A new trend is officially gaining steam: Healthy Birthday Celebrations! When it come time to blow out the candles, it seems like boozing and binging are out and exercise and eating well are in.
To be fair, this could be a sign of being a certain number of years out of college, but I don’t think getting older is the only thing at work here. It’s probably about getting wiser too. I have definitely noticed an increase in the healthier birthday party: For my roommate’s birthday a year or two ago, we all woke up at six in the morning to go on a group run. We spent the rest of the day antique shopping, walking around town (even more exercise), and ended the night with a glass of champagne each.
That’s right. Birthdays do not have to be about totally throwing your healthy lifestyles out the window. Here are some fabulous (and yes, still really fun!) ideas for a more adult birthday party. Enjoy!
Fitness Class Fun
Yoga, Zumba, Indoor Cycling, Pilates, ballet, kickboxing?! There are so many different exercise classes that are an extremely good time—why not bring your friends? Your birthday wish can (and should!) absolutely revolve around getting your best pals to join the fitness class you love. A lot of gyms and fitness centers have group rates or bring-a-friend prices, so definitely take advantage of them. What better way to start a new year in your life than with a little healthy sweat alongside your best friends?
Group Run Get-Together
Similarly, a nice group run is a wonderful way to set yourself up for success. Start your special day off right with a gorgeous run outdoors. Yes, gyms are great, and treadmills are good for your joints, but Vitamin D is important and it’s a lot more fun to run en masse in a park or along a trail. You can even theme the run. How fun would it be to run with birthday hats on or along a trail of landmarks from your childhood? Make it a little more interesting and your friends will definitely be in.
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Ask your stressed out friends how they deal with feeling overwhelmed and they’ll likely list off the usual suspects: Sleep. Caffeine. Sugar. Alcohol. Exercise. Yoga. Some of these are clearly healthier options than others, but even the easy fixes take time—something that a lot of people who are stressed out tend to have in short supply. But there is a quick fix for the times when you have too much stress and too little energy: The simplest and most effective tool for instant energy, banishing stress, and ridding toxins from the body is breath!
That’s right. Breathing—the thing we do all day and night long without thinking about it—is responsible for a whole lot more than fuel our body with oxygen. The rate at which we breathe actually helps regulate our heart rate which in turn controls a bunch of other physical aspects. Breathe slow and fast and our body and brain will automatically shift to that fight or flight mode, the one that comes with stress and sends your blood pressure and shoulder tension soaring. Focus on slower, longer, and deeper breaths and you’ll help calm your body and mind, fighting stress in a matter of seconds while also filling your body with energizing oxygen, the lifeblood of a creativity, productivity, focus, and fire for whatever our life demands.
So how can you breathe better?
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Happy Spring Break, guys! Even if you do not have a week off of like back in the school days, I have good news: There are plenty of ways to enjoy adult versions of Spring Break! Here are five easy, fun, and most importantly, healthy ways to enjoy Spring Break.
1. Take a hiking trip!
Even if you only have a day or two off of work (aka, a weekend), that is plenty of time to go on a long hike. Make it a picnic by packing sparkling water, hummus, and mixed raw vegetables. Becuase I know I always need something to look forward to—besides the beautiful view—by the time I make it to the top!
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We all know that swimming is a great, low-impact, full-body workout. But it’s not the only way to get in shape in the water. Over the last few years, traditional strength training, cardio workouts, and even yoga have taken to the water to deliver a form of exercise that is easy on the joints and effective at toning and strengthening the muscles. Sure, there’s water aerobics. But there are also a handful of other fitness styles that have taken the plunge into the pool, creating an entirely new experience for some of your favorite group exercises classes.
Here’s an introduction to five popular group fitness classes that you wouldn’t expect to take place in a pool:
Aqua Zumba adds a fun challenge to one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The concept and moves are the same as in a traditional Zumba class, but the extra resistance created by pushing against the water adds a great strength-training element to the workout. The class is held in shallow water (about chest height for the average participant) and the instructor is positioned near the ledge of the pool (so that everyone can see her movements and follow instruction). Aqua Zumba is described as a fun pool party- where you don’t even realize that you get a great workout.
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Fitness boutiques are popping up all over the country, and it makes sense – they have the appeal of a small studio and the benefits of a large chain. These seemingly one-of-a-kind studios are growing in popularity so rapidly, it shouldn’t be a surprise if one is popping up near you sometime soon.
These studios feature everything from more traditional workouts to exercise based on dance, and have a massive appeal because of their unique feel. Before you join up with a boutique fitness chain, here’s what you need to know about some of the fastest growing chains in the business.
David Long, Ellen Latham, and Jerome Kern opened the first Orangetheory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in March of 2010. Now the brand has exploded into 86 locations across the country, and hopes to hit the 100-studio mark this month. Orangetheory plans to expand its fitness takeover to 250 studios within the next few years. With 60-minute interval-training classes featuring low-impact treadmills, water rowers, and strength and core training, Orangetheory is designed to maximize afterburn (burning calories even after you’ve stopped working out).
Your first session is free, and then prices are $59 for four classes a month up to $159 for unlimited classes.
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