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Balance in exercise can go four ways for women

MODERN women often have to pursue a balance between softness and strength. It is true in the times when she faces choices between her career and her family, and it could be true as well when she tries to keep fit.

To celebrate their individuality, confidence and motivation, 1,000 women gathered at Shanghai Minhang Stadium recently to answer the call of the Adidas campaign "Me, Myself."

Four types of exercising were introduced that day - adilibria, Body Jam, Adidas gym and a Combat Fusion program.

Wearing red T-shirts, the 1,000 women followed every movement of the instructors on the stage. If you were a photographer, you would have been mesmerized by their happy expressions under the bright lights.

Adilibria is a mind-body yoga program. Its essence is to be simple, effective and graceful.

As Oriental philosophy goes, the deep reasons and theories are inside the simple things. Everything has an opposite. The universe will stay balanced and harmonious when opposites keep their energies matched.

Adilibria incorporates the open and closed, non-stop movements that belong to tai chi's yin and yang. And its left and right, forward and backward, inside and outside movements are based on yoga.

"Although tai chi and yoga have really different styles, the program is safe, scientific and easy," says Shi Zibo, Adidas's senior yoga instructor. "Practitioners can enjoy balance and relaxation in the mind, body and spirit at the same time."

Body Jam is actually a program developed by Les Mills, a distributor of trademark exercise programs.

It is a cardio workout in which one can enjoy the sensation of dance. Featuring an addictive fusion of the latest dance moves and the hottest new music, it puts the emphasis as much on having fun as breaking into a sweat.

Exotic styles featuring Latin, funk, groove, Caribbean, hip-hop and jazz dance are included, giving the female practitioners every good reason to get to the front of the stage.

It is cardio fun at its best for those with a passion for movement. You can burn calories, increase your fitness level and learn to dance better.

"It's a kind of self-expression which makes one emotionally high. It gives you all the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, including burning lots of calories," Shi says.

"When the class kicks into the performance phase, heart rates go through the roof. Dance is also great for improving coordination, and there is a big focus on moving through a wide range of tempos."

The Combat Fusion program combines the best of both the martial arts and fitness worlds to give an exciting, fun and effective workout.

Designed to create a body that any seasoned fighter would be proud of, it is an exercise in trying to help one find the inner warrior. Dynamic boxing and kicking combinations help shape the body and improve heart and lung functions.

The special thing about Adidas gym is that as well as the usual aerobic exercises, it ends with meditation. It is a way to relax both the body and the mind. When passion meets peace, one can improve resistance, balance and coordination.

"Exercising gives me sufficient space and time to hold a dialogue with myself. It makes me feel peaceful enough to scan the road I've taken," Shi says. "As a way of injecting fresh energy, sport makes me more natural, confident and beautiful."


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