experienced the benefits of cardio first-hand, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised (and fully engaged, covered in sweat, heart pounding) when I tried exhale’s new — and improved — Core Fusion Cardio class.

The combination of plyometric (think rapid repetitions and intense, targeted movements) moves, HIIT training, weight + body weight resistance, killer beats, and dynamic changes in choreography had me fully present on the mat. I left dripping sweat, energized, and (admittedly) a little confused about where those 45 minutes went.

Conclusion? As a former cardio-phobe, this class changed me for the better. I’d take this over a sad treadmill – or a mono-kinesthetic spin class – any day. I’ll now happily – instead of grudgingly – be adding weekly cardio into my fitness routine. For the first time ever.

Try the new Core Fusion Cardio and tell me what you think with #CFCupgraded. I’ll just be over here, putting my new + improved stamina to good use. And don’t forget your sneakers!

To learn more about Core Fusion Cardio or to book a class, click here.