When you’ve been stuck in the same fitness routine for a while, finding some inspiration can be just the ticket to shake things up. Let’s face it: when we get bored we’re much more likely to quit. Changing things up could make you more likely to stick with exercise, whether it’s trying out a new group exercise class or learning a new sport. Spending time with other fit-minded individuals can also provide a major dose of motivation and help you break out of a fitness rut.
Here are five different fitness-focused events happening in the summer of 2014 that will enable you to network with others, make new friends, and discover the latest trends in fitness:
When & Where: June 6-8, Park City, Utah
Who attends: Healthy living bloggers and readers, anyone with a love for food and fitness
The Details: The Blend Retreat is back for a second year in Park City, Utah (in the gorgeous Canyons Resort) and is sponsored by Silk. It’s a weekend for like-minded individuals from all around the country to come together for three days of fun, great food, fitness and friendship. A ticket to the retreat gets you three meals (two breakfasts and a 5-course gourmet dinner), a cocktail reception with free drinks, coffee and tea all weekend, two sponsored snack breaks, a guided hike with pre- and post-hike snacks, two bootcamp-style workouts led by qualified fitness instructors, a t-shirt, an amazing swag bag filled with products from over 25 different vendors and entry into a closing ceremony raffle with big ticket items from various sponsors. For more information and to register, visit Blend Retreat’s website.
We all know that there are many ways that you can get in shape for free. Riding your bike outside, going for a run, or even doing a bodyweight workout at home don’t cost a thing. But these are all at-home workouts and lets face it—exercising at home doesn’t work for everyone. There are a lot of us who need to actually go someplace to work out.
Visiting a gym allows me to add variety to my workouts by using different equipment and attending different classes. In a single week I might try indoor cycling, Bodypump, yoga and Zumba. But a major downside to joining a gym or going to an exercise studio is the cost. Health club and exercise studio memberships certainly aren’t cheap, but there are definitely ways to make them more affordable (and even free!).
Here are five ways to trim some of the cost off of gym memberships and exercises classes:
Take Advantage of Trial Memberships at Gyms and Health Clubs
Many national health club chains like 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym and and Anytime Fitness offer free passes with no obligation and some can be used for an entire week! This is a great way to check out a gym before actually signing a contract (or go turbo for a week right before or after vacation). Additionally, most exercise studios that specialize in yoga, cycling, and more will comp your first class or give you a deeply discounted trial period. For example, Core Power yoga studios offer unlimited yoga for one week for new students! Also, be sure to check out the schedule at your local yoga studios: most offer at least one donation-based or free class each week.
Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before, but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Oliver‘s healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our American health habits!)
But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countries, as of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.
If you want to get a heart-pumping cardio workout while enjoying a beautiful, snowy, and peaceful landscape, give snowshoeing a try. My love for hiking got me interested in snowshoeing initially—even with the best hiking boots, it’s not always easy to get around when the ground is covered in snow. With snowshoes I’ve easily walked on several feet of snow! Best of all snowshoeing is an easy activity to master activity for people of all ages and fitness levels—you can stroll at a slow pace or even run on snowshoes! It’s one of my favorite ways to get outside in the colder months.
Here are a few tips for anyone interested in trying snowshoeing:
What to Expect:
One of the really great things about snowshoeing is that it’s extremely easy to learn and you don’t need to take lessons. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. That being said, it will take probably take you few steps to get used to the feeling of wearing snowshoes and how they will affect your stride. Snowshoes can feel a little bulky at first and you may have to walk a little different than usual. The good news is that unlike some other winter sports, the learning curve is fairly minimal and it’s easy to pick up within a matter of moments. (more…)
By Jessica Green
As a running coach, I work with a lot of runners up until they get pregnant and then post-pregnancy. What happens to the runner during pregnancy? One year ago I was able to learn on my own what it actually means to “run through your pregnancy.” It’s not as simple as one might think. I found that creating goals and constantly adjusting to my changing body allowed me to enjoy both working out and being pregnant at the same time.
When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to continue running through my pregnancy and enjoy it. So, I wrote down my goals and established guidelines for the next nine months, which turned into the following:
- Run at least three times a week as long as it continued to feel good
- Conversation pace—always
- Limit runs to ninety minutes—if I need refueling, chances are the fetus does too
- Any cramping means it’s time to walk
- Throw pace out the window
- Do one non-running cross training session per week with a prenatal body specialist
I recommend every woman who plans to run through her pregnancy do this. Your guidelines don’t have to be the same as mine, but make sure you go into your pregnancy running adventure with your eyes open and your mind wrapped around realistic and healthy goals and guidelines. Otherwise, you’re either going to be fighting the non-pregnant runner instinct in you every step of the way or you’re going to have to stop running sooner than you want. (more…)
As an East Coaster, I’ve always dreaded winter. But when my ski- and snowboard-loving husband and I moved to Colorado this past year—a state known for some of the best ski resorts in the world—I decided it was time to give winter a fair shot. Skiing seemed like one way to have fun and burn some calories so I signed up for a Women’s Program at a local resort.
My expectations were pretty low. I’d skied once before and the experience left me a little fearful and my first day of lessons was no different. I had a hard time and just felt out of control. If I hadn’t paid for the 6-week program up front, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. But I did go back, and that’s when things clicked. I’m still skiing—and improving.
And I’m even having fun! If you’re thinking about trying downhill skiing, here are some things to keep in mind:
What to Expect:
It may take a while to figure out the basics of skiing and feel comfortable. The mechanics of skiing are based upon some very simple concepts, but they might be hard to grasp. If you don’t “get it” right away just keep trying and eventually you will! (There are a few people that pick it up incredibly fast, but they are not in the majority.)
One can hardly walk outside without seeing women (and men) outfitted in workout clothing these days. At the airport, at the grocery store, at restaurants…even working professionals are leaving the house in leggings and workout hoodies. Because of the increasing acceptability of wearing activewear—even when you are not necessarily working out—more and more fashion companies, celebrities, and regular ol’ people are launching their own fashionable versions of workout clothing. Here are 4 brands to watch for:
As we recently discussed, Kate Hudson has co-founded a new line of athletic wear, Fabletics, which focuses on health, fitness, and, of course, fashion. Hudson has a feature on the site that displays her favorite outfits each month. She describes the site as a “community, a movement to help you live fit and achieve your passions in life.” The clothes are in a great price range for a working woman, including a deal on your first outfit, from $25 and up.
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people strive to stick to each year is to exercise more. It’s also the one that most people tend to give up on before January is even over, often saying, “I just don’t have enough time.” The truth is, you have time for anything that you make a priority. Our lives are super busy with work, school, kids, etc., but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find at least a few minutes each day to focus on improving your fitness level. After all, any of exercise is better than nothing.
Here’s a list of the best bang for your buck in the amount of time that you have to exercise:
Got 4 minutes?
Try a Tabata workout. The idea behind the Tabata method is to work at your maximum level for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is repeated continuously eight times for a total of four minutes of training. If you’re doing more than one Tababta drill, take one minute to rest between exercises. I would recommend doing a total of no more than six sets total, since you’ll be working at such a high level of intensity. If you only have time for one Tabata, consider doing an exercise like burpees, which is more demanding and works muscles throughout the entire body.
The key to keeping up with an exercise routine for so many of us is having variety in our workouts. Doing the same workout routine every single day can get pretty boring and cause us to throw in the towel all together. I love to mix up my workouts. Changing things up constantly ensures that I work a variety of muscle groups and that I keep those muscles confused. Doing the same workout day in and day out will cause your body to adapt and you’ll eventually stop seeing progress. I also find that I actually look forward to my workouts when they vary from day to day.
I’m also a big fan of go anywhere/do anywhere types of exercises. These are the types of workouts that you can do in your living room just as easily as you would in the gym. They’re also great for traveling, as you can perform the exercises right in your hotel room! You can get a killer workout without using any equipment at all—just relying on your body’s own weight.
To satisfy both of these criteria I just created a new mobile workout actually does require some equipment—but it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. All your need are one or two dice!
(Don’t have dice to roll? No problem—here’s a virtual dice roller that you can use!)
Eli Sapharti is no stranger to the taunts that come from cruel children and ignorant adults. Over the years he’s been saddled with nicknames like, “Fat Boy” “Bubble Butt” “Bench Warmer” and more. Now, 105 pounds thinner, Eli boasts a body fat percentage of only 10% and he’s currently training to compete in the Physique Division of a Men’s Bodybuilding Competition in February 2014. We’re guessing he’s earned a few new nicknames that put a smile on his face.
Growing up, Eli remembers always being the kid who got picked last for sports teams, the one who endured teasing, bullying and being stuck in the dreaded friend zone when it came to girls. After a growth spurt in the 9th grade, his body lengthened and lost weight, but the pounds didn’t stay away for long. “I simply enjoyed food,” he explained. “As most over -eaters, I used food as my drug of choice. Horrible eating habits and zero physical activity led me to gain an incredible amount of weight.”
Eli knew he was unhealthy, he was aware his weight had crept up to a dangerous level but that awareness wasn’t enough to spur him into action. “It wasn’t like I didn’t know that I was very overweight and needed to lose weight,” he said. “I mean, I was suffering from high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, severe anxiety and panic disorder. That should have been enough to get me to do something about it, but it didn’t.”