5 Healthy Finds I’m Loving Right Now {Beauty, Fitness, Wellness, Fashion + Food}

Read full article | 2 Comments

Well, it’s officially Daylight Saving Time, and I’m praying/hoping/dreaming that we really do indeed “spring ahead.”

But in the meantime as I continue to freeze my butt off, share Ubers with strangers to work, and recoup from the Boston Blizzards of 2015, I’ve also been having a lot of fun navigating some new + exciting healthy finds. Hey, when the weather gets rough, spend your paycheck on things that are good for your health. Am I right or am I right? Hey, at least it makes things seem a little sunnier! Below are my latest obsessions.

BEAUTY FIND: Love Lettuce Face Mask, LUSH, $6.95

Last week while visiting my lovely friends at LUSH Cosmetics, I was given a tub of their “Love Lettuce” fresh face mask. Made with natural, soothing ingredients like lavender, almond oil, and honey, this mask is intended to give dull skin a renewed glow while balancing oily t-zones.  The product also contains ground almonds for an all-natural exfoliating effect!

Since my skin can be on the sensitive side, I tested it out on my nose and neck last night and fell in love. I can’t wait to try it out on my entire face tonight. The best part is you keep it in the fridge so it’s super cooling + calming! Not to mention the smell is nice with notes of lavender. Ahh…spa in a jar.

FIT FIND: FlyBarre Class, Flywheel Sports, $28

The ever-so-popular Flywheel recently launched their just as popular barre class, FlyBarre, in Boston! Obviously, I had to check it out and was lucky enough to attend a class during grand opening week. Ladies, it was epic.

Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of bar classes and have tried pretty much everything from Core Fusion to Pure Barre to The Bar Method all a little bit different but with similar technique.

What sets FlyBarre apart from the rest is their killer music (seriously, these instructors have the best playlists) and their unique, challenging athletic-style routine. Bar (or barre) can become rather predictable (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!) and typically have sort of ‘blah’ playlists but Flybarre’s fresh style is just what I was craving. I can’t wait to get my butt back to the barre!

WELLNESS FIND: Balance Essential Oil, DoTerra, $26.67

While most people consider me to be quite “chill,” (perhaps it’s because I hate drama and am pretty low-key for the most part), I actually tend to be a pretty anxious person. I’m extremely hard on myself when it comes to work, and I worry…a lot (which I think is something I picked up from my beloved Grandma Carol). In comes balance essential oil by DoTerra to save the day! With grounding + soothing oils like spruce, Ho Wood, frankincense, and blue tansy, balance is perfect for creating a sense of calm.

I love using this oil when I’m feeling particularly stressed or “busy,” or when my mind starts spinning. It’s also a perfect life-saver for public transportation nightmares, traffic and any other stressors life may throw at you. Anxiety, be gone (just a few drops will do it)!

I recently became a DoTerra Wellness Advocate, so if you have any questions definitely reach out or shoot me an email. You can shop directly from my website here!

FASHION FIND: Chaturanga Floral Flow Tight, Athleta, $74

If you know me, you know that I pretty much live in leggings…99% of the time. From gym to work to coffee dates and meetings, leggings literally carry me through my day-to-day activities. While I’m pretty much a walking advertisement for leggings, I’m also very picky about what I wear; they have to be just right. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Athleta’s new chaturanga tight prints which I now own in a variety of patterns.

My latest purchase were these floral flow chaturanga tights – perfect for spring! I love the funky color combination, and super soft material that fits to your body just perfectly. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and just the right amount of stretchy — great for yoga, errands or pairing with an oversized sweater. Seriously ladies, get on ‘em (or in ‘em). They’re simply f-a-b.

Oh, and did you know that Athleta offers FREE shipping on orders over $50, and hassle-free returns + exchanges if you’re not 100% in love with the product? Now that’s customer service!

FOODIE FIND: Sprouted Buffalo Almonds + Ranch Cashews, Organic Living Superfoods, $3.75

Fun fact you may not know about me: I have pretty much a zero sweet tooth. Yes, I love my dark chocolate and berries, but I’ll always choose something savory (ahem, cheese!) over sweet. Perhaps I’m fortunate that I don’t crave cake or cookies at midnight, but before you say I’m lucky let me tell you I’m a sucker for all things cheesy, salty and crunchy (Like, it’s bad and the struggle is real.)  And while I indulge in these savory not-so-healthy snacks  from time to time, my body doesn’t like me when I do so too often.

That’s where these raw sprouted buffalo almonds + ranch cashews by Organic Living Superfoods come in for the win! They are 100% vegan, raw, organic and gluten free and the best part: they are made with real, simple ingredients. Combining sun-dried tomatoes, dill, onion and garlic powder (to give me that cheesy flavor I know + love!) with tantalizing flavors like sea salt, lemon juice, coconut nectar and extra virgin olive oil, this snack is everything I wanted and more — spicy, tasty and healthy without compromising flavor!

Want in on the fun? All Healthy Chicks readers will receive 10% off their first order with code [healthychicks10]. Choose from a variety of healthy superfood snacks from sprouted nut mixes and energy squares to superfood powders and dried fruitsBrowse products now! (Note: this code is not valid on gift certificates or “snack pack samplers.”)

Now, I want to turn it over to YOU. What are you loving lately? What do you take with you in your gym bag / purse / work bag to keep you healthy + energized throughout the day? In the meantime, don’t forget to snag your 10% discount for Organic Living Superfoods using the promo code above.

xoxo,

Rachel



Are You Getting Enough Exercise (For Your Mind)?

Read full article | 4 Comments

Last week, there was a lot of exercise talk floating around the blogosphere and inter-webs. Am I getting enough exercise? How much should I be exercising based on how much I’m eating? Do I need more exercise in order to lose weight? If I miss a workout this week will I destroy my progress?

These are the types of questions and conversations that come up be it talking to friends or browsing through articles online. And while physical exercise does play a huge role in our overall wellness, I think we often forget about the other kind of exercise…the one that comes from within.

If not more important, just as important as physical exercise is taking time for yourself, better known as self-care. After all, if you’re running around like one big burnt-out hot mess, no amount of barre classes, running or dead-lifts is going to do you any good. While it’s great to stay busy, our bodies need that personal time to recharge, re-fuel and recover.

When we think of exercise we often think of the physical body, but what about your inside…your soul? That’s where the real transformation occurs.

Next time you find yourself stressing out about a missed workout or how many calories you burned during your treadmill circuit, pause a moment and aim to do something good for your soul. This anxiety is a signal that something on the inside is off, and your body is craving some much-needed “me” time.

Listen to it. Be. Let go of the guilt and just breathe.

Do you ever find yourself fretting about getting enough exercise? What are you doing to exercise your mind in order to practice self-care?

Xoxo,

Rachel

GNO Recap: Self Expression + Freedom to Be Fit

Read full article | 2 Comments

This past Tuesday, I helped host the third (and final!) GNO Celebration in Boston this summer as part of New Balance’s Girls Night Out Campaign.

The theme this time around was Self Expression: Freedom to Be Fit. You can read all about my thoughts on self-expression in my blog post over here. I think this was my favorite themes yet as I’m all about encouraging women to express themselves (be it through fitness or creativity) while discovering what works for YOU and your body. After all, what works for me may not work for you or your best friend (which I’m sure you’ve heard me mention before on the blog).

In honor of the theme, each woman was able to choose their own workout for the evening: an outdoor spin with Flywheel, a signature bootcamp with Equinox or a fun 3-mile run. I helped organize and plan the 3-mile fun run (using the GNO Meetup tool), which we dubbed “Freedom Fighters Fun Run Plus.” The run was definitely hot (in the low 90s) but our group had a blast cheering one another on and stopping along the way for pics!

After sweating it out, all of us met back up at New Balance for the party. I won’t lie: bottled water and moisturizing face wipes never looked so good! As the ladies gathered in and munched on tasty bites (like BLTs, rolls ups, and Deep Eddy vodka mixed drinks), I welcomed everyone and spoke about my thoughts on self-expression and being YOU.

I told my story about how in college I was all about doing what was “right” or the norm according to celeb magazines (i.e. Score Jennifer Anniston’s abs! Get that Pilates body! Lose 15 pounds!). I’d beat myself up at the gym, and spend hours at the gym burning away calories on the treadmill. I didn’t feel inspired or motivated, and I most definitely wasn’t expressing myself.

It wasn’t until after college where I became in tune with my body, began running and practicing yoga (for my mind!) that I really felt myself. Suddenly, fitness felt empowering and right. I was doing it for me.

You see, the thing is you don’t have to be a marathoner to be a runner, you don’t have to be #1 on the Torq board to try Flywheel and you most definitely don’t need to do headstands or bend into crow pose in order to be a yogi. You just gotta do what works for Y-O-U.

After my talk, I made some exciting announcements including filling in the girls on what was in their swag bags. They were packed with goodies, including a fitness towel that each of us could customize at the Self-Expression Transfer Station with various inspiring phrases like “Girls Run this Town.” We also got a thumb-drive loaded with a 30-minute running playlist specially mixed by DJ Brek One, as well as some discounted vouchers.

Once again, New Balance was kind enough to offer 20% off everything in the store. But this time there was a special added bonus! Women had the chance to customize their own shoes – everything from laces to mesh color to specific words placed on the heels – while taking advantage of the 20% off special. Check out the pair I customized for myself. Don’t they just scream summer?

The back of the heels say “choose happy,” as I believe happiness is a choice, and sometimes all it takes is a simple shift in perspective to find your happiness. I had so much fun creating my dream shoe, but I must say it was quite overwhelming with all the color combinations you could choose from. I kept it simple by sticking with lemonade + burnt orange.

After I was done speaking (I must say this whole public speaking thing is getting a bit easier), I was able to mingle, grab a bite and catch up with friends both old & new.

I was especially excited to see my long lost friend and Pilates guru Jennifer Phelan, as I haven’t seen her since she became a mommy!

Overall, it was a wonderful evening filled with great people, good eats and a fabulous sweat session! I am so grateful to have been a part of New Balance’s GNO Celebrations here in Boston, and look forward to more fun, empowering events in the future.

I’d love to hear from you! What workouts make you feel most vibrant + in tune with your body? What color combos would you choose for your custom shoes?

XoXo,

Rachel

A GNO to remember: Express yourself with new balance Boston

Read full article | 6 Comments

Remember when last week I mentioned I’d announce the next GNO event on the blog soon? Well, my friends, I don’t break my promises.

And since I consider you officially in my social bubble of girlfriends, I wanted to give you the insider scoop. Registration for the third Boston New Balance GNO event goes live tomorrow, Monday the 7th, and ladies you won’t want to miss out. (You can scoop up your free tiks here starting tomorrow!)

The event will be held on Tuesday July 22, and is once again held at the New Balance Experience Store on Boylston St. The theme this time around? Self-Expression!

Festivities include choosing your own workout that fits your personality including a spin at Flywheel, signature Equinox class, or pre-mapped-out run utilizing the GNO Meetup app. Plus there will be music, healthy apps and cocktails to keep the party going afterward!

And if you’ve attended any of the past GNO Celebrations or read my review, you can bet New Balance has a few sweet surprises up their sleeves (like the premium gift bags each lady will take away at the end of the evening!)

If you’re itching to squeeze in some solid time with the gals before then, I highly encourage you to check out the GNO app where you can join meet ups in the area or create your own GNO in your city. What’s better than sweating it out & mingling with your girlfriends?

I hope to see you in a couple weeks for the third (and final) Boston GNO Celebration this summer. Get ready to sweat, party and EXPRESS yourself! My question for you – when do you feel most in your element, passionate and true to yourself?

XoXo,

Rachel

New Balance Boston Girls Night Out June 26: Excellent is Strong

Read full article | 36 Comments

Note: This event is now full. Please stay tuned for updates regarding additional spaces.

Remember last month when I posted about New Balance’s Girls Night Out campaign? If you missed the post, no worries you can catch it here! In short, New Balance is working to redefine the meaning of “girls night,” focusing on empowering women through fitness, socializing and simply having a good time.

And I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I’m going to be playing a part in hosting the upcoming “GNO Celebration” in Boston this month (and in July, more on that later)!

The Details

The big event will be held on Thursday, June 26th at 6 p.m and it’s 100% free of charge. Participants will meet at the New Balance Experience Store (located at 583 Boylston St in Copley Square) and then take off for a bootcamp-style workout with New Balance Fitness Ambassador Holly Perkins.

After the workout, we’ll all come together for the ultimate girls night fully stocked with appetizers, cocktails, music by BrekOne and swag bags.  Oh, and did I mention SHAPE Magazine’s fitness editor Laurel Leicht will be their sharing insights on what makes her strong?

Excellent is Strong

Speaking of strong, the whole theme of the evening is “Excellent is Strong.” I was thrilled when I heard that New Balance’s focus for the evening is on strength and empowering women not just through fitness but through mind, body and spirit.

I’m so sick of hearing sayings like “Strong is the new sexy,” focusing solely on women’s bodies.

I feel that healthy is far more than what your body looks like from the outside. It’s about how you feel in your body. It’s about the attitude you carry through with you throughout the day. It’s about digging deep into your soul and finding what makes you feel truly inspired.

It’s not something that can be measured by a scale, viewed in a mirror or shown on your pant tag.

I’ve been through my own battles with body image + feeling strong and happy in my own skin (which I’ll share more on at June’s event), so I excited to celebrate with other women.

You are strong. You are excellent. You are beautiful.

Plan Your Own GNO

If you’re loving all of this GNO talk like I am, go ahead and plan your own! Simply join GNO Meetup, and then get started on creating your own Buzz Run. Here you’ll be able to map out your perfect route, invite friends, and even get alerts for other runs going on in your area.

How cool is that? End the evening with a healthy happy hour or just some solid catch-up time with your gals.

Come Join Me

Are you sold? I don’t blame you.

Register for the FREE event on June 26th before it sells out to get in on the action! Just scroll down to GNO Celebrations > Boston > RSVP.

Plus, I’m going to be one of the hostesses of the evening & have some special announcements to share with the group and would love your support (especially when I’m up on stage with the mic)!

Are you in?

XoXo,
Rachel

New Balance Kicks Off Healthy Girls Night Out Campaign: Light Up the Night with NB Boston

Read full article | 5 Comments

If you know me well, you know I love a good, solid girls night out. There’s nothing like getting all dolled up, sipping cocktails or going out dancing (er, trying to dance) with your favorite gal pals.

Mix in a sweaty run + healthy apps + being surrounded by empowering women? Um, I’m sold.

You heard me right. This week, MA-based company New Balance launched their very own Girls Night Out campaign, bringing a refreshing new meaning to “Girls Night.” In their own words, “Less primping, more pavement pounding. Lipstick’s optional, footwear’s not.”

By signing up online you are given all the tools needed to plan your perfect “Girls Night Out” no matter where you live, or who you run with. Map your routes based on fave running hot spots, get alerts on other sweet runs going on in your area, and even share upcoming runs with your lady friends! Because, I mean c’mon, running & sweating is always better with your best friend followed by a solid catch-up sesh.

Oh, and it gets even better! This one-of-a-kind brand is actually hosting a series of special, 100% FREE “GNO Celebrations” in cities near you including our very own Beantown!

Next Thursday May 15th they’ll kick off the celebrations with “Light Up the Night” including a 3.6 mile fun run, live music, guest speakers by local fitness experts not to mention cocktails & apps.

Registration is complimentary, but you must RSVP to attend. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and click RSVP next to Boston) The event is held at the New Balance Experience Store located at 583 Boylston St in Copley Square at 6 p.m..

Stay tuned for more GNO celebration events coming soon to Boston! Little hint: I’m going to be helping with the upcoming summer events and couldn’t be more thrilled. See you ladies on the road! Question for you – what’s your dream girls night out?

XoXo,

Rachel

In Review: Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill

Read full article | 5 Comments

[source]

This past month, the lovely people from Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill gifted me with a club membership. Since I had an amazing experience when visiting their space downtown, I was ecstatic to give their new club a try.

Chestnut Hill is totally blowing up lately with healthy offerings! Plus it’s close enough to my Brookline apartment for me to easily commute via public transportation.

The Amenities

Upon walking in, as expected, I was in awe of how beautiful the space was. The locker rooms alone deserve a separate post in itself! They have everything you could possibly need post-workout from lotion to hair dryers to deodorant. Their showers have all the essentials including razors, shaving cream, and high-end yummy smelling shampoos & conditioners. I absolutely adore the brand of beauty care they use by (MALIN + GOETZ) utilizing natural ingredients that are good for your skin.

Not to mention the roomy sauna and eucalyptus-infused steam room that totally blew my mind! I won’t lie: one day I took the trip just to give myself a mini “spa day” at the Sports Club/LA women’s locker room that is. In my defense, I was feeling a little stuffed up and was totally craving some R&R.

Other perks include an on-site cafe, nutrition services and childcare.

The Fitness

Now let’s get to the good stuff; you know like what you came here for in the first place! First and foremost, I must comment on how clean and spacious the club is. Everything is available on the same level so there’s no running around from weights to yoga class back to the locker room. It’s all in one convenient area to make your trip to the gym as stress-free as possible, because that’s what it should be, right?

They have everything, and I mean everything. From free weights to isolated machines, special treadmills (with gripping to make it more like “running on the road”) to every workout machine you could imagine (stair-climber, elliptical, you name it), Sports Club/LA has it all.

While I was super impressed by the club’s offerings, the group fitness classes are what stole my heart. During the month, I tried a few fitness classes to really get the full club experience. My favorites were Rev & Rock with Ike Ajoku and Rev & OM with Cara Gilman. As you can see, I’m on a spinning kick lately!

Ike’s class was a blast, and you could tell he really enjoys teaching and riding to the beat of the music. He was super motivational, and his class was a great mix of sweaty and fun (dream blend in my mind).

Cara’s Rev & Om class was a breath of fresh air, as I’ve never thought to combine spinning and yoga before. I love yoga. I love spinning. And as expected I loved Rev & Om! The spinning portion was a sweaty 45-minute ride with great music and Cara’s yogi-inspired motivations throughout. She’s literally a ball of joy, smiling throughout the entire class with her little pony swinging to the beat of the music as she kept up with the class.

After 45-minutes of sweating, we cooled down with a vinyasa flow in the yoga studio. I must say: it felt AMAZING to stretch and breathe after moving my legs so much previously. My hips and thighs definitely thanked me later! I really liked her adjustment during child’s pose and Savasana that left me feeling rejuvenated and at ease. I’ve taken Cara’s yoga classes before, so I knew it’d be exactly what I was looking for!

Overall, Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill was everything I expected and more! I’d recommend anyone who lives or works in the area to take a trip and see what it’s all about. I assure you: you certainly won’t be dissapointed.

Note: Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill gave me a complimentary one-month membership to try out their club to review. However, I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.

I Sweat For a Cure with New Balance Lace Up 365

Read full article | 2 Comments

#LaceUp365

Last month, I was invited by the lovely folks at New Balance to participate in the launch of their Lace Up 365 program to celebrate their 25th anniversary of their partnership with Susan G Komen.

To honor those who have been affected by breast cancer, Lace Up 365 was born so supporters could dedicate their workouts to breast cancer survivors (featured on New Balance’s site daily) simply by hash-tagging #LaceUp365.

And to kick off this fabulous, feel-good campaign, New Balance invited bloggers to participate in some of the newest & hottest workouts all around the city of Boston: Barry’s Bootcamp, November Project, The Handle Bar and Yoga at NB Fitness. Sweating it out for a good cause? I’m IN!

Before the event, I was sent a pair of pink New Balance sneaks, a pair of pants and some shirts with the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure logo. I absolutely love my super-bright pink sneaks, which I wear proudly & think of someone to dedicate my workout to every time I sport ‘em!

Each event started with a special gathering where we heard from a New Balance representative, as well as the beautiful & inspiring stories of a few survivors! We were also given little goodie bags with essentials like much-needed water, a face towel and some nutrition bars. From there, we were off to the workouts!

I was lucky enough to join for both Barry’s Bootcamp  and The Handle Bar.

Class Recaps

Barry’s Bootcamp

The first class I took was at Barry’s Bootcamp, and I was thrilled to join as they just opened in Boston! I had only taken one class here before, and was excited to take it with one of the studio managers, Dustin, himself. I knew I was in for a treat aka. a super sweaty, challenging class. And Dustin definitely delivered!

Just to paint the picture for you all: when you walk into the room, the lights are dark with club-like lighting and the music is blaring. On this special event, however, we were lucky to have a DJ dropping the beats for the 60-minute class. You then shuffle around the room to either hop on a treadmill or snag your space on the floor. But don’t worry, it doesn’t matter too much, because you alternate positions throughout the class (roughly 30 minutes on each in 15 minute increments)!

I started on the floor i.e. strength training. Before the class began, Dustin had us dedicate the class to someone we know who has been affected by cancer. Immediately, I dedicated mine to my beloved Grandma Carol (who passed away a few years ago) and it was ON!

On the floor portion of class, we did a mix of lunges, deadlifts, chest-presses, dumbbell curls, push ups, planks and all that good stuff! Let’s just say, I was certainly feeling the burn. As for the treadmill, it’s not anything like running on a treadmill at the gym! From jogs to full out sprints (think: double digits), hills to flat roads, the workout was anything but boring. Let’s just say: I was drenched in sweat. But the strength training portion was definitely more challenging for me personally, since as I runner I was more conditioned for the tread.

Overall, I highly recommend Barry’s if you want a killer full-body workout (with fabulous coach-like instructors cheering you on) in just 60 minutes of your time! It’s so worth it.

The Handle Bar

I’ve been to The Handle Bar a few times, and the main perks that stand out to me is a. their super friendly vibe b. their fabulous, cheerful instructors and c. their music.

Not once have I gone to a class there & been dissapointed. It’s the worst when you take spin and the music stinks or the instructor is less-than-motivating. Bummer. Not at The Handle Bar! I also love their clean, chic look and welcoming vibe which is important to me as a customer.

This class was extra-special since I got to take it with the owner, Jess, for my first time! Not only is Jess super cute & spunky, but she’s super motivating and plays killer music to boot. Score.

Read my full review of The Handle Bar indoor cycling studio here!

Sending a giant bear hug & a huge thank you to New Balance & Susan G Komen for putting together these events and making this campaign come to life! I encourage all of you to participate in this campaign, by dedicate your daily workouts to a survivor or someone special in your life. Use hashtag #LaceUp365 to participate!


Raising The Bar (and Sweating it Out) at Boston’s Newest Spin Studio: The Handle Bar

Read full article | 3 Comments

Spinning has quickly become one of my favorite exercises of late. Why’s that, you ask? Well of course I love a good, sweat-inducing, body-sculpting workout, but that’s not the main reason why I’ve fallen in love with spin. What really put me head over heels is the way it makes me feel. There’s nothing like 45+ juicy minutes of straight-up adrenaline mixed with loud beats pumping through the speakers to get you motivated!

Thus far, I’ve been taking classes at Recycle Studio which I adore for their top-notch teachers and comfortable, boutique feel. (Take Christina’s class…she’ll make you sweat ’til the very end) But unfortunately there aren’t many other spin studios around the Boston area, especially for those who don’t live right in the city.

That’s why I was super excited for the opening of The Handle Bar, the city’s newest spin studio located in South Boston (right off Broadway Station on the Red Line.) And I was lucky enough to be invited to try the class with up to 10 of my friends (spin shoe rental included.) SCORE!

While The Handle Bar isn’t right in Downtown Boston, it’s just a quick 10 minute trip from Park Street Station, making it super easy for commuters to get to class. Upon walking in, I was amazed by beautiful decor and great attention to detail. It definitely wasn’t your typical gym ambience; rather is was warm, inviting, edgy and hip. You know, it sort of makes you want to sit down and stay a while.

[earplugs & hair ties on the house!]

Not to mention, the owner Jess is an absolute sweetheart and just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out! We had met once before, and she quickly ran over to give me a big hug and greet the group. Not only does Jess manage the studio, but she totally walks to talk too as one of their talented instructors.

After being greeted, we filled out some quick waivers (easy, peasy) and then were asked for our shoe size to get our spin shoes. I had never spun with actual clip-on spin shoes (that clip into the bike pedals) as I usually just wear my clunky running shoes that slip in. But these bikes were high-tech, not to mention brand new. So we had to get geared up properly!

When I walked into the studio, I was in awe. With 30 bikes, large mirrors and squeaky-clean, brand new equipment, I had never seen anything quite like it. It was spacious, open and just plain innovative. It got me even more excited to get my ride on!

Jess and our spin teacher Ch’ien walked around the room to help everyone get their bikes set up, and Ch’ien introduced himself and explained the workout. Then the lights went off, the shades were closed and it was time to get the party started!

I really enjoyed Ch’ien’s class, as he mixed in his own style making it different than your typical spin class. He teaches on a scale of 1 to 4 zone, 4 being in his own words: “You want to punch me in the face.” I absolutely loved his energy, loud music (with lots of club-style remixes and even a little Spice Girls thrown in) and overall style of teaching. Definitely kept the crowd moving their legs (and entertained with his bursts of humor!)

The added arm workouts — utilizing a weighted bar — differentiates The Handle Bar from other spin classes too. Plus, it gives your arms a killer burn as you spin your little legs away!

I will certainly be back for more, and can’t wait to give the other instructors a try too! I’ve been told they’ve all got their own unique style and bring something different to the table, er, handle bar each & every class.

Want to see what The Handle Bar is all about for yourself? View their full schedule here to sign up for a class! Single classes are $20 plus a $2 shoe rental.

Sweat, Smile & Dance Your Butt Off: Try Zumba at The Z Spot Boston

Read full article | 1 Comment

I try to live a pretty balanced life (as much as I can). I eat clean foods that make my body feel really good, but also indulge in the occasional burger and the more-than-occasional glass of red wine with dark chocolate. I love running & signing  up for local races, but I also enjoy going on long walks with The Boy or my girlfriends just to catch up. I’m known to ask a million questions and “talk too much,” but I’m also a really great friend and a darn god listener. I’m not a “vegetarian” nor am I a “meat-eater.” I adore the fast-paced, buzzing city-living in Boston, but my roots are back home on our family’s lake-house in CT. I’m a little bit of everything… the best of both worlds.

sweetgreen, the super-sweet company I work for here in Boston (if you don’t know of ‘em yet you need to visit their site ASAP), believes in this concept of balance but also takes it one step further. They say that true greatness happens when passion and purpose intersect. Passion x Purpose. Passion meets purpose.  My list includes writing x inspiring others, connecting x making people feel better, eating clean x feeling energized, learning x growing and love x happiness.

And when it comes to working out for me it’s sweaty workouts x having a blast. After all, what’s the point in exercising if you aren’t having a little bit of fun along the way? I can’t think of a better workout that leaves you dripping in sweat and with a smile on your face than Zumba, the dance-inspired workout craze. So when some of the sweetgreen team was up visiting Boston from DC, I knew I just had to take them to The Z Spot Zumba.

The Z Spot, located at 121 E. Berkeley Street in the South End, offers a number of both weekday and weekend classes alike. I love its boutique feel, and generous sized, bright fitness room with plenty of natural lighting. I took my first class there a few weeks ago with the lovely Nicole D (I posted a pic here) and simply had a blast. Ladies, I think I am going to be hooked!

I didn’t really know what to expect going into it, as it’s been a few years since I’ve taken Zumba but it was just a fun as I remembered. For those who are “awkward”, clumsy or have no rhythm whatsoever, no worries as that’s totally me too. But fortunately Nicole did a great job of encouraging us to listen to our bodies and move to the music (even if that means making up your own moves!) Plus, Nicole made it super fun for the whole group with her energetic voice and words (well, shouts) of encouragement. Every time you look up she’s up there radiating her permanent grin right back at you!

During class, I noticed a chalkboard in the studio, where students can write down positive notes regarding what they took away from class. Totally up my alley! It was so neat to read different comments from those who are just getting back into working out to a woman who used Zumba to heal from a rough breakup. No matter where you are coming from, one thing is certain: you leave the class feeling better about yourself. And what’s not to love about that?

So what did the sweetgreen crew think of this wild, sweaty dance fest?

They absolutely loved it, of course! The team was super inspired by Nicole’s contagious energy and had a blast moving to the music & getting their Zumba on. Even the dudes couldn’t stop talking about it! I’m telling you – Zumba really is for anyone and everyone!

Schedule your first class at The Z Spot Zumba today! P.S. Boston ladies – sweetgreen will be opening their doors next week on Boylston St in the Back Bay. If you love to eat good, local organic food that actually tastes good, you’re sure to fall in love as I have!

 
Loading...
Get on my list to receive FREE weekly bursts of healthspiration (plus my 11 Secrets For True Weight Loss!)