Sante Fitness and Wellness GIVEAWAY

A couple of weeks ago I had the awesome opportunity to participate in a rooftop twilight yoga session at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis, hosted by Sante Fitness and Wellness, with other local influencers and friends.

yoga-chase-group

All photos in post taken by local photographer Megan Magray.

The view was spectacular, the yoga was relaxing, and the entire experience was perfect.  I love love love being outside, and I definitely don’t make enough time in my life for yoga.  It was fun to see a couple of familiar faces, Clare and Katie, who I hadn’t seen in awhile.

clare katie

We reconnected and took obligatory blogger photos together.

linking up with healthy diva life

Our hosts really went all out for us. They provided a lovely spread of fruits and vegetables, had refreshing cucumber water, made delicious smoothies that are offered at Sante (the “thinny mint” was the best!), and ensured each detail was attended to for making our visit unforgettable.

santewellness

Sante Fitness and Wellness focuses on Fitness, Wellness, and Balance for their members.  They have state-of-the-art fitness equipment, wifi, complimentary locker service and covered parking.  Their facility is exquisite and spacious with 18,000 square feet.

It was the perfect night for yoga.  It was a clear evening with temperatures celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  We had time before yoga began to enjoy the views, stretch out, and chat with one another.

chase-rooftop

The energy was casual and relaxed, just as yoga should be, and our instructor from Sante, Ashley, did a great job feeding off the mood.  She let us know this would be an average yoga class; it was fine for beginners, and more advanced yogis had the options to take the poses to the next level.

yoga-rooftop

Being so busy with the beginning of school, yoga felt particularly good to be able to focus on nothing more than breathing, stretching, holding poses, letting go mentally, and taking in the beautiful scenery.  It was just what I needed!

yoga-pigeon

As class continued, the sun was setting which was magnificent from the rooftop.  Apparently Sante Fitness and Wellness hosts rooftop classes every month, and not just yoga either!  Spinning is another option that would be a lot of fun to take.  For my participation in the event, I received a free week at Sante. I’m trying to figure out a good time to utilize it, so I can go a few times.  There are additional group fitness classes that they offer that I’d love to try including yoga, pilates, kettlebell, cycle, aqua, and more.  The facility is beautiful and they have a few different membership options, as well as student rates.

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Our view on the rooftop by the end of yoga.

One lucky Itz Linz reader will win a one-month Gold Membership at Sante Fitness and Wellness at the Chase Park Plaza.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you want to try Sante (mandatory).  Additional optional entries include:

Be sure to comment on this post to have the extra entries counted!  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm CST.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, October 7, 2016.  Winner must be a local resident, age 18 or older, and be able to redeem membership by 12/31/16.

Congrats to Drew! Enjoy your month at Sante!

Disclaimer: Through my partnership with ALIVE Influencer Network, I was provided the yoga class and one week to Sante free of charge.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bang For Your Buck Workout

It’s no secret that I’m short on time.  My fitness level is nowhere near where I’d like it to be, but I do what I can when I can.  Something is better than nothing.  I’ve never been an all or nothing kind of person – a little bit here, a little bit there, get your body moving is what it’s all about.  Most weeks, I’m able to squeeze in a quick 15 minute workout before school with my coworkers.  I like to get to the gym on the weekends if I have time.  I’ve made it to the gym twice in these last two weeks.

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And you betchya I’ve taken a gym selfie both times!  Gotta prove to the world that I haven’t lost my fitness completely!  (Clearly, I’m joking.)  But I do like to document my gym visits since they’re kind of few and far between right now.

gymselfie

Since my time to workout is not unlimited anymore, I’ve really got to get the most bang for my buck while I’m there.  I’m a big fan of compound exercises – moves that work more than one body part at a time.  My workouts are short, but get my heart pumping, my blood flowing, and my sweat dripping!

I usually start with some cardio to warm up, 10 – 20 minutes on the stairs, elliptical, or incline walking on the treadmill.  Then, I do a total body workout.  I make sure to stretch after, whether it’s at the gym or my house, since my muscles are pretty tight after working out.  Here’s the ultimate bang for your buck workout – this works your entire body with just a set of dumbbells in FIVE moves.  (Don’t underestimate it!)  The moves may sound complex, but I’ve explained them below the graphic.

bang for your buck workout

Bang For Your Buck Workout

  1. Squat with Front Raise: Take one dumbbell (or a kettlebell if that’s an option) and hold it between your legs.  Squat down, and as you come up, swing your arms forward, squeeze your glutes, and make your arms parallel with your shoulders.  Do NOT go higher and stay in control of your movement.
  2. Lunge with Bicep Curl: I prefer walking lunges.  Curl your dumbbells up when you go down in your lunge being careful your knee is on top of your toe (and not past it).
  3. Push Up with Tricep Kickback:  Do a push up and keep your core tight.  While in the plank position, grab one dumbbell, row up and kick back.  Repeat on your other side.  Push up.  Tricep kickback on both sides.  Try to keep your hips square and not rock back and forth.
  4. Plie Squat with Lateral Raise: Turn your toes out, so you’re in a plie position.  Plie squat down while simultaneously doing a lateral raise.  Again, your arms should not go higher than your shoulders.  Keep a slight bend in your elbows to avoid locking them.
  5. One Legged Dumbbell Row: Balancing on one leg, hinge forward, but keep your chest lifted.  Your arms should be directly below your chest, palms facing each other.  Row up (while remaining balanced) and squeeze your shoulder blades together.  Do 7 on one leg, then switch legs.

I’m telling you, you work your WHOLE BODY on this one!  My goal is to get through three sets of the whole workout, and trust me when I tell you that you will feel it in every inch of your body the next day!  So, if you don’t have a lot of time (or equipment) to workout, don’t even worry about it.  Give this bang for your buck workout a shot and thank me later!

What does your workout schedule look like these days?

how to get 10,000 steps as a full-time working mom

I’m going to be real with y’all today, friends.  I always try to be real, but today especially.  There are a million different kinds of fitness trackers these days, and it seems like everyone has one.  Everyone is competing against each other, against themselves to achieve that magic number – 10,000 – steps each day.  As a full-time working mom and as a fourth grade teacher, I always thought OF COURSE I reach that number.  Without a doubt, no questions asked, I’m sure I get 10,000 steps each day.

And then I got my first activity tracker.  Boy, was I wrong.  By like several thousand!  I could not believe it!  How was that possible? I feel like I’m on my feet all day long!  Well, it turns out, 10,000 steps is a lot, a whole heck of a lot of steps.

If you workout everyday, the 10,000 steps per day goal is a lot more achievable, in my opinion.  I do think you should be doing more than just cardio (lift those weights, ladies!), but if you have time to workout everyday, then you have time to get to steppin’!  When I was home for the summer, I always reached my step goal because I took so many walks, sometimes multiple times a day!  I loved it!  But now I’m back to work…

how to get 10,000 steps as a busy full time working mom

That photo is the picture of REAL LIFE.  It was after a busy (always!) day of work.  My makeup is mostly worn off.  My roots are in dire need of a touch up.  My dirty hair is sloppily thrown up.  I look tired.  But I’ve got my baby boy in my arms, we’re happy and healthy, so what more can I ask for?

Wearing my new Polar Loop 2 activity tracker has really opened my eyes to how easy it can be to be more sedentary than active, but it has also rejuvenated me in setting a fitness goal.  Being a mom is HARD for a variety of reasons.  Being a full-time working mom is another huge challenge (that’s a whole other post for another time!).  One major obstacle is time.  The mere fact that I work nine hours each day greatly limits my ability to freely go to the gym, head out on a run, or workout how or when I please.  Before and after work I have William.  I’m not complaining by any measure, simply stating facts.  So this has forced me to get creative with how I get my 10,000 steps each day.  And I’ll be honest: it doesn’t happen every day, but since I’ve set it as my goal, it’s happening more often than not.

How to Get 10,000 Steps as a Full-Time Working Mom

Take advantage of what your work offers.

teampolar

I’d be willing to bet that most work places talk about fitness or healthy living in some capacity.  Whether it’s having a gym on site, setting up challenges between staff members, or having various incentives for different programs, more and more work places want their employees to be healthy.  Healthy people lead to increased productivity.  That’s a fact.  For me, it’s a quick 15-minute workout twice a week.  My principal is awesome in that she allows the staff members to workout on Monday and Wednesday mornings before the students come.  One teacher leads these workouts.  A major bonus for us is that we get to wear workout clothes all day if we participate in the workout!  It’s a great way to get moving early, build muscle, stretch your body, and foster camaraderie among the staff.

Get up every 15 minutes.

Set your fitness tracker to alert you during periods of inactivity.  Even if you walk across the room or go get a drink of water, those are that many more steps you are adding to your day.  And if you do that several times a day or even an hour?  Way more steps!  It doesn’t take that much longer either!  Build these routines into your day until they become habitual.

Move with your kids!

team polar

At school, my students create “WODs,” workout of the day.  Most days (when I’m not in a skirt or dress), I participate in it with them.  It’s just three or four exercises that we use as a brain break during transition times.  Just like kids, we adults need to move, too!  Another fabulous brain break that we love is GoNoodle.com.  If you’re a teacher or a mom, check it out.  There are tons of short clips that lead students in different dances, songs, moves, and exercises.  It’s a blast, and you better believe I do it right along with my students!

At home, I move with William all the time!  He sees his momma moving, so he wants to be active!  I love it!  I’m so not a mom to plop my kiddo in front of the tv.  He’s 18-months and has so much to learn and explore.  Sometimes he plays on the foam roller while I might be doing lunges or some other exercise.  A couple of nights ago we were playing with the ping pong paddles and balls.  He would throw a ball to me and I would hit it as far as I could in the basement.  While he was retrieving the ball, I would literally sprint around the ping pong table as many times as I could before he was ready for another round.  I was breathing hard, William was cracking up, and we played this for a really long time!  Eventually, it turned into us chasing each other around the ping pong table.  It was a lot of fun and my steps were adding up!

Be conscientious of how you get places.

Park your car farther away.  Take the longer walking route.  Use the stairs.  You’ve heard those ideas before.  Now do it!  Small changes yield big results.

Get outside!

stroller polar

I’ve already mentioned how much I love taking walks.  After work can be tricky these days because William is so exhausted from school.  If I walk too long, he will fall asleep in the stroller which will mess up bedtime that we worked so hard on.  Many days, we can squeeze in a quick walk though!

FINISH YOUR STEPS!

polar 10k

Ok, I’ll be honest.  If I’m really close to hitting that 10,000 mark after William goes to sleep, I will literally walk around my house, robe, slippers, and all until I reach that goal.  Achieving a goal feels SO good.

Now let me tell you about my most favorite fitness tracker – the Polar Loop 2.  Most importantly, it comes in three colors: white, black, and pink.  I like the way it looks; it’s a sleek design and not bulky at all.  Also, it comes in one size and you cut it to make it fit perfectly.  It’s easy to take on and off, and it stays on without a problem.  The features:

  • Activity Tracking: steps, calories, activity, sleep, heart rate (with hr sensor)
  • Waterproof: use it while swimming
  • Mobile Connectivity: seamless communication via Bluetooth smart sensors to Polar Flow App on mobile devices
  • Vibration Alert: be alerted for periods of inactivity and smart notifications
  • Smart Notifications: get notifications of incoming calls, messages, and calendar reminders

Even better, you can get your Polar Loop 2 now using the discount code POLARFITBLOG.  The code is case-sensitive.  This code provides 20% off of any Polar Heart Rate Monitor or activity tracker. There is no quantity limit. The code is good online at Polar.com. The code is only good in the US. It expires on 12/31/15.

What are you waiting for?! Order your activity tracker and GET MOVING!

every little bit counts

Do you use an activity tracker? How do you reach 10,000 steps a day?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Polar.

Balance + Strength Workout

I’ve mentioned on here before how the teachers at the school where I teach workout in the mornings twice a week for fifteen minutes.  The incentive is to build community among the staff, encourage healthy habits, and lead by example.  We talk to the students about moving their bodies, so it’s important that we do, too.  Plus, if you workout in the morning, you get to wear workout clothes for the day which is a pretty sweet perk.  Especially if you’re someone like me who prefers to live in yoga pants.

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The idea between the fifteen minute workout is that it’s enough time to get moving, but not enough time to get completely drenched in sweat.  Though if the ac isn’t on in the gym like yesterday morning, the sweat thing is a different story.  Anyway, usually our PE teacher leads the workouts, but I fill in when he’s unavailable.  I love planning them, and have one to share with you all.  I think it’s great because all you need is a light set of dumbbells and it focuses a lot on balance.  Balance, like endurance and strength, is a fundamental concept and should not be neglected when working out.  Here’s the Balance + Strength Workout:

balance strength workout

For more information on each exercise, please click below:

Seriously, fifteen minutes makes a difference.  It’s much better than nothing, it’s enough time to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing, and it’s all about what you can when you can!

Photo of my teammates and I from last week:

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On Wednesdays we workout!  And we wear pink! 😉

You’ve got fifteen minutes to workout – which exercises will you do?

National Stroller Running Day #StrollerRun15

I’m so excited to be participating in and sharing the details of National Stroller Running Day #StrollerRun15!  Last year for the first Stroller Run, I wasn’t running and William was too small to take for a jog.  This year, we’re both more than ready!  Read below for all the information:

stroller

ABOUT NATIONAL STROLLER RUNNING DAY

National Stroller Running Day will be held annually. It is a day when active parents everywhere declare their commitment to family fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.

Katie McFarland, an award winning fitness blogger of Moms Little Running Buddies, is the brainchild behind National Stroller Running Day.  She felt that a day should be dedicated to stroller runners and their commitment to living a healthy lifestyle with their families in tow.    A winning team of industry leaders is supporting Katie in her efforts.  National Stroller Running Day is sponsored by the leading manufacturer of high-quality strollers for active families, BOB.

We encourage stroller runners to join in by planning a run with other active parents, spreading the running bug with friends, signing up for a stroller-friendly and/or a family-friendly race, or just getting out and exercising with their family on Sunday, May 31st .  The way we’ll know you’re participating is by posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using the hashtag #StrollerRun15.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • May 4, 2015: BOB Favorite Photos Instagram Contest – BOB Stroller runners can snap a picture; StrollerRun and Momslrb for a chance to win a cool BOB accessory.
  • May 11, 2015: BOB Fitness Center Introduction – Feature post on Microsite highlighting many of the fitness center features and uses for fit moms and dads.
  • May 18, 2015: BOB Stroller Safety and Fitness BLOG HOP – Blog posts about ways their strollers help them stay fit which will include links to BOB Fitness Center and the Microsite
  • May 26, 2015: Twitter Chat with BOB and Fitness Experts and FitMoms – Highlighting resources of the Fitness Center and MomsLittleRunningBuddy.com (One Stroller and One Accessory Giveaway) More details coming soon!
  • May 31, 2015: STROLLER RUNNING DAY and Club MomMe “Stroll n Run 5K” in Los Angeles, CA
  • June 5, 2015: Event Recap and Winners Revealed

PRIZES & PARTNERSHP

The National Stroller Running Day campaign will include the opportunity to win BOB strollers, accessories and #StrollerRun15 gear.

Twitter Chat

There will also be an opportunity to win a BOB Stroller or an accessory during the twitter chat temporarily scheduled for May 25, 2015.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Who will participate in National Stroller Running Day 2015? #StrollerRun15

A Big Racing Announcement

Timing is everything.  Figuratively and literally.  In running and in life.  The time must be right.  Well, let me tell you something.  The time is right.  The time is right now!

The time has come.  It’s time for me to run a race.

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A half marathon, to be exact.  Go big or go home, right?

Back in February, my best friend Barbie called me up shortly after I announced my fitness goal for 2015.  She said, “Let’s sign up for the Go! St. Louis half marathon!”  Say what?!?  I hadn’t even run once in three years at this point.  She’s always full of crazy ideas.  In 2006 when we were both away at our perspective colleges and I was feeling homesick, she suggested we both sign up for the Go! half marathon.  Barbie has always been a runner competing in cross country and track throughout high school.  Me?  Not so much.  Running was what I did during sports, not as a sport.  But, since I trusted my best friend and figured I had nothing to lose, I said, “Why not?” and signed up.

I knew nothing about running back then.  The longest I trained was six miles, and that was long for me.  I remember calling Barbie after almost every run and telling her how many miles I completed. She was proud regardless if it was one or five.  She stayed with me that whole race (including the many walking breaks I requested/needed), and even convinced me to sign up again the following year.  We made it a tradition to run that race every year, and it’s happened more times than not.

Fast forward to this year.  First time running in over three years.  I’ve been (mostly) loving it, and have run a total of six times.  And, you bet, they’re all documented!

training

Well, just the other week a company I love reached out for a partnership for the Go! St. Louis Fitness Weekend.  When I explained that I was already registered for the half marathon, they offered a sponsorship.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is sponsoring my comeback half marathon!  To say I’m excited is an understatement.  I was ecstatic before, and now I can hardly contain myself!  Why Chipotle?  Well, Chipotle has an appreciation for living an active lifestyle, just as they have an appreciation for fueling up with food made from great ingredients.  So, it makes sense, and it’s perfect timing!

chipotle

Follow Chipotle on Twitter & Instagram!

Everyone loves Chipotle.  I have never met anyone who doesn’t like it.  In fact, my little brother Justin is so obsessed with Chipotle and eats it so often that he e-mailed them requesting they create a breakfast menu featuring eggs, so he can not only eat Chipotle for lunch and dinner, but breakfast, too.  The love is real.

Back to running.

What’s my goal for this half marathon?  Since my training has been so sporadic (running once a week while training for a distance race is less than ideal), my goal is simply to cross the finish line.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to get close to the two-hour mark, but when I achieved that in the past, I had put in long hours of hard work and many, many miles.  My very first half marathon was two hours forty-something minutes, so I’d definitely like to beat that… by a lot.

Truly, my goal is to cross the finish line.  I’m sure I’ll have to take walking breaks, but that would be amazing if I didn’t or if they were minimal.  Mostly, I’d like to enjoy racing again; it’s something I’ve missed and craved for so long.

In just a few days, it’ll be time to wake up before the sun, tie my shoes, drive downtown, find my spot among thousands of other runners, feed off their energy, dig in deep, and go!  All with this girl by my side…

You better believe we’ll be stuffing our faces refueling with Chipotle right after.

It’s a crazy idea, but I’m up for the challenge, and excited to race!

What races are you signed up for this spring?

Brick House Boxing & Bells in St. Charles

A couple of weeks ago, my blogging friend Ashley and I took a private boxing class at Brick House Boxing & Bells in St. Charles, Missouri.  I had only taken a boxing class one time prior, but this was even better because it was so personalized.  It was a full body workout that left me crazy sore the following day!

boxing3

All photos courtesy of Ashley.

And clearly I had a lot of fun as evidenced by all my smiling photos.

Brick House Boxing & Bells is located inside Dudas Fitness, a private and semi-private personal training facility, and run by Matt Dickson.  Matt has a lot of experience and background as his dad was a boxer (a National Golden Gloves Champion!), and Matt competed in the Ringside World Championships in 2007 and 2008 taking second place both times.  Additionally, Matt is a Certified Personal Trainer through AFAA and NCCPT, and has his Kettlebell Certification through the WKC.  He knows what he’s talking about!

While we had more of a private class, Matt teaches boxing classes throughout the week.  He typically keeps his class sizes between 6-8 participants, so everyone receives individual attention. This ensures that there is minimal wait time between drills and he can check often to maintain safe exercises.

Ashley made an AWESOME video to show our workout.  She took clips for each part (warm up, learning technique, bags, stations, intervals, and mitts), so you can get a glimpse at everything we did.  And as a bonus, she also shares three healthy salad dressings – perfect for spring and summer!  Take a look:

Subscribe to Ashley’s You Tube channel as she frequently comes out with new videos!

To summarize our workout (but you get a much better idea if you watch the short video), we warmed up (and Matt told me I had the best lunge he had ever seen – woot woot!), we learned proper techniques of jabs, crosses, and uppercuts, and then we went to the bags.  Matt had us do different combinations of the punches with some calisthenics in between.  So he basically never gave us a chance to rest!

linking up with amanda for thinking out loud today

My favorite station that was different than merely hitting the bag was when you got on your knees, pushed the bag out, went down to the ground, and got back up before the 100-pound bag swung back.  It was challenging, especially as I became more tired, but fun to make sure I got out of the way and not whacked in the face with the bag!

After we were on the bags, he set up four stations which we rotated through a couple of times.  Then, we did intervals of wall sits, exploding to the bag, and punching.  Finally, we ended the class with “mitts” which was, by far, the best part.

boxing

The whole workout was intense, but don’t let that scare you.  Matt carefully watched us to ensure proper form as safety is a priority.  No matter if you’re new to working out or an expert, I guarantee you’ll have fun and sweat in this class.

Matt wore the mitts and we took turns as he coached us through various drills.  We were constantly moving and Matt kept changing up the combination of punches.  And if anyone ever thought that boxing only worked your upper body, they were wrong!  Lower body is an important part as you’re always moving, and sometimes ducking to avoid being hit.  Yes, Matt tried to hit us.

boxing duck

Clearly, I wasn’t scared of him. 😉

While part of mitts included Matt telling us specific combinations of punches (jab, jab, cross), the last part was hitting his mitts and not letting him get behind us.  We needed to move around the room with some fancy footwork, punch him back, and avoid getting hit.  This was so much fun and my heart rate skyrocketed during this activity!

I only have positive things to say about Matt and the facility.  The workout included such a variety of exercises and moves that my entire body felt it for the next couple of days.  It was a change of pace from traditional weights and cardio, and was an absolute blast.  I love how different the workout was; it wasn’t just hitting a bag.  I highly recommend you check out Brick House Boxing & Bells inside Dudas Fitness with Matt Dickson.

I’ll definitely be back.  Not only was it fun and a killer workout, but it was incredibly motivating.  I want to get better.  I want my punches to get harder and crisper.  I want to get faster.  I want to get stronger.  And I want to hit.

boxing4

Have you ever taken a boxing class before?

TWICE!

We had a great weekend over here, and I hope you all did, too!  Weekends are always fabulous, but even more so when William is healthy, I’m productive, and TWICE I got to go to a workout class.  That’s right, TWICE!  I treated myself to a workout both days, and it was faaaaantastic!  More on that in a second; let’s back up since today is Monday, so I’m linking up for Marvelous in my Monday and Weekend Snapshots.

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Always making my soul happy with this little baby.  Although he’s not so little anymore!  Doesn’t that Polo make him look super old?  That Polo was my nephew Jacob’s, and when William wears it, he looks so much like Jacob did when he was little.  I’ll have to do a side by side picture to compare the two.

Speaking of Jacob… he turned six last week and my sister threw him a surprise birthday party with our family.  Apparently he had been asking for one, so that’s what he got!

jacobs 6birthday

Family is the best.  He had his party with friends over the weekend, so Audrey stayed the night on Saturday night, which, of course, we loved.  There was baking, playing, singing, and more.  I take about a million videos when she interacts with William because, seriously, it’s the most hilarious thing ever.  She alternates between acting like she’s fifteen and taking care of him and then the three year old that she is and gets mad when he takes her toys or won’t share with her.

But she doesn’t really get mad at him.  I mean, how could she?

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On Saturday, I took a hot yoga class at Yoga Six.  I love bikram yoga, and while this wasn’t bikram, it was still awesome.  It was fast paced, and I was dripping with sweat by the end.  Literally, dripping.  Not only did it give me a good stretch, but it was also a killer workout as my muscles could feel it later that day.  I’ll definitely be back.

After my hot yoga class, I ventured to Whole Foods where I picked up two bottles of this Suja green juice for five bucks!  Juice, especially Suja, is usually pretty pricey, so I was stoked to find this deal.  The King of Greens juice contains apple, celery, cucumber, kale, collards, lemon, ginger, spinach, chlorella, and spirulina.

suja juice

Very refreshing after hot yoga!

On Sunday, I attended my third Bar Method class.  I went with my cousin Becca, and we both agreed the class was challenging.  Those tiny movements sure do burn!  It was fun to catch up and have a workout buddy.  Catching up with friends while working out is the best.  I would much rather take a fitness class with a friend rather than grab coffee or lunch.  Best of both worlds when you combine friends with working out!

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My whole body was sore by late Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening.  It was sore in the best way, as it’s been a long time since I’ve done two consecutive days of hard workout classes.  LOVE!  Big thanks to Class Pass for making it so easy to find and take classes at studios I’m unfamiliar with.  I only have one week left of my membership, so hopefully I can take two more classes next weekend, too!

Little man has been working out, too.  Ok, not working out, but moving his little body and practicing his moves… especially his STANDING!

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Happy standing BIG baby!

How did you workout this weekend?

treat yourself to a workout

~ treat yourself to a workout ~

What do you think of that phrase?  What would you treat yourself to?  A workout?  Can a workout be a treat?  Let me explain my thoughts.  Simply put: YES!

My time is limited.  I work full-time and I have a very active ten month old baby.  When do I have time to workout?  When he sleeps?  In the morning?  In the evening?  What about all of my other obligations?  The house, laundry, cooking, cleaning, the list goes on.  You get my point.  I’m busy.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn; I know a lot of you out there are crazy busy, too.  Even if you’re not slammed every minute of every day, you can still treat yourself to a workout.

I used to workout on an almost daily basis.  I loved it.  I loved everything about it.  I loved challenging myself, getting stronger, improving my flexibility, running faster.  I loved how it made me feel, both during my workout and after.  While working out is not as big of a priority now as it once was, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have the desire.  The desire is there, the time is not.

Most weekends are pretty laid back.  However, if and when I do have someone watch William for just a couple of hours, I treat myself to a workout.

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Most recently, I attended another Bar Method class.  Since it’s a rarity that I actually do have a couple of hours to myself, I choose my activity wisely.  Sure, there are tasks I could get caught up on, and there are some things that I would like to do (get a manicure, pedicure, and massage, specifically).  However, treating myself to a workout provides numerous benefits.

Long term, it’s better for my health.  It makes me happy.  (Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Name that movie!)  While I do short workouts at home, nothing can compare to a solid sweat session.

Thanks to Class Pass, I am having fun trying new studios and different workout classes.  This weekend, I’m signed up for a yoga class in a heated room.  Recap to follow.

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My workout essentials for the day included my aluminum Class Pass water bottle, which I actually love a lot more than I thought I would.  I normally drink out of plastic water bottles (which I don’t ever love using plastic), but aluminum keeps the water so cold!  The new Detour Simple Salted Caramel Cookie Dough protein bar is fantastic.  With 20 grams of protein, it’s an awesome post-workout snack.  And I’m actually using my MizzFit socks as they’re intended instead of just bumming around the house!

Class Pass has it right with their motto:

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// be active // be happy // be you //

So true.

How do you treat yourself?

The Bar Method Workout

Have you ever thought you didn’t like something only to find that when you tried it again you actually did like it?  That’s happened to me lots of times.  With yoga.  With running.  With The Bar Method workout.  Lesson learned?  Don’t be too quick to judge and always give something more than once chance.

I have been given the opportunity to try ClassPass.  I’ll elaborate on that in another post, but long story short, I decided to try The Bar Method.  I thought I didn’t like The Bar Method, but turns out I was wrong.  Actually, I thought The Bar Method was a barre workout, and while I think there are some similarities, I like The Bar Method way better.

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A little bit about The Bar Method from their website:

The Bar Method boosts results by placing its exercises in a specific order. First, it organizes the sections of the class so that they alternate between the front and the back sides of the body, enabling students to tone one side of their body while they elongate the side they just worked. Then it slims down students’ bodies by placing the most aerobic exercises in the second half of class when students are very warmed up and are burning away body fat. These design elements give exceptional results by multiplying the benefits students’ get from each exercise. (source)

 

In other words?  It’s a great workout that totally works every muscle in your body!  Three-pound dumbbells never felt so heavy!  When I tried a barre class in the past, I quickly became very bored and thought the exercises were annoying (just being honest!).  The Bar Method was faster paced, and we were constantly changing exercises.  The Bar Method still does focus on small movements, but, baby, it burns! My arms really felt it later that day and the following couple of days!

Linking up with Healthy Diva because The Bar Method is a marvelous workout!

There are two Bar Method locations in St. Louis: Brentwood and Town & Country.  I went to the Brentwood location and was very impressed.  First of all, the studio is gorgeous!  I wouldn’t call many studios or gyms gorgeous, but this one really was.  They have huge windows which allows tons of natural light to stream in.  Everything is white, which seems risky for a workout place, but it feels super clean. The entire studio is spotless.

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Wearing my Pointe Studio socks from MizzFit.

Our instructor, Amanda, was incredible!  She was clearly knowledgeable about the exercises and was great at cueing, which was very much appreciated by a newbie like myself. Her directions were precise and kept reminding us what body part to focus on, what to squeeze, what to flex, what to point, etc.  Amanda constantly circulated the room to ensure the safety of all students and helped everyone make changes to maintain proper alignment. She was with me a lot… Boy, do those small changes make a big difference!

The class contained eight parts: Arm Work, Thigh Work, Seat Work, Round Back, Flat Back, Curl, Back Dancing, and Final Stretch, and I believe this sequence remains the same no matter where you take Bar Method.  (More information on The Exercises HERE.)  As I looked around the room, I was really impressed with some of the ladies’ flexibility and strength!  It was motivating to see so many different women in one room all working towards a common goal: better health.  That’s one of the main reasons I love group fitness classes; the energy is [usually] awesome and contagious. This was definitely true with The Bar Method.

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The Bar Method definitely left me wanting more. I want to improve my strength and flexibility (my hips are so tight!). I want to get better at the poses and work on my posture.

Have you ever tried The Bar Method? Thoughts?

*Disclaimer: Thanks to ClassPass, I was able to try The Bar Method free of charge.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.