This time of year is tough. These cold months between the holidays and the first day of spring are like one giant, perpetual Monday staring you in the face. I’m generally a pretty happy-go-lucky person, but when the chilly months roll around, my personality changes. I get down in the dumps over just about everything.
This time last year, I was living on the Florida coast, where I experienced my first sunny winter in over a decade. I’d always known I tended to fall into a funk each winter, but experiencing a January without snow made me realize just how tough a time I had each year. That Florida winter, I had plenty of energy and optimism — just like I do in the warmer months. When I’m living up north, a typical January for me usually means sleeping late, feeling hopeless and getting close to nothing accomplished. When I saw how good life can be year-round when winter blues aren’t part of the picture, I knew it was time to change how I approach the cold, slushy season. Keep reading »
I have a confession to make: ”Toned Up” is my new “guilty” pleasure — but I am unashamed.
My friend/workout buddy Kate introduced me to the show, which follows the lives of the ladies behind the Tone It Up fitness empire, and I’ve secretly gotten totally hooked. The show follows best friends Karena and Katrina (yeah, their names are really that similar), who started their exercise business together a few years ago. Yes, they are both model-gorgeous and do things like hold board meetings at the beach. But there’s a whole lot more to the women than that. Anyway, I’d certainly rather watch fitness gurus goof off on TV than angry housewives!
Here are just few reasons “Toned Up” is actually great: Keep reading »
While many people view their workout music as a deeply personal choice (I’m partial to “Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits” when I hit the treadmill), there’s a scientific reason that some songs get your blood pumping more than others. In addition to beats per minute (BPM) that match up to a person’s running stride and heart rate, workout jams need to have a steady or subtly escalating tempo, and a truly great workout song will also have lyrics that encourage you to push yourself harder mentally and physically. Spotify brought in a team of London-based sports psychologists to analyze 6.7 million user-created workout playlists, and used their findings to compile what they call the “Ultimate Workout Playlist,” which takes listeners from a warm-up to high intensity to strength training to cool down. Check out the 20 hot pop songs that made the cut, after the jump! (Spoiler alert: your Ke$ha obsession is probably paying off…) Keep reading »
The last time I did yoga was more than a decade ago, when a couple friends and I took a weekly class at the gym for a few months. Even then, I was kind of a slacker who lurked in the back of class muttering obscenities about downward dog (not sure if it’s big boobs or lack of arm strength, but that pose has always been SO uncomfortable for me). Recently, though, I’ve been yearning to give yoga another go and see if my adult self enjoys it more than my teenage self did. There are tons of great studios in my neighborhood. Right now, the only thing holding me back from packing up my yoga mat and actually going to class are a series of “what ifs”: What if everyone in the class is better than me? What if my outfit is dumb? What if I can’t hold the pose?
Luckily for me, my coworker and friend Ami just completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training, and is scheduled to teach her first class next month. She seemed like the perfect person to field my most pressing and ridiculous yoga questions without judgment. Here’s what she had to say about downward dog, baggy Weird Al t-shirts, and, yes, farting during class… Keep reading »
Last week, I wrote about Jen Selter, a 20-year-old Long Island woman who supposedly has the “best butt on Instagram.” While Jen does indeed have a fantastic derriere, I was more interested in what she told the New York Post about her booty pics: they are inspiring. I quote: “If [my Instagram account] motivates people to get their butts up and go to the gym, why not?” Jen Selter’s mom echoed the same sentiment. “I’m very proud of her because this is a girl who didn’t want to go to college, and she was able to build up this social media in such a way that she has become famous and she is an inspiration and motivation for so many people,” her mom said.
There are a few other fitness buffs who’ve called themselves inspirational to other women. A few months ago, Lea-Ann Ellison drew the Internet’s ire for posing for photos doing Crossfit training while eight months pregnant, specifically lifting heavy weights. In a post on Facebook, she wrote:
I can’t believe this photo has caused this much stir but it makes me hopeful that it will inspire other strong healthy moms to continue on doing what they love. Pregnancy is not an illness! Get it Moms!
Then, of course, there is Maria Kang, a mother of three young children who posted a picture of herself in a bikini alongside her kids with the tag line, ‘What’s your excuse?’ “I wanted to inspire people,” Maria told Yahoo Shine. “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’” Keep reading »