Archive for the ‘ Fitness ’ Category
Good morning ladies! And ’tis a goooood morning indeed. The sun is shining bright in Boston right now, and The Boy & I just got back from a quickie, sweaty run together to take advantage. I even whipped out the shorts for the first time this year! Oh yes, it’s simply THAT nice out.
I’m super excited because I leave for my NYC trip this afternoon! I’m going to be attending Holistic MBA Live, a rockin’ business conference for wellness professionals put on by the lovely Stacey and Carey of Holistic MBA. As I’ve been striving to grow & spice up my business lately, this conference could not have come at a better time. I have so many exciting things in the works!
Even better, while in NYC, I get to spend four whole days (well, nights) with my best friends from college. As you can tell, I’m high on life right now! Best friends + networking + business coaching = my cup of tea.
Anyway, today’s Thursday so let’s get to this week’s feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community. I am happy to introduce you to a lovely lady who I had the pleasure of meeting for one of her spin classes followed by some vino. Let’s just say, she’s full of energy, love & a zest for life so we naturally had a lot to talk about. I’ll let Ali take it from here!
[photo provided by Ali courtesy of lululemon]
NAME/AGE: Ali Baldassare, 28
CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA
PHOTO TAKEN: This is my Lululemon Ambassador photo taken at the end of last year. It is currently hanging up on the wall in the Lululemon store on Newbury St. so next time you’re out shopping, check it out! Speaking of photos, stay tuned because I’m currently planning a fitness photo shoot over the next 2-3 months and it’s going to be epic!
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Most people would never know it, but fitness is NOT my full time job. It is my full time passion though Right now, I do have a 9-5 job working for a pharmaceutical company, although with the amount of classes that I teach and clients that I train, I could easily argue that I pretty much have two full time jobs. One day, I’ll be able to answer this question by just saying “full time pilates and fitness instructor” and maybe that day will be soon! No one said making your dreams come true was easy, right??
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Teaching, inspiring and motivating people to live a life they love in a body they love!
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: 1) When I eat well. Eating a good clean diet makes me feel energized, awake and ready for anything! 2) Remembering to make time for me. Things can get super hectic, but taking time for me can really help me not feel overwhelmed and run down. It can be anything from going for a run, taking a yoga class, getting a massage or a manicure/pedicure, etc. 3) When I surround myself with other really inspiring and motivating people.
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I have bad days when I feel unmotivated, discouraged and just want to throw in the towel and give up, but deep down I know things will always turn around. Those bad days are what makes my good days that much better!
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: 1) Bars (Lara bars, KIND bars, or Luna bars are some of my favorites) 2) bananas, apples, spinach, almond butter, raw almonds 3) my blender. I am always on the go and rarely home for any significant length of time so anything healthy that I can throw in my bag or anything that I can mix up in a blender is perfect. I’ve been really into making all kinds of smoothies lately and they actually keep me full….says the girl who is ALWAYS hungry!
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: CHOCOLATE. Anything chocolate. I have a really big sweet tooth!
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Dance. I grew up dancing and love everything about it. Dancing has a way of allowing me to escape the world and just let go. It makes me feel free, alive, and happy. It also has so many great benefits like keeping your body limber and enhancing your agility, flexibility and balance. Even when I’m completely exhausted, I always look forward to teaching my weekly Zumba classes!
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Every now and then I like to enjoy a cheeseburger
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: You are capable, powerful, and in control of your life! Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be complex or hard. Everything is based on your perception, your goals, and your choices. There are endless ways to exercise; there are so many different ways to incorporate healthy eating into even your busiest of days. All you have to do is find the right balance of the two that works for you. Healthy living really can teach you so much about yourself and it’s not a one size fits all concept. What works for you may not work for me, but that’s the beauty of it all. We are all unique. Remember, you are the only one who can live your life, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Keep things simple. Have fun! Be you! Strive for growth, balance and opportunity, not perfection. You are all amazing. Believe it and own it!
Good afternoon ladies! Hope you are all having a sun-shiny day, despite the rain and dreary weather in Boston. I guess we can’t complain much after having 2 beautiful days in a row. I honestly can’t get enough of this sunshine!
For those of you participating in my “Get Happy & Healthy” Wellness Challenge, I am so impressed by all your hard work, dedication and creativity. From squeezing in that extra “me time” to enjoy your breakfast mindfully (and listen to the birds chirping) to trying a brand new green (like broccoli rabe or mustard greens!), each and every step you take—both big and small—is one step closer to a happier, healthier you. Keep up the super work!
OK, on to another week of Healthy Chicks in the Community! This week I am so thrilled to introduce you to Jenn, a real women who shines confidence, health, strength and inspiration. After all, she wasn’t named one of BostInno’s 50 on Fire for nothing. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with Jenn in person and took her Pilates Bootcamp Class (which you can read about in my newsletter here) and can tell you this woman is the real deal. Her energy, passion and love for what she does is absolutely contagious! But seriously, I gotta ask, how does she ever sleep? I’ll let Jenn take it from here…
[Photo provided by Jennifer Phelan courtesy of Lucie Wicker Photography]
NAME/AGE: Jennifer Phelan Age 29
CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA
PHOTO TAKEN: This was one of my favorite photos captured during a recent photo shoot with Lucie Wicker Photography. I had this idea to do a split on two boxes (genius). When I got into the spilt I was holding onto the box, afraid to let go when the photographer and stylist yelled for me to lift my arms and look at the camera. I did and we snapped one of the best shots of the day. Conquer your fears and live in the moment!
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I’m a full time Pilates Instructor and owner of JenniferPhelan Pilates. I teach large, contemporary group Pilates and Barre classes at Equinox and North End Yoga and I train private clients all over Boston. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different types of people such as athletes, mom’s-to-be, brides and A-List celebs. I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to spread the amazing benefits of Pilates to everyone I meet.
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Motivating others to be the best possible healthy version of themselves.
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Remembering to make a little time for me. Even though I love my job and what I do everyday, it’s sometimes hard to find balance. As an independent instructor I literally do everything from teaching classes, scheduling, social media, website work and marketing all by myself. So it’s hard to actually fit in my own workouts and “JP” time. When I do actually schedule this in I feel more energized, happier and more alive. Even if that means I’m going on a 12- hour day by the time I fit in my own workouts that’s okay, because I always end up feeling ready to conquer the city when I’m done.
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Spend the day in my sweats and watch 5 hours of Dance Moms straight without moving once.
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: 1.) Breville Juicer. 2.) Apples, spinach and cucumbers 3.) Reusable Straws Ok, can you tell I’m obsessed with juicing? I seriously can’t go a day without making at least one fresh pressed juice. Juice for life!
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Ice cream. Specifically soft serve vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. I used to spend my summers working in an ice cream shop that only fueled my addiction and taught me one of my best-kept hidden talents… I can make a perfect ice cream cone. I’m serious and happy to show you anytime.
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Pilates of course! I make sure that I give myself some type of a mat workout every day. It keeps my body flexible, balanced and centers my mind.
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Anything that my husband cooks. I’m lucky to have a wannabe chef husband who is one of the healthiest cooks I know. He has a way of mixing love into all of his meals and never settles for putting just anything down on a plate. I’d have to say my favorite dish is his signature miso marinated grilled salmon served over baby kale greens with a lemon vinaigrette and side of herbed quinoa. Hungry yet?
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Keep it simple! Don’t over think and over complicate your life. The number one trick to being healthy is to use common sense. Exercise. Eat REAL foods. Drink lots of water. Get outside. Do things that make you happy. Try living by these standards for just one week and you’ll see that life is a lot sunnier without all the added substitutes. Only YOU are in charge of your life, so start living it today!
If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest self or are struggling to make positive changes, shoot me an email anytime to schedule your FREE 15-minute info session / sign up for one of my health coaching programs.
SIDE NOTE: Boston Fitness Peeps! Check out my blog friend Little Miss Runshine’s upcoming Spinathon on 5/18 to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge fundraising for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Learn more here or register/donate over here. There’s some pretty sweet spin instructors on the list!
Good evening, ladies! I’m off for a weekend getaway at our family’s condo in N.H (a.k.a our vacation home), a time for relaxing, kicking back and living the laid back mountain life. Gotta love escaping the city every now and then! While I’ll likely be unplugging for most of the weekend, I wanted to share some of my latest freelance writing pieces with you all. Hopefully you’ll find a little inspiration!
“Overcoming the Scale Obsession; Listening to Your Body,” Share It Fitness
“Let’s Get Real (About Our Food),” Share It Fitness
“Are You Being Honest with Yourself?,“ Boston Fitness Magazine
“8 Healthy Spring Snacks + Superfoods for Active People,” Eastern Mountain Sports
Good morning to all you beautiful Healthy Chicks out there! I’m off to a great start to the day, as The Boy made me a super veggie-packed frittata (while I was still sleeping) and I’m off to meet a friend for life chats at one of my favorite organic cafes, Life Alive. (Fitting, huh?) I’m also going to get my Downward Dog on tonight with one of my best friends at Back Bay Yoga. We’re taking Lynne’s Vinyasa Flow with Live Music: Flute & Guitar.
I’m so excited for a zen, thought-provoking me kinda day. Those are the best after all, don’t ya think? And even if your schedule’s packed to the brim, you can still try to squeeze in little things throughout the day just for Y-O-U. Take time for yourself, ladies, even though it’s hard to remember at times (trust me, I know…I sometimes put “me” on the back burner too).
Anyway, ‘nough about me. Today I’m here to bring you this week’s feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community. I am extra giddy about today’s spotlight, as she’s actually one of the first bloggers I “met.” (We actually have plans to meet FOR REAL in the near future!) Anyway, we started reading each other’s blogs back in the day pre-Boy and pre-Health Coaching. I was a totally different person then (as was my blog) and it’s so neat to see how much we’ve grown! This mystery gal also has a rockin’ sister who (hint, hint) you’ll meet soon. Anyway, I’ll let this super-inspiring barre loving fit chick, Jess, take it from here! I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her killer personality and genuine writing like I have…
NAME/AGE: Jessica Sutera, 33 (ugh lol)
PHOTO TAKEN: This pic was taken last fall while visiting my gram and gramp at our family lake house in Maine. It was my gram’s birthday and she was so happy to have us there to visit. Such a happy memory, reminds me how lucky I am to have two healthy grandaparents…and a goofy husband who I adore very much. <3
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: By day – PR, marcom and social media for a high-tech company in Burlington. By morning/night – I teach at barre n9ne studio in Danvers, my self-professed ‘happy place’ and a job I feel such gratitude for every single time I set foot in the studio.
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Leading a fit and healthy lifestyle and (hopefully) inspiring others around me to live a little bit of a fuller, happier and yes, healthier life. One way I do that is by teaching at the studio that transformed my life in about a million ways (you can read more about that here and also on the barre n9ne blog here). Another way is by blogging and sharing my real self in every post I write. And the final way I do that is by simply living my best life now and sharing that joy with my friends and family and even complete strangers if I can.
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Standing on that front and center mat at the studio teaching classes at barre n9ne. I feel strong and empowered. It’s a crazy awesome feeling.
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I can’t lie, I’m a huge wino. I love wine. In all forms. And am not afraid to pour a glass (or two-ish), finding a reason to ‘cheers’ after a long day. I’ve found most wine pairs *very* well with a dove dark chocolate promise.
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Oatmeal. Coffee. Ingredients to make a quick and yummy wrap – usually that means a Flatout wrap or Joseph’s flatbread which I love to fill with turkey, deli ham, tuna / egg salad (made with chobani plain greek yogurt!) and whatever else I can get my hands on that’s ‘wrappable!
’NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Pizza. Only the homemade kind – that you can *only* find at the Sutera Manor (aka my house, ha). Made with homemade pizza dough in the bread machine, topped with fresh tomato sauce and freshly grated mozzarella cheese. Nothing else compares. Nothing.
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Well – barre n9ne classes are an obvious choice. I LOVE teaching there, love all that it’s done for my mind and my body, and love the beautiful community of women that congregate there day and night. It’s an awesome place to be, and makes me glow on the inside and out – I told you: total ‘happy place!!’
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Pizza. See ‘guilty pleasure’ above. Ha.
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Please, please, please be your own best friend. Do not constantly tear yourself down, but lift yourself up. Even if that means forcing yourself to look in the mirror every single day and find something about yourself that you LOVE that day, even it’s just the way your hair is flipped behind your ear. Something. Anything that makes you feel good as you walk out the door. Self-confidence is beautiful. It’s not vain to say “Hey, I look good today.” It’s even LESS vain to say it and to truly mean it.
If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest self or are struggling to make positive changes, shoot me an email anytime to schedule your FREE 15-minute info session / sign up for one of my health coaching programs.
I heart running. I love how it enables me to let go and simply be. I love how it challenges me yet comforts me at the same time. I love how it makes me sweat unlike no other form of exercise. I love how it empowers me to feel strong, beautiful and sexy (on the inside). And most of all, I love the way it makes me feel (inside and out).
From half marathons to casual strolls on the river, running and I have a very special relationship and have been together through thick and thin. As you can see, I’m pretty darn obsessed with running and all of its hidden benefits (ahem, it’s more than just burning off that piece of cake).
Since the weather finally hit 50-degress in Boston (and the snow started to melt) I figured it was finally time to join in for City Sports Back Bay’s Run Club. Plus, I was even more ecstatic to join as City Sports hooked me up with their sweet CS by City Sports gear, a new women’s line specially designed for both comfort and attraction.
I loved all the options, and find it nice to know you can wear comfortable, breathable clothes that are good-looking at the same time. Even better, they now offer Extended Sizes so all shapes and sizes can find that perfect fit that makes you look and feel good.
If you know me, I love pink so I naturally went for this All Sport Tank in Fuchsia. How cute are the little ruffles on the bottom?
[Source: City Sports]
I completed my outfit with the Sports Core Run Tights in black. I’m generally really picky about pants, but fell in love with these form-fitting (yet comfortable) “run tights.” They even have a zipper right above the butt for key/cash storage. Huge perk!
Now that I was decked out in my fashionable CS by City Sports gear, I was ready to run! The City Sports Back Bay Run Club starts at 6 p.m. sharp, meeting every Tuesday at City Sports Back Bay. There was such a great crowd, and I was impressed by the number of pumped up runners who attended! Each week, City Sports hosts a sponsor and this week was Merrell so they had shoe demos going on before and after the run.
City Sports brothers and fitness-addicts Ben & Alex Eld were super accommodating, and made everyone feel comfortable! While Alex explained the details of the run (giving us options for 3.5, 4, and 5 mile routes), Ben snapped pics of the group and made us feel at home. (Hopefully you can join in next time Ben!)
[Jess's 2 friends, Jess, me & Jess #2!]
[some of the ladies with Alex!]
We couldn’t have picked a more perfect night for running, and once we hit the river I was in my glory! Running on the Charles as the sun goes down is one of my favorite parts about living in the city, and if you haven’t done so yourself I highly suggest you do. It was so nice outside, that I actually tied my zip-up around my waist early on, and simply ran in just a tank!
[off we go!]
I loved running through Beacon Hill, and the Boston Commons, and even heard some city folks pointing us out, saying “It looks like a night for running!” or “They must be part of a run club!” Hearing their praises motivated me to keep moving and finish out strong.
Somehow toward the end I split up from the group and did my own loop, with my friend Jess shortly behind. When I got back to City Sports to find no one there, I was quite confused and one of the staff-members told me to pretend I hit a run club record. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and I must have cut the route short. (We’re thinking it was about 3.1 though I didn’t have my Garmin to confirm).
Nonetheless, I got my sweat on and had a great workout! Plus, my new outfit totally kept me just warm enough, by giving me the room to move, super important for runners. I HATE when I’m confined into something too-tight (ick!) or too loose (which can lead to chafing and constant pulling up your pants) CS by City Sports solved both of those problems!
[post run chatter]
After the run, we all met inside for water, snacks (one of the runners brought homemade Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats) and a raffle hosted by Merrell. I won a water bottle (Yippee)!
No matter what city you live in, I definitely recommend you join for a City Sports Run Club, and if you live in Boston please let me know as I’d love to join you for a run! To learn more about City Sports Run Club Back Bay or CS by City Sports clothing, visit their website. As always, feel free to shoot me an email as I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Note: I was given a complimentary outfit from City Sports to review, but as always all opinions are my own.
This past Saturday, I was invited to celebrate City Sports’ grand opening at their new Chestnut Hill location, which also happens to be City Sports’ 30th Anniversary month. (Happy Birthday City Sports!)
While the party didn’t officially start until 10 a.m., I got there at 9 a.m. for a private media event beforehand. I coincidentally ran into another blogger friend on the way there (the adorable, super-fit Jess from Little Miss Runshine), so we walked to City Sports together. We were shocked upon arriving, as the line was already down the sidewalk! Apparently, some had been standing out in the cold for hours.
After all, the first 100 customers were to receive a City Sports goodie bag filled with giftcards and sweet giveaways from City Sports and Nike. Plus, one lucky duck would find the grand prize in their bag: a free pair of shoes each month for the entire year! (I’d take that over the Golden Ticket any day.) Oh yea, and did I mention former New England Patriot Matt Light would be making a special appearance? I don’t blame these City Sports fanatics one bit for getting up early for the event; heck I’d do the same!
Luckily, we got to “cut” the line so we could take a grand tour of the store, ask any questions we wanted and get to snapping some pics. Everyone at City Sports was so unbelievably friendly, and I never felt so welcome. After a quick intro from PR rep Erin, we were handed over to City Sports’ Digital Marketing Specialist Ben Eld who took us under his wing the rest of the morning. Ben was super knowledgable about the store layout, fitness and products/gear, so I felt lucky to be by his side to ask any lingering questions and learn more about the City Sports culture. He pointed out some pretty cool features about the Chestnut Hill store including:
- The Women’s CS by City Sports line that now comes in extended sizes, with greater care to an attractive look. I was loving the CS By City Sports Accelerate Full Zip Jacket.
- The many colorful options of Citys Sports tees, ideal for spring activities.
- An indoor track (the first in Boston area and second at any City Sports store) so that runners can test out their shoes before they buy, without mucking them up outdoors. I thought this was one of the best features of all, and a genius idea at that!
- The Women’s Lifestyle section with comfy & casual everyday wear, as well as an updated pant wall and an entire area dedicated for yoga! My recent yogi self swooned with joy! I want. I want. I want.
- Racquets galore! With a special department dedicated to racquet sports, experts will provide demos and string racquets in-store!
- And arguably the most impressive of all: 300+ styles of fabulous footwear. Seriously, whoever won the free shoes for a year is in for a treat!
It was about this time that I fell in love with these super-trendy, PINK Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+ Women’s Running shoes, an Editor’s Runner’s Choice. With adaptive lightweight support, soft cushioning, and incredible breathability, these shoes are a runner’s dream. Specially knit with Nike Flywire cables, they claim to “fit your foot like a sock.” You can watch the video to learn more about the shoe here. Sign me up!
Jess and I also did our fair share of goofing around, like trading spaces with the DJ…
[right photo cred: Jess]
Oh, and stuffing our faces with Pinkberry Strawberry & Mango froyo…
Additional festivities for the morning included a complimentary 5K Nike Fun Run, raffles, meet-and-greet with Matt Light, and refreshments. I also got to meet the guys behind Boston Fitness Magazine, a new magazine dedicated to everything fit & healthy in the city!
As I head out the door, I was handed a super-generous gift bag filled with fitness goodies which I couldn’t be more grateful for.
The bag included:
- CS By City Sports Triumph Run 1/4 Zip in Green
- A bright City Sports tee (that I’ve already worn on a run!)
- A navy City Sports headband
- SNAP Infusion “Supercandy” packets
- Nike Performance cushioned running socks
- A City Sports key chain
- A City Sports giftcard
- A day pass to Sports Club/LA
Big thank you to City Sports for hosting an incredible, memorable event! I left feeling inspired, motivated and excited to be living in a city with so many like-minded, fit and healthy people. I can’t wait to get my run on with the City Sports Back Bay Run Club, which meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Back Bay location. Who wants to join me?
Good afternoon ladies! Hope you’re all off to a healthy, happy Thursday. Random question for you: Do you know your ideal sports bra size? If you’re not quite sure how to answer the question, I was right there with you. Plus, apparently 70% of women don’t know their appropriate bra size!
So when I was invited to New Balance’s Bra Fitting for a Cause yesterday evening, I was quite intrigued. To celebrate the launch of their new NBPSYCHE Sports Bra Collection, New Balance hosted an event at their Boylston St. store, offering free bra fittings to attendees. Plus, for every woman who got fitted, they donated $10 to MA’s Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Upon arriving, I was given a ticket with a number to hold my place in line. (It also doubled as a raffle ticket!) As I waited for my “bra consultation,” I sipped on some white wine, nibbled on a couple apps (I really liked the mini crostini with goat cheese and eggplant) and mingled with some of the other ladies.
While waiting (and snapping pics) I also ran into two other lovely bloggers: Elizabeth from On Tap for Today and Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake so it was nice to catch up for a little bit before I was rushed off to my fitting.
I must say, New Balance did a great job with making us ladies feel comfortable and well-informed. The woman who did my fitting thoroughly explained the whole process, including why it’s important to know your bra size. Who knew that having that perfect fit can help prevent falling straps, that annoying shoulder-digging, and even chaffing? Being a runner, I was especially intrigued! Plus, all the bras are designed for the active woman, taking into account sweat management, breathability, comfort, convenience, style and class!
After taking my measurements, I was given two custom-fit bras chosen specially for me based on my size. We had some good laughs, since I wasn’t exactly an easy contestant (small boobs & waist but big ribs and broader shoulders), in turn throwing off my measurements. But with a few quick questions and adjustments, they were able to find my perfect fit.
I loved the feel of the bras: super soft, comfy, and snug to my body but not in a “too tight” way. It felt like they were made for me, something I’ve never experienced with a sports bra. I’m usually the kind of girl that just buys a size small in whatever color or type that’s available and calls it a day! While I liked both of the sports bras I tried on, I was a sucker for the Fabulous Framer II in medium.
The Airy Racer felt great, but since it was a little bit lose in the shoulder area, the woman recommended I try it on again in a 32 B, versus the 34 A I tried on originally. Who knew bra sizes could be so complex? The best part is that the NBPSYCHE line offers 9 different styles, including 2, 3, and 4-way motion control, so that every lady can find “the one.”
Big thank you to New Balance for putting on a fun & informative event. I’ll definitely think twice next time I’m shopping for a new sports bra!
Do you know your sports bra size? Have you ever given it any thought? What’s the #1 thing you look for in a bra, be it comfort, look, feel or something else?
I’m a huge fan of trying new workouts, challenging yourself and most importantly finding that exercise that makes you shine (you know, makes you feel beautiful, strong and confident in your body!) After all, that’s what FitFluential means to me.
So when I was invited by Jen and Kerrie from Blog & Tweet Boston to attend a complimentary class a Pure Barre Boston yesterday afternoon, I jumped on the opportunity! While I have taken barre-style classes before through Core Fusion at Exhale Spa, I have never tried Pure Barre so I was excited to see what was in store!
Pure Barre recently opened their new Boston studio at 350 Newbury Street, which is a prime location for anything & everything fitness and health if I do say so myself. (Side note: sweetgreen will be located just a walk away right by Copley Station, scheduled to launch in June. Boston foodie & fitness peeps, I know you are going to fall in love. You can read all about my new job at sweetgreen here!)
The first thing I noticed upon walking in was the beautiful space: clean, fresh with lots of natural light. Plus, they have lockers and keys available to students, so you don’t have to lug around a clunky lock or worry about stollen goods (huge plus)!
Before class, I chatted it up with some fellow bloggers (new & old). Most of us were new to Pure Barre so we knew we’d be in for a serious sweat sesh! As we were waiting for class to begin, the lovely instructor Fiona went around to shake everyone’s hand and introduce herself. I loved her energy and personal approach, making everyone feel comfortable and pumped for class to start. The studio owner Lauren was also there to take class with us, and help with corrections, which was a nice treat!
The Pure Barre Scoop
Class was an hour long, with loud fast-paced music blasting throughout. Let’s just say, Fiona gave us a killer workout, with pretty much nonstop movement for the entire 60 minutes. I totally felt the burn especially in my abs and thighs, and still do (in a good way)!
We worked everything from arms and butt to thighs and abs, moving from the floor to the mat to the bar. I loved the fast-paced, energetic approach, as I didn’t get bored once!
I also really liked Fiona and Lauren’s genuine care for their students, encouraging us to hold a little longer (or sink a little lower) and correcting our posture. This was especially helpful during the glutes work on the bar, as I totally needed a hip adjustment. We were also constantly reminded to tuck, a super important part of the workout to really get as much as you can out of it. The instructors definitely know their stuff, which is important to me as a first-timer!
I’d definitely recommend Pure Barre for anyone who wants a real challenge, and likes a group fitness atmosphere in a non-intimidating setting. It’s also great for those looking for results, as the barre method has been known to tone and sculpt the body and really work your core.
[me with superstar instructor Fiona! Photo credit: Jess, Little Miss Runshine]
Many thanks to Pure Barre Boston and Blog & Tweet Boston for putting this fabulous event together. Feel free to email me or comment if you have any questions regarding the workout, as I’m always here for honest feedback and advice!
P.S. Here’s my message of the day that I’d like you all to reflect upon, which also happens to be a tweet I posted earlier today!
Have you ever tried Pure Barre? What was your experience like? How can you celebrate and encourage other women?
As I’ve mentioned before here on Healthy Chicks (and as I’m sure you can tell by the badge on the right), I am a proud FitFluential Ambassador. If you haven’t checked out the FitFluential community before, which was founded by Fitness Rockstar Kelly Olexa, I strongly suggest you do so over here.
While FitFluential is packed with an amazing group of like-minded enthusiasts sharing their passion for wellness every hour on the hour, today I wanted to share with you what “FitFluential” means to me. More specifically, my very own definition of living a “healthy lifestyle.”
Discovering an Exercise Routine that Makes you Shine
[Move100 Campaign; Photo Cred: Move100.org]
Just like there is no Perfect Man for every woman, there is no perfect exercise that works for everyone. In fact, I don’t believe in rules or perfection at all.
Some live for CrossFit and Pilates, while others feel their best by doing yoga and running. Some spin 6 days a week, while others enjoy being one with nature and going for long hikes with loved ones.
The point is, it’s not going to work for you unless you enjoy it. Find the exercises that make you shine, and run with it. What gives you a natural high? What makes you feel strong and confident about your body? What moves you?
Remember this can change, as we go through phases throughout our lives. Currently, I’m into yoga (for inner peace and serenity), running (for clarity & sweat) and circuit training (for strength). However, I wouldn’t reccomend this routine for everyone as THE. BEST. EVER. There is no best. Do you. This right here is one of the many reasons I love the FitFluential community so much: everyone brings something different to the table.
Also, be sure to take risks by trying new classes and different types of exercise, as you may surprise yourself. This morning I took a hot yoga class with a friend at Prana Power Yoga in Central Square and haven’t felt such a sense of bliss in a long time. In the past year, I’ve completed my THIRD half marathon (I can’t believe I’m saying that), PR’d my 5K by over a minute, and took part in the Move100 Initiative.
Setting intentions for yourself is really helpful in reaching your fitness goals as you are doing it for YOU and no one else. Attempt to let go of competition and comparison and challenge yourself. It’s much more fun that way!
Fueling Your Body With Food That Makes You Feel Your Best
Just like my viewpoint on exercise, I feel the same way about how we eat. One diet doesn’t work for everyone! Remember that. While your best friend may do well on a strictly vegan diet, you may thrive on good-quality, organic grass-fed meats. While some may be able to devour the bread bowl like it’s no tomorrow, others (like myself) may have difficulty digesting gluten in large amounts.
While we’re on this topic, I don’t even like the word diet in the first place. To me, healthy living is a lifestyle and something that’s a part of your life 365 days of the year. So you over-indulged in pizza last night or your weight went up two pounds on the scale. When you’re living a healthy lifestyle, those little “slips” start to not matter as much.
In fact, I am so passionate about helping other women overcome a diet-obsessed lifestyle, that I’ve created a unique wellness program for exactly that. I’ve been in there, that place where the scale rules your life, where you stay in from social outings with friends out of fear of the menu, where food is scary and overwhelming. And let me tell you, there is not fun.
In the past few years, I’ve never been in a happier place with myself and my body. And it all started when I stopped dieting and starting living, when I stopped buying fat-free, cardboard tasting, diet-everthing and started eating real food, when I stopped fearing food and began to fall in love with it.
For me, eating well means filling my plates with clean food, local and organic as much as possible but not ALL THE TIME. It means eating a plant-heavy diet (lotsa greens!) with loads of colorful fruits, good quality grains, fish and occasional organic chicken. It means having fun, and not being afraid to make mistakes, in the kitchen! It means recognizing the foods that make me feel crappy (too much gluten, fried food, etc) and loading up on the foods that make me feel fantastic (sauteed greens, quinoa bowls, green smoothies in the Vitamix, homemade soups, sushi + fish).
And of course, there are nights where I drink one too many glasses of red wine or indulge in a little too many cheese & crackers, but that’s OK. Be realistic about it and ask yourself “How Do I feel?”
Communicating + Collaborating
This one’s a biggie! I think making relationships with other people (both similar and different to you) is key. I love how everyone in the FitFluential community is so willing to share, connect and spread the love!
It’s so fun discovering different bloggers, attending unique events and taking part in incredible wellness initiatives.
I find such a joy in creating new friendships (both in person & virtually) with amazing women all over the web including some of my old-time Boston faves like Jess from Eat Drink Breathe Sweat (who actually introduced me to FitFluential) to some of my new faves like Heather from For the Love of Kale and Caitlin from Cait Plus Ate. Honestly, these women are amazing and ever-so-inspiring. This whole community is!
Oh, and communicating & collaborating goes outside the “blogosphere” too. It’s about connecting and networking with people every day to ignite that inner passion, and potentially create amazing relationships along the way.
Having a Positive Attitude (Most of the Time)
[enjoying some giggles & QT with the boy]
For me, above anything else, healthy living is about your attitude and mindset. Be confident in who you are, walk your talk, fill your life with positivity, take risks, embrace your body, lend a helping hand when you can, and SMILE. I think it’s important not to take life too seriously and to have a little fun with it.
Be sure to make time for the people you love and surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you. Drop the envy & jealousy and replace it with admiration & determination. Be the best you that you can possibly be!
SHARING TIME! What does FitFluential mean to you? For fellow FitFluential Ambassadors, share your thoughts here! For others, how is living a “healthy lifestyle” defined according to you? What do you agree or disagree with? Remember there is no right or wrong answer. That’s the beauty of it all.
Today’s ChickLit: Take time every day to MOVE, even if it’s just taking your dog for a brisk winter walk or dancing in your PJs.
We all know exercise is good for our health, and can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other serious health concerns. However, to me, exercise is much more than that.
It’s about movement, clarity, motivation and feel-good energy (you know, that thing called endorphins). While usually I like to sleep in on Saturdays, today I woke up (sorta) early for an a.m. Hatha yoga class at my local gym.
Not only did it feel good to stretch, strengthen and challenge my body, but it gave me an incredible rush of energy and “happy hormones.”
So even if you don’t have time to run 7 miles or take part in a kickboxing class, make time for something, anything that’s going to get you moving.
As we like to say over at FitFluential: #MOVE #GETAFTERIT
How can you make more time to move? If you need a little boost to get started, check out my “From Oy Vey to OK in 30 Days” Health Coaching Program, individually catered to Y-O-U. I work with women in their 20s to help them reach their full potential in fitness, healthy eating, lifestyle and happiness!