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The Independent Online

Jump this

Jump this
We've had bands, balls and poles, and now a new fad is about to bounce intoaerobics classes – pogo sticks. Pulse 8, a health and fitness club based at the Nirvana Spa in Wokingham, Berkshire, have invented 'Airgobics' – the UK's first pogo fitness class. The club claim that an extended session on the aluminium Airgo pogo stick can burn up to 450 calories, as well as improving balance and overall body-strength. The exercise is apparently also good at working up the quads, gluteus and calf muscles. In other words, it's certain to put a spring in your step. Sessions start in April; for details, call 0118 989 7512.

Visit this
Feel like getting in shape without pounding the pavements or cycling up a sweat? Check out gentler methods of improving your fitness levels at the Mind Body & Soul Exhibition at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey from 1-3 March. Over 100 exhibitors will guide you through a vast array of methods for improving your physical and spiritual health, including yoga, reflexology, reiki, meditation, complementary medicine and holistic approaches. And if you feel like something more energetic, maybe Uri Geller's seminar on 1 March can get you bending some spoons. For tickets and details: 01206 500 999,

Test this
You can already test-drive cars, trucks and motorbikes – and now you can test-run trainers. If you fancy giving Nike a run for their money, then keep a watchful eye out for one of their bright-orange Bowerman trial vans this month. The new Bowerman range (trainers specifically designed for running) is being showcased across the country, and members of the public are being invited to 'pound the hell out of the shoes'. All you need to provide is an abundance of energy and some feedback on the footwear. A discount is available for every 'test pilot', whether bargain-hunter or marathon runner. To find out when a Bowerman van will be near you, log on to

Vibrate this
It looks like a cross between a treadmill and an exercise bike, but this contraption is the cutting edge of gym technology. The Power-Plate,based on vibrational therapy designed to repair muscle wastage,claims to condense a one-hour workout into 15 minutes. Users pose in various positions on the vibrating platform, allowing them to exercise most muscle groups in a fraction of the normal time. Converts include Ruud Gullit and Johann Cruyff. The Power-Plate costs £4,995. Stockists: 0208 450 877,

Explore this
Find your way to the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show at the Birmingham NEC from 15-17 March. Packed with information, equipment and clothing, the show is being billed as the first of its kind for 'all committed outdoor enthusiasts'. Sportsactive readers can purchase two tickets for the price of one if they ring the ticket office on 08701 214 141 and quote 'Independent on Sunday'. More details at

Read this
If Karate Kid inspired you and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made you want to take up martial arts, you will love Black Belt, the (albeit self-proclaimed) 'leading self-defence magazine in the world'. The current issue includes features on counter-terrorism training for martial artists and nine-palms praying mantis, an extreme new kung fu system. For more details, or to read the online version, visit Subscriptions cost $34 (£24) for 12 issues.