Life can’t fully be enjoyed without balance and nurturing…but also going a little crazy sometimes. This is what fitness experts and recreational drummers Kirsten Potenza and Christina Peerenboom believed as they were searching for the perfect fitness class that they couldn’t quite find. So they created their own.
Kirsten and Christina gave us the lowdown on their new high-energy rhythmic class that they describe as a “45-minute group fitness format fusing all the best parts of Pilates, strength and conditioning, but with all the fun and aggressiveness of drumming.” And having taken the class myself, I can personally attest to the strength it takes and the fun you’ll have!
To explain this workout to someone who has never tried it before, my instructor provided a very fitting analogy:
Zumba is to cardio, as POUND is to strength. (more…)
Pamela Arias lost over 150 pounds. After being overweight for most of her life, Pamela admits she weighs 24 pounds more right now than she did in the 6th grade. “And to think that I lived my entire life this way until I was 38 years old,” she said. “I’m so glad I made the decision two years ago to change my life.”
More from Pamela in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate fast food, processed foods and fried foods. This was the only lifestyle I’d ever known.
What made you realize you needed to change? I was miserable every day. I had horrible sciatica, lower back pain, and my knees would give out going up and down stairs in my own home. One day I had taken the kids to the local races. You had to walk an incline to get into the event, but not very far. I couldn’t catch my breath. My husband had to go get the car and come pick me up.
How did you lose the weight? Through lots of hard work, dedication and research. I do both cardio and heavy weight training. I eat a much more healthy diet now than I ever did. I stay away from processed, boxed, canned foods and only shop the outer edges of the grocery store. I count my calories and eat depending on what my goals are.
After 15 years of being overweight, Cheryl Hanna says it took just one light bulb moment to realize she needed to get healthy for herself and her family. By having a positive attitude, getting her children involved, and reciting the mantra, “trust the process,” she is now 125 pounds thinner and proud to show off the “guns” she’s worked so hard for.
I knew I was overweight, but felt like I was being selfish if I took time for myself to go workout.
We hear it time and time again. Women take such good care of everyone else in their lives, that they often forget about themselves. Cheryl was no exception. Though she was athletic and fit in high school and college, her activity decreased significantly in nursing school. By the time she got married, found a great job and started having babies, her focus had completely shifted to being all things to all people, except Cheryl. At 283 pounds, she knew she was overweight, saying, “I sucked at controlling me.”
Cheryl’s light bulb moment
My kids were in a running club at school – they participated in local 3Ks and 5Ks. After a 5K in March of 2012 my kids crossed the finish line and asked me when I would start running with them instead of watching,” Cheryl said. “My light bulb! I wasn’t being part of their lives, I was only watching from the sidelines. I didn’t want my kids memories to be of me watching them, I wanted them to remember that I played with them, ran with them, challenged them, that I was PART of their lives!”
You know that feeling when you’re caught between wanting to do your regular thing and the desire to try something new? If so, Shape Magazine’s 15 upcoming fitness trends are perfect for you. Most of these trends take something we know and love and combine it with something a little different. For example, the fitness class “Groove” has all the elements of a dance-based workout, but instead of doing the same intricate movements as everyone else, you’re invited to move however the music makes you.
This fitness with a twist trend carries over to fitness props too. A lot of classes are using ho-hum props in new ways or using brand new props to fill a void. Here are 5 we can’t wait to try:
The Ugi Ball
A relative newcomer to the fitness world, the Ugi ball is used as a kind of blend between a medicine ball and a physio ball, and is a great tool for a full-body workout. It’s used as part of a 30-minute routine combining strength, cardio, and core training.
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.
Do you hate running, but still wish you could get your share of cardiovascular activities into your day? I have great news! There are plenty of dance + workout classes or activities you can partake in. In honor of the new season of Dancing With the Stars—which debuted March 17th—let’s talk dance.
If you haven’t heard of Zumba, you must be living under a rock. Zumba has been around since the 90s, but there has been an upsurge in interest in the past few years. And why not? Zumba is fun, healthy, and an easy way to lose weight without realizing you are losing weight. Set to salsa and hip-hop dance tones, Zumba combines aerobics and rhythm. And fun, obviously. Fun fact: some of the celebrities that love Zumba are Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and Jordin Sparks.
Ashley Judd appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to talk about all of our favorite things—especially food. Here’s part 1 of the interview (you can find the rest of their hangout at ABC.com or on YouTube).
In the spirit of SXSW, Kimmel and Judd joked about their love of food, with Judd saying that she had “eaten her way through the lone star state.” Judd admitted that she spends a majority of her time in a new film role planning the food she will eat on set, and she also thoroughly discussed her love of Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago. Judd shared that good ol’ old fashioned doughnuts are her favorite kind, so much so that a whole box of them ended up on her chair on the set of her latest film Divergent. (more…)
Noel Rich has a story that many people can relate to. As a self-described, “chubby girl” throughout her childhood, she accepted her “large frame” as the way she was simply destined to be, but after she graduated high school and got married, she added another thirty pounds.
Today, though she has struggled with setbacks and pushed her way over many plateaus, she’s been successful in losing 60 pounds and keeping it off. She was recently diagnosed with celiac disease which has her switching up her diet once again, but she’s determined not to let this new challenge get in her way or sabotage all the weight she’s lost.
More from Noel in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Not caring about eating habits is probably the biggest. Not that my habits were horrible but they could have been better. That coupled with a horrible metabolism and a love for books and reading in bed therefore no exercise was an added factor.
Marielle Doughty is one of the most positive women I’ve ever interviewed for our True Weight Loss segment. Time and time again she mentioned that although losing 113 pounds hasn’t been easy, she never considered it a struggle. Through the process she’s met new friends, learned how to cook in a different way, and found physical activities she truly enjoys participating in. Through her weight loss journey, she discovered it’s easier to embrace healthy lifestyle changes than consider them a burden.
We asked Marielle to share her story with us:
Tell us when your weight struggles began. It all began when I got married and learned how to cook. I found out that love to cook and I love food!
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? My love of cooking and my addiction to sugar. I also became a stay at home mom and didn’t stay active at all.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Every year I would usher at my kids’ dance recital and come home every night with sore feet. One year two thoughts came to me almost simultaneously: 1- It feels like we were just here last week, not a whole year ago. 2- If I had made small lifestyle changes a year ago, my feet wouldn’t hurt as much. It was a light bulb moment for me. I started my journey the day after the last dance show and a year later I ushered again, 97 pounds lighter, and I didn’t get sore feet.
How did you lose weight? I used the Zumba diet to start. I chose it because it doesn’t cut out food groups, it teaches portion control and healthy habits instead of being a diet that has a finish line. I wanted to learn how to eat healthy, not get to a specific goal weight. The recipes were yummy too. I still love to cook – I just know how to make better choices.