fitness

6 Things to Know Before Your First Barre Class

Everyone always talks about what a hard workout barre is, and I thought of it as something that I had to get in better shape to try. It is hard, but you don’t have to be in great shape to start. It’s a full body workout that uses free weights, a mat, and a ballet barre that can be easily modified for any fitness level.  If you’re new to the workout, it can definitely seem intimidating. I’ve put together a list of things to know before your first barre class, that I wish I had known before mine.

1. Wear pants.
I would recommend wearing leggings to barre class over shorts. You’ll spend a lot of time on the floor so I think it’s better to wear something tight against your legs so no one’s looking up your shorts.
2. Get to class early and introduce yourself to the instructor.
Let your instructor know that this is your first barre class and tell him/her about any injuries you have. I’d recommend doing this anytime you’re going to a class with a different instructor, especially if you have any injuries. During class your instructor can help you with any modifications you need.
3. You can switch to your lighter weights.
My first class, I finished the entire free weights portion with my heavy weights. I probably would have gotten more out of using the weights if I had switched to my lighter ones once my heavy set got too heavy for me. I would’ve been more comfortable and not taken so many breaks, but I didn’t know that was an option.
4. Start small.
Even if you can lift heavy weights when you’re weight training, start with small weights in barre. You’re working smaller muscle groups, and you’re not going to get a break between sets.
5. The class is split into sections of work and stretching.
My first class felt like forever because I’m used to doing all of the work and then stretching. In barre class, you’ll work your arms and then stretch them, work your legs and then stretch them, etc. Once you’re used to the format, these smaller sections will help the class fly by!
6. Follow the two class rule.
Give any new fitness class a second try before you decide if you like it or not. If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have gone back for a second class. My first class was hard and felt especially long, but my second class felt so much better because I knew what to expect. Now barre is one of my favorite ways to workout. If I hadn’t given it a second shot, I would be missing out on it!

Have you been to a barre class? What advice do you have for barre newbies?

What You Should Know For Your First Mud Run

What You Should Know For Your First Mud Run

I didn’t take my phone with me to take pictures because I didn’t want to risk getting it muddy. All photos are courtesy of Aloha, Dirty Girl Mud Run, and Gameface Media.

A couple weeks ago I ran my first Dirty Girl mud run. The Dirty Girl mud run is an all-women and all-levels 5k run with 10-12 obstacles and lots of mud. These tips are specifically for the Dirty Girl run, but some of the tips could also be applicable to other mud runs as well.

1. Wear clothes that you don’t mind losing when you’re done. I wore these compression capris, and they made it out okay. But I tossed my socks, underwear, shirt, and sports bra. They probably could have been salvaged if I had been willing to put in the effort, but I had already planned on throwing them out when I was done.

2. Wear comfortable shoes that are old or cheap. You’re probably not going to want to keep these when you’re done either. Dirty Girl will have a place where you can put shoes when you’re done to be cleaned and donated.

3. The tighter, the better. Mud is going to get everywhere. You don’t want mud inside your shorts or pants to be dragging them down as you’re trying to complete the course.

4. Take advantage of the free checked bag. Dirty Girl offers one free bag check per runner. Use a backpack or gym bag to bring a change of clothes, flip flops, a washcloth, a towel, and a trash bag. You’ll be able to rinse off using hoses, but a washcloth will help you get off more dirt than just water. Dry yourself off, change, and throw everything dirty in the trash bag. Note: the hose stations aren’t private so you’ll want to wear under clothes you’re comfortable stripping down to in front of other women.

What You Should Know For Your First Mud Run5. Bring an extra towel for the ride home. Even though you’re going to be a lot cleaner after rinsing and changing, you still might not want to sit directly on your car seat.

6. Don’t keep anything on you when you run. This includes jewelry, fitness trackers, keys, phones, and anything else you don’t want to get dirty. Unless you skip a lot of the obstacles, you’ll have mud everywhere.

7. Have fun! The Dirty Girl mud run is truly an all levels course. While some obstacles are more challenging than others, none of them are all that difficult. At the end of the day it’s about having fun and be able to laugh at yourself as you complete each obstacle.

What You Should Know For Your First Mud Run

 

fitbit flex giveaway

It’s that time of year when we all start making New Year’s resolutions to try to lose weight or simply just get healthy. As a Happy New Year’s gift to you, my co-hosts and I wanted to do a giveaway with prizes that will help you keep those resolutions you make! We have teamed up to give away a FitBit Flex and a $25 e-gift card to Lululemon!
In case you don’t know what a FitBit Flex is, you can learn more at http://www.fitbit.com/flex. The Flex is an activity tracker that tracks your steps, distance, caloric intake and output, as well as your active minutes and sleep. It’s also waterproof so you don’t have to take it off to shower or swim, and it syncs wirelessly in real time with your smart phone. The Flex has a silent alarm that wakes you up with light vibrations on your wrist, which is a much gentler way to wake up than a buzzing alarm clock, not to mention it won’t wake up your partner. Additionally it syncs with numerous health apps you may already be using, including My Fitness Pal and Gym Pact. It lets you set your own goals, or you can use FitBit’s recommended goals if you have no idea where to start. The Flex is extremely easy to use, as are the app and website. You can also link up with all your friends who also have FitBits and encourage each other to be more active. Lastly, the FitBit Flex is small, and really blends in as a bracelet when you wear it. The one we are giving away comes in black, but you can buy more bands in seven other colors on their site for $14, so have no fear, it can also be a great accessory. It really is an amazing device and I am so glad I got mine back in July.



For the second prize, we have a $20 gift card to Lululemon so you can get the perfect workout outfit. Need I say more? Who doesn’t love this brand? 


Be sure to visit your giveaway hosts and enter below! Good Luck & Happy New Year!

fitness friday

It’s that time of week for Fitness Friday again with Alex at High Heels and Treadmills and Brittany at Oh Hey Brittany. There are only three rules:

  1. Follow all of your hosts.
  2. Write anything about fitness.
  3. Visit other posts and leave comments to make new fitness buddies!
I’ve signed up for my first 5k and I have a lot of training to do! I have 4 weeks to get in good enough shape to jog/run the 5k with my roommate. I’m really excited about it, and I know I can do it. I just need to start training again. I guess I’m in need of a little extra motivation.
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fitness friday

It’s that time of week for Fitness Friday again with Alex at High Heels and Treadmills and Brittany at Oh Hey Brittany. There are only three rules:

  1. Follow all of your hosts.
  2. Write anything about fitness.
  3. Visit other posts and leave comments to make new fitness buddies!
I think I discovered my new favorite workout ever this week! My office’s usual Tuesday yoga class was canceled this week. So while discussing that with another coworker who regularly goes to yoga she suggested that I go to a yogalates class with her instead. “It’s really hard,” she warned me. “But it’s great. You’re going to love it.” I was excited to go, but also terrified because she’s in way better shape than I am and she was telling me that it’s hard for her.
And it was hard. So hard. Sweat was literally dripping onto my yoga mat. But she was right. I got a great workout and I absolutely loved every second of it. It’s so rare for me to love a workout that’s so hard for me. My office also has a trainer that does a class on Thursdays. He always kicks my ass in those workouts. And if I never saw him again, I wouldn’t hate it. I go because I know it’s good for me, not because I enjoy it at all. But I left yogalates thinking about the next time I could go back because I loved it so much.
It ended up being really fast-paced yoga with some extra ab work. With all of the side planks and such that we did, I have never felt so comfortable in a regular full plank. But it really worked my arms, abs, and glutes, all areas that I’m trying to work on.

fitness friday

I decided on keeping a running blog after all. I’ll keep up with the recaps here, and a daily account there. If anything it’s more for myself. It’s for me to track my progress and see how each run/ work out felt. I also think it’s helpful for other beginning runners to follow. As a beginner runner myself, I like to see step by step how other people did it. It’s encouraging to see that other people had a hard time in the beginning, but didn’t give up and are great runners now.
This week has been hard. I took a full week off of running (mostly because I’m lazy), and I really felt it this week. My muscles felt tight and tired. I had a really hard time doing the same runs that I hadn’t had quite as much trouble doing last week. But I’m keeping up with it. I’ve slowed down my pace, but I finish every interval and don’t quit even though sometimes I REALLY want to.
Check out my running blog here!
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