Fitness // January 12, 2015

Once the new year begins, usually the first thing on people’s minds are to make New Year's Resolutions. Maybe you’re making resolutions to spruce up your home or declutter your personal life, but more than likely there’s a resolution in there about fitness. People everywhere are pledging to do a little bit more with their workouts – go on a hike, buy a yoga mat, maybe even visit that fabled land they’d heard of where people put on spandex and run on hamster wheels. You know… the gym. Normally, the resolution involves the same old tricks and tactics that might pump you up for a few weeks but don’t genuinely fit your lifestyle, and eventually are as much a memory as the New Year’s confetti.

Instead of just adding a new (but doomed) routine to the mix what would you say if I told you I had discovered a whole new way to work out? Recently, I tried a game changing fitness system called IOBELLA. IOBELLA is a 30 minute workout in a heated pod followed by a relaxing spa treatment. Tucked away amid the shops and stores of Santa Monica, the new, luxurious Iobella day spa and exercise studio isn’t easy to spot. A pretty name and location, the spa boasts futuristic fitness pods (which look like something out of a SyFi movie I know, but we’ll get to that later), a welcoming environment and a warm sense of community.

IOBELLA is owned by December’s Made Woman of the Month, Roxana Lissa, who invited me to try it out after I had interviewed her. Roxanna says she discovered the 50 year old fitness method after traveling home to Argentina. “IOBELLA – means I’m beautiful in Spanish. I was in Argentina and I tried it and I loved it… The whole idea is to tone and to lose inches. The whole concept is to really shape your body.” I was excited to try the work out. A cross between Bikram yoga and Pilates, it seemed so intense, but I wanted to try it out - I had to see what media outlets like Shape, Marie Claire and E! News had all been raving about.


When I arrived at the spa, I changed into my workout clothes in their fancy locker room. It felt like I was about to get a high-end spa treatment rather than get an intense workout. After check-in, I was offered cucumber water and led into the room that housed the huge IOBELLA pods. Let me tell you, those things are intimidating at first. It looked like they were going to beam me up rather that work me out - but I was determined. I climbed up into the pod, heated to a warm 98 degrees, and another girl climbed into one beside me. Our trainer wasted no time jumping right into our warm up.

What I liked about the workout was that it used resistance and isolation to really hit those hard-to-reach-but-in-desperate-need-of-toning areas. My biceps, glutes and calf muscles were all burning in the days after my work out. The tight space of the pod meant that the workout couldn’t be too high intensity, but the smooth, defined movements I could do still made me feel the burn. A note about the pod: it is a small space. If you get claustrophobic, the Iobella method is for sure not for you. Small space and all, I found it to be effective. I really appreciated having the personal trainer right there next to me to help me get the exercises right since this was my first time.


When the 30 minute workout was over, we showered using a special detox body wash to open our pores and then were lead to the O3 lounge for our 15 minute skin renewal session. They use “triple oxygen” to detoxify, hydrate skin and diminish the appearance of cellulite. We relaxed in the small, heated cabins with headphones on our ears and cucumbers on our eyes. The experience left me feeling refreshed, clean and relaxed; and let me just say, I’ve never left LA Fitness feeling that way. (No shade.)

The IOBELLA experience is not cheap but if you have the funds it is a new, exciting way to invest in your body and your state of mind. More than a simple workout the folks at IOBELLA will help you track your progress toward a healthier you. Owner Roxana says, “We give you a whole plan. We take your measurements every six sessions. So there is a follow up and there is tracking of your body, of your weight and how you are doing, are you losing weight, how are your eating habits? We really hold your hand in this process.”

Intended for all women, there is even a “Bella After Baby” package for you Made Mommy’s out there! To get more info about IOBELLA visit Iobella.com!

Published in Health

Lifestyle // September 15, 2014

Hate is a strong word, but now that I have your attention...I really do despise 30 day challenges. I’m not referring to those 30 day lifestyle challenges or do-a-different-physical-activity-per-day challenges. I am talking about those 30+ day squat, plank, push-up, any-one-exercise for 30 or more consecutive days fitness challenges!!! Yes, I used multiple exclamation points in this writing--they IRK that much!

These so-called challenges are all over social media beckoning users and friends to join the madness: do 100 push-ups per day for 30 days, get to 500 squats per day by your 30th day, 30 days of plank, insert your “favorite” exercise and do it everyday for 30 days. The word challenge may incite the competitor in their followers; however, it gives me visions of hell. Isn’t that the definition of 30 days of hell--doing the same thing over and over again, everyday? Not changing anything (while expecting it) is definitely the equivalent to insanity.

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Speaking of results, if you can do any exercise for thirty consecutive days, you are not working out efficiently; thus, you will not elicit the results you seek. You see, when you strength train and challenge yourselves appropriately, your muscles incur microtears and inflammation. Your body recognizes the micro-damage and works to repair those muscles over the course of 24 to 48 hours, resulting in a stronger muscle. If you are able to do these exercises everyday, then you are not doing them to elicit a strength response. On the other hand, if you do feel the soreness (also known as DOMS--delayed onset of muscle soreness) or fatigue in the muscles that were worked, then you are working through the body’s rest period which is necessary for strength building. In fact, stressing those muscles repeatedly over consecutive days, without recovery, may even result in strain--diminished strength, injury, or at best, plateau.

In these 30 day challenges, the same muscles are moving in the same pattern. Not only is the participant at risk of potential muscle weakening, but movement dysfunction is a possible result, as well. The push-up challenge is a perfect example of this. Most adults who try this out display a kyphotic, hunchback-like, posture pattern: weak upper back muscles, tight muscles in the chest and neck create a forward shoulder and head slump, weak abdominals, tight hip flexor and lower back muscles, resulting in an exaggerated sway back. In a perfect push-up you need a strong core (shoulders, abs, back, and gluts) to hold your body in that plank position, while executing a chest press movement, to strengthen the chest muscles. However, with most people exemplifying dysfunctional, kyphotic posture and tightly weak front, upper body muscles, the movement dysfunction is perpetuated. That is not the problem. The issue is that you are expecting a weak, badly functioning structure to bear your body weight. Think of a four-legged table with two legs that are shorter than the others. If you sit on it, you expect to topple to the ground below it, right? The result in either scenario is potential injury.

I can continue on with reasons why I DESPISE these 30 day challenges, but the reasons above top the list of most critical reasons why nobody should be doing them. Stop the madness!!!

Reference: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/delayed-onset-muscle-soreness-(doms).pdf

Published in Lifestyle

Current // May 8, 2014

Summer is coming! And there is a new health and fitness destination online that will help whip you into shape. Brocollete.com is a new wellness platform for women of all colors. The site will provide video lessons from various health and wellness practitioners to educate, inspire and enable women to live healthier lives. Brocollete.com will cover topics from natural medicine, homeopathy, physical training, organizational tools, meditation, on-the-go fitness, juicing, clean cooking, utilizing creativity for emotional health and more. The site was started by LA based health and wellness curator, Njambi Gibson, who has devoted her career to inspiring and educating people toward passionate, healthier living.   

For this next week, in exchange for kick starting Brocollete, Njambi will whip you into your happiest, healthiest, most beach-ready self with recipe books and guides found on her RocketHub site. Here’s a sneak peak of some great tips to get you right for the summer!

1.    Drink Responsibly

Dump those sugary calorie-laden drinks in favor of chia seed water, fresh green juice, herbal iced teas and coconut water. You can also eat your water in the form of hydrating fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and celery are great choices!    

2.    Get It In

Your workouts don’t have to be hours long. Get them in where they fit in your daily routine.  Hit the squats in the a.m. while brushing your teeth, applying makeup or making a smoothie.  Perform isometric exercises at your desk and keep a pair of weights handy.  Don’t forget classics like parking further away and swapping elevator rides for stairs!


3.    Shake it Like a Saltshaker

Excessive salt consumption causes us to retain water, making us look and feel bloated.  While eating out or shopping for pre-packaged foods, ask for dressings and sauces on the side and opt for salt free alternatives.  When cooking, flavor food with fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and spices instead of salt.  

4.    Don’t get Gassed Up

Consume chewing gum, sugar free snacks, beer, sparkling drinks, dairy products and other gas producing foods in moderation.  Considering cooking fibrous vegetables --broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage -- and be sure to soak beans before cooking. Remember to eat slowly and make decisions based on the way your stomach feels.

5.    Get Me Bodied

Exfoliate skin weekly with a homemade salt and sugar scrub.  Scrub daily with a natural sponge or gloves to remove buildup.  Use Shea butter to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of scars.

For more great tips and insights including a Healthy Snack Recipe Book, Drinks and Smoothies Recipe Ebook, Wellness Guide for Busy Professionals and a Natural Beauty Guide visit the Brocollete Rockethub site, found below for the next week! And for exclusive first look of the site, leave your email address on Brocollete.com!

Published in Current
Thursday, 06 February 2014 23:43

Fitness | It's The Quality That Counts

Fitness // February 10, 2014

It’s a commonly accepted myth that you have to read Jane Eyre cover-to-cover (although, who’s reading books on paper nowadays?), in one workout session on the treadmill, to get a Beyonce-esq tight a$$. Women everywhere are spending hours of their precious time in the gym and are still not reaching their fitness goals. Let me tell you, you can burn all the rubber off a treadmill belt, but it really isn’t necessary if you put in some Q-T workout time.

If you seek improved cardiovascular health, improved muscle tone, and overall improved fitness, you will get there faster by power walking over hilly terrain versus strolling aimlessly for an hour or two. The ups and downs of a hilly road or trail builds in low, moderate, and high intensity intervals to your workout session.

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How do you add intensity to your workout without hiking up hills, going to a trainer, or paying to participate in a fitness class, you ask? Well, you can do that by changing a couple variables—speed and resistance. To add speed, you just move faster. Adding resistance requires adding incline, weight, or other opposing force against your direction of travel. For example, if you are strength training, add more weight to your effort; if cycling, running, or walking, add hills to your tour. If you decide to add jumping or sprinting to your routine, wear a weight vest or do it in soft sand. There are various ways to add intensity to your workout. A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more intense an interval is, the shorter that period will be. These high intensity intervals should be interspersed with low to moderate intensity exercise such as walking, jogging, or other less physically intense activities to give your body a chance to recover.

More challenging intervals increase your breathing and heart rates, fatigue some muscles, and make you sweat. By adding them into your workout, you burn more calories in a shorter period of time, elicit a positive cardiovascular response (read: healthier heart), “tone” and “firm” skeletal muscle (Michelle Obama arms, anyone?), and increase your recovery metabolic rate (that means you’ll burn more calories while you’re relaxing or going about your business, post-workout, while your body returns to normal resting rate). Bottom line is that a workout that incorporates high intensity bouts can do more for you than a steady state workout, and in a shorter period of time. More bang for your buck there, sister!

Published in Health
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 18:47

Style | Best Places To Buy Fitness Attire

Style // December 2, 2013

It’s time to rotate new workout clothes into the wardrobe and retire the ripped and holey t-shirt you got in college, after signing up for that credit card. In fact, some of those workout-to-brunch (or brunch-to-workout) multi-purpose articles of sweat-wicking clothes look really cute. So where do you begin to look for these multi-function outfits?

As a person who has worked as a fitness professional for as long as I can remember, I can tell you workout clothes have come a loooong way. And, there are options for nearly every budget! These days, you can find your yoga ware--mats and pants--at Wal-mart or at Dianne von Furstenberg. Although, I haven’t test-driven gear from either of those retailers, I can tell you about the places that I’ve hit up and liked to purchase my fitness attire.

Target

On the lower end of the scale, “Tar-jay” really is your go-to for everything you can possibly need: underwear, motor oil, organic produce … you get my point. They’ve also done great with getting designers to create whole new, budget-friendly lines of their clothing. I’m a fan of Champion workout-wear. Although, I now find it moderately priced, straight out of college, my paychecks stretched further when Target introduced Champion’s C9 line to me. You can find sports bras, workout tights, shorts and layering tops mostly in the $10-$19 range, before the mark-downs.

Costco

Yes, you need a membership. But these days, membership is pretty affordable. You can tag onto your parents’ family membership (I’ve been on my parents’ membership for the last decade or more), or you can sign up with your roommates. It can really pay off--wild-caught salmon by the giant tray, shampoo by the gallon, and workout clothes that don’t cost as much as a mortgage or rent. Inventory changes fairly frequently, but often, you’ll be able to find technical exercise clothing by Nike, Adidas, Columbia or other reputable names. Costco’s own label, Kirkland also has some nice technical and functional articles of fitness fashions.

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Outlet Stores

It might be an ordeal to brave the crowds at the outlet centers, but if you are an outlet shopper, you know that the usual suspects (i.e Puma, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Oakley) are there with high-quality merchandise at nearly half-off sometimes.

Lululemon

So, I was an ambassador. So what? That was almost ten years ago, and I’m still a fan of their clothes (not-so-much of the foot-in-the mouth comment the owner made)! And yes, some people gasp at the price tag, but I can attest that the clothes I purchased a decade ago have gone in the washer/dryer and are not thread bare. (No pun intended, but if you follow the news, there were a few articles of luon that did not pass the downward-facing dog test-- which is bent-over, butt-in-the-air, for those non-yogis. We should always do the bend over test with any tights we buy to check for any level of see-through-ability.) In ten years, clothes I bought from them still function just as well as when they were first purchased. Expect to spend between $120+ (on the lower end) for a 3-piece workout outfit. Separates range from $35-$240, and they have everything from sports bras to tanks to winter jackets. (For those of you with shorter legs, like me, you can take great advantage of their basic hemming services on pants.)

Lorna Jane

Dubbed as the Australian equivalent to Canada’s Lululemon, these stores are opening up as quickly and at a shopping mall near you. I was attracted to this line of brightly colored, fun, fashionable, fitness attire when I first tried it. Although the care instructions advise drying the articles flat and not in the dryer, I have cheated and run them through on low. I don’t have anything older than a year, so I can’t attest to how long they might last, but so far they all look new. These tops, bras, tights and jackets start at $60.

There you go, my five favorite places to find my functional fitness fashions. With this comes my warning: of “buyer beware.” I can advise you, from my own personal experience: you get what you pay for, even with workout clothes, the more you pay, the longer it will last, remain stink-proof and supportive in all the necessary places. And, if you’re like me, no matter what I pay, I like to make sure my clothes last as long as possible, which is why I wrote How to Maintain Your Workout Clothes. Go on, get fit, inside and out. Workout wear does not have to mean you have to resign to looking frumpy. You can find clothes that function as well as they look.

Published in Fashion

Fitness // September 9, 2013

“Why not?” I am convinced that this phrase holds a place in the personal mantra of every entrepreneur. Everyday, people brave enough to run their own businesses, push themselves boldly into the unknown. While it can be terrifying, there’s really little room for hesitance –because, if you think only of the possibilities for failure, you’ll undoubtedly forfeit your opportunity for success. Fitness expert Samantha Monus lives by those two simple words, a positive philosophy. Her fearless attitude has launched an amazing career, which now includes a partnership with Venus Williams. A graduate of Florida State University, she fell in love with fitness.  Then she did what many of us hope to, she started a business doing what she loved.  Monus’ biggest challenge was saying goodbye to an established company and venturing out on her own. Her mind was full of doubts: did she have what it took to start a business from the ground up? Now, a few years later, the answer is a resounding yes.

If you go to your neighborhood gym, say 24-hour fitness, Equinox, or Spectrum, you will have a plethora of trainers available to you. In many cases, you’ll find that they focus on one or two of your needs, but may not consider your entire lifestyle. Monus succeeds in her holistic approach to fitness. She believes there are multiple branches on, what she calls, the “Fitness Tree” including but not limited to: strength training, flexibility, nutrition, and meditation.  She individualizes her regimen for each client.

With the help of family, friends, mentors, and inspiring clients, Samantha Monus has made a name for herself in the fitness industry. Monus is now involved with the clothing line EleVen by Venus Williams. They even have a program called Fitness Journey, a six-month nutrition series, which follows 4 participants looking to make lifestyle changes.  Additionally, Monus was a key participant in Jamba Juice’s Fit Trend Expo, this past spring. This “health crusader” works diligently to promote wellness by offering individual private training and wellness consultations. Based on her expertise and the company she keeps, it is clear that venturing out on her own was an excellent decision. Like any Made Woman, belief in herself and her abilities was paramount in building her business.

I loved meeting Dr. Monus and she was kind enough to share some tips with all of you Made Women out there:

MWM: What are your top five pieces of advice for aspiring personal trainers?

Samantha:
1. Be patient: It takes a long time to be good at anything. The more you engage, the better you’ll be.

2. Stay open: Many trainers close their minds to something that they were not taught or do not know or understand. Often times, their ego gets in the way. The body and mind are so complex and we are still learning so much more about it than we could have ever imagined. Never poo-poo someone else’s training method because you don’t understand it. None of us are the authority; we can all learn from each other.

3. Emphasize balance: The body needs adequate flexibility and rest. You can’t just burn out your clients - you’ll set them up for injury. Making sure the client is balanced structurally is super important. Emphasizing flexibility and therapeutics are invaluable to having top-notch athletes and clients.



4. Study nutrition (or collaborate with someone experienced in this area):  I think many trainers unknowingly recommend products that are toxic and unhealthy. Though they have good intentions, they recommend artificial diet products and crappy protein powders. If it’s out of your realm, then collaborate with someone who is qualified to help.

5. Keep Learning: I’ve never stopped learning. Go out and get more certificates, take workshops, go to seminars, read every book you can in your field. Consider trading sessions with trainers or instructors from outside of your knowledge base. I’ve learned so much from this exchange. Most importantly, leave your ego at the door! Everyone makes mistakes, just learn from them.

MWM: And for those of us who just want to get fit, what do you do if you are interested in making a lifestyle change but unable to afford regular classes or trainers?

Samantha: “Check out the Internet! It's Free and if you don't like it…click to the next workout. We are so lucky in this day in age to have YouTube, NETFLIX, and social media. You can seriously get so many great workouts and motivations online. I love YouTubing workouts and trying them out. Social media provides so many amazing classes, fitness challenges, support groups and healthy recipes, all for FREE!”

MWM: How can we take care of our bodies and stay informed about our health options?

Samantha: “Eat right and avoid toxic people and food that clog your brain and mind. Learn everything you can about health, fitness, and nutrition. Don't believe the media or everything you hear. Listen to your inner wisdom. Study and be open. Read books, watch documentaries, and go to free seminars at health food stores. The more you learn, the more power you have to make healthier decisions. “


For more tips, check out Dr. Samantha Monus’ Here:

www.samanthamonus.com
www.monusmindandbody.com






Published in Health

Health // July 15, 2013

This story was originally published on BalancedStrength.com 

Regardless of fitness level, everybody needs help as they embark upon their next level, in order to prevent injury, promote enthusiasm, and ensure continued fitness gains. Seeking the guidance of a qualified professional health and fitness coach is advised, whenever changes are being made to an already- or non-existing fitness regimen.

In researching, then selecting, the most appropriate fitness and wellness coach, there are several points to consider:

1. What degree(s) and/or certifications does this coach carry, and are they current? A gym rat and sexy genetic map translated into physical “perfection” does not make a qualified fitness instructor. Minimally, a qualified instructor should be licensed by a nationally recognized organization.

2. Do you have any chronic conditions or pain, injuries, or other special needs that a coach will need to consider (even if you think they might not need to) when planning your fitness program? The coach you are considering should have experience and success working with others who have the same needs that you do.

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3. Does the coach offer single “trial” sessions? Finding the right coach and trainer is like finding the right therapist. Do not allow yourself to be persuaded into buying large packages before you have been able to meet and “sample” (does not imply free) the coach’s services.

4. Will the coach be able to create a fitness program that is considerate of your other daily commitments, such as work and children, and the time that you have allocated to working out? Having a coach who can customize programs for clients includes customization based on goals and schedule.

5. Does the coach have the right personality attributes that will ensure your success? If the coach has personality traits that invoke negative feelings, guilt, or frustration, you may not continue your fitness journey.

The coach who meets most, if not all of the above (and some of your own) criteria, will be the most appropriate person to coach you toward successfully meeting then exceeding your fitness and well-being goals.


Published in Health
Monday, 20 May 2013 07:23

Fitness | Get Bikini Ready Fast

Fitness // May 20, 2013

Ladies: Memorial Day is around the corner and if your commitment to staying in shape has fallen by the wayside, then it’s time to hit the gym and get bikini ready. These simple, tried and true exercises will help tone your abs, butt and total body so that you can wear your swimsuit with confidence this summer.

Running: We were born to run, Ladies! This simple, yet heart-pumping exercise will tone your legs and glutes and get your cardiovascular system working.

How to: You already know what to do. Put on a good sports-bra, lace up your kicks (invest in some good ones) and put one foot in front of the other. 

Plank Rows with Leg Raise: This one works your back, core, biceps and glutes. It’s very intense, but you WILL see results.

How to: Place a pair of 5 pound dumbbells shoulder-width apart on a yoga mat. Get in plank position with your hands on the dumbbells. (A) In one motion, lift the right dumbbell until your elbow passes your torso and raise your left leg to hip height. (B) Lower and repeat with the opposite arm and leg to complete one rep.  Do two sets of 10 reps.

Jump Squats: Tone your quads for extra confidence in thigh bearing swimsuits this summer.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides. (A) Start by doing a regular squat and then jump up as high as you can when you rise up reaching for the ceiling. (B) When you land, lower back into the squat position to complete one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps.

Superman: Strengthen and tone your back, shoulders, glutes and hips.

How to: Lie on your stomach on a mat or the floor with your legs outstretched behind you and your toes pointing toward the wall behind you. (A) Reach your arms out overhead with your palms facing the floor. Relax your neck and align your head with your spine. (B) Slowly extend both legs away from your torso until they lift a few inches off the floor. At the same time, lift both arms a few inches off the floor. Keep both legs and arms straight and make sure that your head is aligned with your spine. Hold this position for a few breaths. (C) Gently inhale and lower your legs and arms back to your starting position without any movement in your low back or hips. Do two sets of 10 reps. 

Push-ups: Old-school push-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders and triceps.

How to: Get into push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart on mat or floor. Make sure that your body is in a straight line and do not arch your back. (A) Lower your body down to the mat into plank position keeping your body straight. (B) Push body straight up into starting position. Do two sets of 10 reps.

Two years ago, tired of being overweight, I decided to get healthy and stay in shape for good. A regular fitness routine that includes the exercises outlined above, along with a vegetarian diet helped me lose and keep off 25 pounds. The best way to maintain a healthy and attractive physique is to make it a way of life. We all want to look good in a bikini, but more important is feeling AND looking good for a lifetime. You may be hitting the gym to get ready for swimsuit season, but when the going gets tough remember that this is for your health.


Disclaimer: Please consult your physician before starting a new diet or exercise routine.

Published in Health
Friday, 03 May 2013 23:51

Fitness | Exercise Class Breakdown

Fitness // May 6, 2013 

It may be time to try that group fitness class you’ve been considering. With no workout to plan, you won’t have a chance to talk yourself out of sweating. Plus, the social aspect of group exercise gives you the added accountability of your instructor and peers--again, so you don't skip your workout. And, by incorporating various class formats into your weekly fitness routine, you keep yourself cross-training (the term used for incorporating different modes of exercise in your weekly workout routine).

When you check out the local fitness center’s schedule of group classes, however, it sometimes looks like a Rosetta Stone lesson: Barre, CrossFit, Tabata, Indo-Row, HIIT, Yogilates, Zumba… Sometimes, instructors make up the names of classes using a hybrid of various foreign languages, but I’ll decipher some of the descriptions for you, and throw in a few tips:

  • If it has the word “interval” in the description, the class will combine alternating periods of moderate to high intensity exercises, with lower intensity periods to allow you to recover. Tabata and HIIT are the trendiest names for this fitness method, which has been around since the beginning of organized sport and fitness training in various forms: Spinning, Indo-Row, Zumba.
  • Yogilates, Spinoga, Bennifer…They sound like a foreign language but read like a combination of two or more activities (or people, in the case of the latter—threw that in to see if you were still paying attention). These class formats combine two complementary methods of exercise. So, instead of taking multiple hour to hour-and-a-half classes, you get them in one neat package.
  • Cardio ___(fill in the blank)___ - These classes are often dance, sport, or martial arts classes that keep you moving to elevate your heart rate and maximize your time. Simple routines keep you in motion rather than requiring you to focus on technique as you would in a lesson.
  • Power ___(fill in the blank)___ - Often this implies that the class is an intensified version of an activity, e.g. power stretch, power yoga, power abs, power sculpt. Instructors kick it up a notch and push students as far as they can go.

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Still confused? Here’s some advice to remember when trying out fitness classes that are new to you: 1. Read the class description to make sure it's an appropriate level and activity for you; 2. If my glossary and the class description fail to shed light on what the class is all about, call the facility and see if the group exercise director is available to answer your questions; and, 3. Go to the first class a few minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and let her/him know that you're new to class, so she can provide any necessary modifications. This will ensure that your first experience in that class is positive, and you can develop a relationship of accountability with the instructor.

Now that you know how to translate fitness class descriptions and pick your classes, try a variety of them. That’s how you’ll keep your mind and body stimulated to prevent hitting a plateau and to continue on your path to optimal fitness.


Published in Health

There’s nothing like a good weekday workout. Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Jamba Juice Fit Trends Expo at the Annenberg House in Santa Monica.  The Fit Trends Expo is part of Jamba’s Team Up For a Healthy America campaign, aimed at combating obesity and encouraging healthy living. Venus Williams, professional tennis player, designer, and Jamba Juice franchise owner, was the keynote athlete at the event. Trainer, Samantha Monus, and nutritionist, Tara Gidus, also provided their insight on taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. On a local level, the Expo’s goal was to encourage community fitness, health and nutrition, as well as to expose people to workout opportunities in their area.

Our day was jam-packed with great activities. From 9:30am-1:30pm, Jamba Juice held an array of fitness classes and nutritional samplings. Among the local fitness studios present were: Broadway Bodies LA, Piloxing, and LA Blast. Fitness guru Tony Horton of P90X even stopped by the event and took a lucky few through an impromptu exercise outside. I did my best to keep up with the routines, but as a girl who usually runs and lifts weights, I felt super uncoordinated! Despite this, the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. It was quite inspiring to be around a group of people dedicated to getting fit and staying healthy. In between each class, Jamba gave everyone the opportunity to try their array of juices, smoothies, and food products.

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Overall, the energy at the event was extremely positive. Jamba Juice did a great service for the community by generating increased awareness of local health and fitness outlets.  Venus Williams, Samantha Monus, and Tara Gidus had some extremely helpful information to share.  For those of you seeking guidance on how to stay disciplined with your workouts, Williams insists that you keep it fun and not worry about perfection! I think I can abide by that! I hope everyone in attendance was activated to carry the spirit of the day beyond the event and incorporate what they learned into a healthier lifestyle.



If you’re interested in learning more about Jamba Juice’s commitment to healthy living, check out their health campaign website: MyHealthPledge.com. My Health Pledge encourages everyone to make a pledge to change their daily habits. It’s free to participate, and for each pledge, Jamba donates $1 to local schools and organizations to support their athletic and fitness programs.

Published in Current
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