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Breaking Down the Barre Craze: Which Ballet-Inspired Workout is On Pointe for You?

Ballet dancers have flexible bodies conditioned from hours of training. Their specialized workouts create long and lean frames — think Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Their shapely legs, abs, thighs and buttocks come through hybrid weight training, Pilates and cardio workouts with some straight-up ballet pole (barre) stretching.

Their moves are spreading like wildfire, and barre-style workouts are popping up throughout the world with a variety of applications. From sweat-inducing cardio sessions that are hardly a dainty ballet class, to classes that stay true to their ballerina roots, there is a barre workout for you!

If you don’t want to dance in Swan Lake, but do want to get a more toned ballet-ready body, read on as we break down the different methods and tell you which celebrities are on pointe for this craze.

It doesn’t matter which class you choose — you are gonna WORK! 

beyond barre

BEYONDBARRE

Feel the burn and see the results in your core, arms and legs, and the glutes.

You’ll need a ballet barre, a handrail (or a counter top), and a super cool GlideBoard.

Inspired by ballet, ice skating, and intense cardio classes.

Differs from others because of an intense approach that incorporates cardio for fat burning and endurance.

Attend a class at one of a dozen studios in the U.S.

 

barre3

BARRE3

Described as ”ballet meets yoga and Pilates”

Utilizes a 3-step method where poses are held for longer periods with focus on small muscle movements. Session ends with a cardio blast.

Celebrity fans include Madonna, who may be striking a pose beside you at your next Barre3 class.

Required accessories include a yoga mat, small “prop” ball, ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Classes popping up in over 30 US cities, Canada and even the Philippines with more coming soon. DVDs: Seven different workouts sold on the Barre3.com website.


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Your Grades are What You Eat! 10 Smart Back to School Foods to Boost Kids’ Grades

As the school year kicks off, it’s safe to say that good grades are at the top of many people’s school wishlists. While you can’t deny that paying attention in class and doing the assigned work makes up a major part of the grade, there are other, usually overlooked, ways to earn fridge-worthy grade cards.

We spoke with with our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, and nutritionist and author Dr. Keith Kantor about which healthy habits may boost grades and improve performance in school.

judah rainbow smoothie

Nutrition

Eat Healthy Foods

Mary shared that getting the right nutrients can boost the speed at which the brain works. “So many nutrients have a role in cognition, including cholesterol from egg yolks and dairy products, essential fatty acids from fatty fish, nuts and olive oil, and carotenoids and flavonoids found in colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Back to School Food: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Donut Sandwiches

Get Your Vitamins and Minerals

“A host of micronutrients also play key roles in processes that run the brain, including iron, zinc, choline, selenium, iodine, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamins A and C,” Mary added.

Back to School Food: Rainbow Smoothie


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Back to School Clean Eating Cookies Made Just About Any Way You Like!

allergy cookies

It’s that time of year again for brown bag lunches and busy fall schedules. To keep the kids healthy AND keep their sweet tooth happy, try these super simple, super clean cookies. What we love about these cookies is that they are very forgiving and flexible in terms of the goodies you add in at the end.

Consider adding almond butter, cocoa powder, protein powder, chopped almonds, canned pumpkin, extra cinnamon…the sky’s the limit!

healthy cookie ingredients

The mashed bananas as the base is a great way to keep the cookies moist while providing a stable base packed with nutrition and energy. Adding oats provides essential fiber to keep little bellies full.
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The Fitness Gadgets and Gear Your Workout Can’t Live Without

If there’s one thing I love more than working out, it’s all of the fun gadgets and gear that go along with an active lifestyle. But there are so many different products out there that it can be tough to figure out what’s worth your money. That’s why I’m here…to share with you four of my favorite, can’t-live-without fitness gadgets and gear that will get you motivated and help you take your workouts to the next level!

garmin watches

Garmin Forerunner Running Watches

My number one favorite fitness gadget is my Garmin GPS running watch. When I first started running, I used the Garmin Forerunner 110 and then eventually upgraded to the Garmin 910XT, which is a multi-sport GPS watch (great for triathlon training!). Why do I love Garmins? They are user-friendly and super motivating. All watches track time, distance, and pace. If you purchase a heart-rate monitor with your watch, you’ll also get an accurate read on calories burned! For the casual runner, I recommend either the Garmin Forerunner 10 or the Garmin Forerunner 15. They will help take your running to the next level!
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Susan Hanks Lost 118 Pounds with the Help of a Caring Personal Trainer and Flat-Out Determination!

Susan Hanks is the reason this True Weight Loss segment makes my heart happy. At one point, her weight exceeded 500 pounds. Instead of turning to fad diets or pills, she just dug deep and swapped bad habits for good ones. She admits it’s been a mental struggle, and she couldn’t have done it without the help of her fabulous personal trainer.

susan hanks collage crop

Now, 118 pounds down, this courageous woman knows how to lose weight and stay healthy, she just has to stay the course. “I take it one meal at a time,” she said.

Food was my comfort.

It’s a sentiment we hear so many times at DIR. People turn to food for celebration, comfort, boredom, and it’s rarely bell peppers that they’re mindlessly munching.  ”I ate all the time, bad food was better, and I never ate healthy,” Susan admitted. “I was miserable. I had no friends and low self esteem. I knew I was eating myself to death. Finally I realized I wanted more out of life. I was tired of just existing.”


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