Set Your Intentions

Do you yoga?
Back in my mid-twenties, when adulting seemed to hit me in the face like a baseball bat every single day, a friend introduced me to CorePower Yoga in Boulder, Colorado. I made every excuse in the book not to give it a try, but when I finally caved…EVERYTHING changed.

Much to my surprise I fell in love. It activated my muscles in a completely new way that left me feeling totally detoxed. But best of all, it magically relieved stressors in my life.

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Practice

  • Set Your Intentions – Go into class with a goal, and focus on that goal the entire time. It may be to get a good workout, or to let go of burdensome thoughts
  • Take it Seriously – Even if you have trouble at first, continue to take each pose seriously and give it your best effort.
  • Take a Towel – You’re going to sweat, so take a towel with you! I invested in a YogiToes towel years ago, and it was well worth it. It prevents me from sliding around on my mat.

If you haven’t tried it, but are looking for something new to spruce up your daily workouts, I definitely recommend CorePower Yoga. It’s a difficult workout, a great stretch and if you allow it, an incredibly powerful mental health activity.

Give it a try, and tell me what you think in the comments below!
loveB

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Gear Review: Nike Epic Lux Tights

ryan-goslingYou’ve all heard the jokes about women and their “yoga pants as real pants.” Well, I am a culprit of wearing my running tights even when I am not running. Currently, I am sitting in the middle seat of a four-hour flight, and the one thing that isn’t driving me completely insane…my running tights.

So I figured this was a good time to write a quick review about a new line of Nike tights that I found in the past year. The Nike Epic Lux are miracle pants in more ways than one:

  • Muffin top, be gone! – Because of the thick waistband, these pants never cause any muffin top.
  • Nobody needs to see your ASSets! – The thick and quality material means that these pants are never see-through.
  • So many options! – The pants come in tights, crops and capris. In addition to three lengths, they also come out with TONS of awesome designs and colors (see pic below) to spruce up your workout wardrobe.
  • One size always fits! – One of my biggest pet peeves is when you buy multiple colors of the same article of clothing and each fits different. I’ve got 2 capris, 1 crop and 2 full-length tights in the Epic Lux and each fits PERFECTLY.
  • You move, they don’t! – No matter what activity I am doing, running, lunges, planks, dead lifts. These tights stay in place. They don’t twist, or droop down. I’m never at risk for plumber crack or even worse, the ol’ camel toe.

EpicLuxLeapAs with all Nike products, the Epic Lux can be a bit pricey. They range from $95 to $110. Nike’s running tight range is $50 to $150. Although, if you’re a savvy bargain shopper, they’re occasionally on sale at places like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and even right on nike.com. But let’s compare them to a few other pricey alternatives:

  • Lululemon Running Tights – $98 to $298. $298?!?! You kidding me??
  • Under Armour Running Tights – $45 to $180.
  • Brooks Running Tights – $85 and $165
  • Pearl Izumi Running Tights – $65 and $145.
  • CW-X Running Tights – $65 to $200.

What it comes down to is loving what you’re wearing. The comfort, the performance and of course, the way it hugs your curves. Happy shopping, y’all!

loveB

11 Ways to Be Healthy and Active During Snowmageddon

Apparently, the apocalypse is coming to the DMV. So, I figured I would share a couple tips to staying healthy and active while snowed-in.

I could give you eleven different ways to burn major calories in your apartment, but I am not going to do that. The challenge for this weekend, snowed-in or not, is to reframe what healthy means. It’s not about fitting in your workout everyday, no matter what. It’s about keeping a healthy mind, body and soul. It’s taking this time to de-stress from our crazy, everyday routines of exercising, work, family, friends, responsibility and obligations to other people and other things.

Take this time to recommit to self-care, self-love and creating healthy habits.

  1. Read this post on 10 healthy snacks to make while snowed-in.
  2. YOGA! There are tons of YouTube videos of challenging yoga practices for all of your goals. You can also download the Yoga Studio app, which lets you tailor your practice to your needs. AmandaBisk.com also has great 30-minute yoga sessions to download.   giphy-3
  3. Meditate. It’s not all about your body. Your mind is just as important. Turn off Netflix, put down the chips and dip and find a meditation to follow online that fits your goals. Trying to sleep better? There’s a meditation for that. Trying to get healthier, get a promotion, change a relationship, increase your self-worth, or just de-stress? There are great guided meditations all over the internet for anything you can think you. I personally like the guided mediations on melisssaambrosini.com, but warning to all the men reading this, you might want to just search Google.
  4. Clean your apartment/house. I don’t mean put away your pile of laundry that has been sitting on your chair for weeks. I mean do a deep clean of your house. Vacuum the carpets, scrub the bathtub, get the ceiling fans. This one is good for the body and the mind!giphy
  5. Dance party. Turn up the jams, turn off the judgment and rock out. Not only does this burn some major calories, it is guaranteed to improve your mood. (Note: If you’re not snowed in alone, check out the Triller app and make some music videos)giphy-5
  6. Make a vision board. Sit for 5 minutes with your eyes closed and think about what you really want. What are your biggest dreams and aspirations. If you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Now take that, and create a vision board that you can look at every day to keep you on track towards your dreams.IMG_3101
  7. Assess your kitchen. Never have time to really get your healthy eating habits started? Well, now is the time. Empty out those cabinets and throw away all the shit you have in there. You’re more likely to reach for refined carbs and sugary food when you’re tired and bored, so why tempt yourself?
  8. Challenge your roommate, significant other or whomever is snowed in with you. Loser does the dishes for a week or shovels the snow. Who can hold a plank the longest? What about a wall sit? Who can do the most push ups in a minute? Can you do a headstand? Who can do the most burpees in a minute? giphy-2
  9. SLEEP. We run our engines pretty hard everyday, and it’s generally inappropriate to nap in the middle of a workday at the office.  Try cutting out the caffeine for a day or two. If you don’t have anywhere you need to be, let your body rest naturally, and maybe this can even decrease your daily caffeine intake when you get back into your routine.
  10. Break out the old workout DVDs. If you’re going to be staring at the TV all weekend, you might as well be burning some calories doing it.giphy-4
  11. Maybe the most important tip of all. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy time with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, siblings, roommates, friends, pets, etc. Cook together, laugh together, play a board game, go play in the snow. Nothing keeps you healthier than enjoying the small moments in life. Jen-Wheeler-Snow-Man

Nike Women’s 21 Days of Better For It

If you do not follow Nike or Nike Women on social media, then you may not be aware of 21 Days of Better For It. I stumbled upon it on Nike Women’s Instagram yesterday, and started my workout plan this morning! There are a few things that make this effort truly awesome:

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First day of 21 Days of Better For It
  • No Purchase Necessary: You may complain that Nike prices break the bank, but their series of workout apps and programs like this one are 100% free!
  • Tailored for a Better Fit: The initiative, which lives on nike.com, asks users a series of questions which lead them to the best workout plan for their fitness level.
  • Seamless Integration to Your Smartphone: Once your plan is selected, 21 days of workouts are loaded to your calendar with reminders for you. The workouts range from sprints to yoga to weight circuits and, when necessary, links you to Nike Training Club and Nike+ Running apps. It also helps design workout playlists through Spotify. The entire process is quick, simple, and leaves little room for excuses.
  • A Learning Process: I think the part about this program that I am most excited about is that I will learn a few new workouts or movements. For those who are new to regular workouts, you will learn so much in 21 days and be able to build off of those workouts once the program is over.

I am off to take on the plan that Nike built for me, and I encourage you to do it too. I’ll follow up with a blog post at the end of the 21 days and let you know just how much better I am for it!
loveB

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Nike21DaysOfBetterForIt

iPhones can be Personal Trainers Too

Hmmm… what to say about the Nike Training Club app? Well, for starters, it’s Nike. Fuelband aside, name me a product or program that Nike has launched in the past five years that hasn’t been amazing.

I take a lot of pictures of my feet...
I take a lot of pictures of my feet…

I had heard about the NTC app before, but I kind of stuck my nose up at the idea of an iPhone app being able to provide me with a good workout. I had a gym membership, I was running a ton, I was participating in November Project and the occasional yoga class. What else could the app do for me?

It all happened one rainy morning. I had recently quit my job, and had been FUNemployed for about a month, and was already tired of running. The rain was coming down in buckets, and there was no way that I was going to go outside. Hesitantly, I opened the app, which I had downloaded months before. I selected a 15-minute workout led by pop star Ellie Goulding, which was supposed to be a total body tightening and toning workout. Riggghhhhhttttt, a musician is going to lead me through a grueling exercise. But much to my surprise, when I completed the 15 minutes I found myself short of breath and completely drenched in sweat. The following days, I could feel the muscles that I had worked. I was actually sore!

So this is me, apologizing to the NTC app creators. I should never have been such a #workoutsnob about your product. And now this is me, telling all of you fine people to get moving and download the app now and be my Nike+ friend! Here’s why:

Benefits of the NTC app:

Russian twists with Christen Press and Nike Training Club
Russian twists with Christen Press and Nike Training Club
  • No purchase necessary  – The app is free, and very few of the workouts require much more than a pair of dumbbells, medicine ball or a step. You can improvise, like I do, with a pair of beer cans, a soccer ball, and a coffee table or park bench.
  • Time equals money – The workouts range from 5-minute stretching/warming up drills to 45-minute total body sculpting drills. There are plenty of 12, 15, 18-minute workouts that I recommend (below).
  • It’s everywhere you want to be (yeah, I stole that from Visa, so what?) – Most of the workouts can be completed in a very tight space. Put out your arms, spin in a circle. If you didn’t hit anything, then you’ve got yourself plenty of room.
  • One size does not fit all – Luckily, you can take what you want and leave what you don’t. Like star jumps. No me gusta star jumps. When I am given an activity that I don’t want to do, I either modify it or choose something else in its place. Plank, sit-ups, push-ups and squats are all easy and effective options.
  • Tips of the trade – The entire workout is narrated and tips for safety and success are given throughout.

My favorite NTC workouts:

Hip lifts hurt so good!
Hip lifts hurt so good!
  • Goal Getter with Christen Press (yay soccer!): 18 minutes – strength moves to sculpt your core and lower body. Keeps your heart rate up, while you tone. Favorite activity: diagonal bounds. 
  • Butt Buster: 15 minutes – tone your tush in 15 minutes? Yes, please! All girls have that one area of their body that they’re super self-conscious about. Mine are my legs and butt. Favorite activity: hip lifts. 
  • Ab Burner: 15 minutes – abs on abs on abs. Keep crunching! Nobody every complained that their stomach was too flat, or that their six pack was just too prominent. Nobody. Ever. Favorite activity: Russian twists.

So, I’ve done my best to leave you with no excuses not to try the NTC app. It’s not meant to replace all of your workouts, but it is a great option for days when you’re crunched for time or it’s raining and you can’t bring yourself to leave the house. You can also bring your phone to the gym and try these workouts there! Now get out there and get toned, you beautiful people!
loveB

Make it a Habit

Today I ate a donut for breakfast, but that’s not why I worked out. Getting your sweat on shouldn’t be a reaction, or a one-time-thing. Instead, it’s gotta become part of your regular schedule.

Here are a few easy steps to get your foot in the door:

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Flexin’, because somebody with a camera told me to. 🙂

1. Find your motivation – A wedding, a vacation, a healthier lifestyle, confidence booster, getting toned, losing weight, New Years resolution! Whatever it is, make sure that you know what is driving you. But once that immediate need has passed, keep going with the workouts. You’ll thank yourself later!

2. Find your space – Not everybody is a runner, not everybody belongs to a gym. Yoga can get pricey, and sometimes joining a coed sports league isn’t really a very good workout at all (I’ve shotgunned many beers before rounding the bases). But there are plenty of ways to get a regular workout for really cheap, or even for free. I’ll talk more about this in some of my upcoming posts. But if you’re into running, check out what Paige has been up to!

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Catch the sunrise, it’s worth it.

3. Find your time of day – For me, waking up and getting my day started with a good workout is ideal. I’ve got a ton of energy in the mornings, and then I’ve got my workout out of the way before the day even begins. It isn’t easy to get into the habit of waking up early enough to squeeze it in before work, but like most things, it will get easier day-by-day. *Added bonus, waking up early makes for amazing sunrises. Not a morning person? Start packing your workout clothes and get after it directly after work. If you avoid going home first, you’re more likely to stick to the game plan! The key to afternoon workouts is to eat enough calories throughout the day, that way you’ve got energy at the end of the day to get you through.

4. Warning – Routine is good. Obsession is bad. Missing a day could bum you out, but listen to your body. Missing a day might be what you need. I aim to get 5 good days of working out a week. That leaves time for a break, and for me, a little extra sleep.

5. Voilà – Now, all that is left is to keep at it. Like I said, each day will get easier and soon working out will be a habit.
loveB