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2015 Fit Friends Gift Guide

Fit Friends Gift Guide We’re already a week into December! Are you still looking for a gift for your favorite fit friend? I’ve compiled a list of some of my can’t-live-without-just-gotta-have gadgets, places, and apps to make your search a little easier!

1) Timex Women’s T5K723 Ironman Road Trainer + Digital HRM

timex

I use this watch every single day. It’s small enough that it doesn’t interfere while training and it even has the option to change settings to give you a more accurate calorie count for when you’re lifting, riding, running, etc. I’ve had to change the battery in the heart rate monitor four times in the two years I’ve had it, but it’s a simple fix and – to be fair – I often use it two to four hours a day.

2)  Resistance Bands

Resistance BandsDon’t have a lot of room to store equipment? Worried about kids/pets getting hurt around heavy weights? All five of these bands plus the door anchor fit into a small bag and are stackable to create up to 75lbs of resistance. I love that I can easily adjust my workouts to make them more challenging once I become comfortable with one level of resistance and they’re so portable I can take them outside while we’re enjoying 60+ degree days in December.

3) Stability Ball

Stability BallThere are endless uses for a stability ball like this. Just sitting on one of these instead of the couch while watching TV can help improve core strength and help back pain. There are also countless exercises that use the stability ball and this one in particular has a base you can hook your resistance bands up to.

4) TRX Suspension Trainer

TRXLike the resistance bands, this baby fits into a bag smaller than my purse. The TRX uses bodyweight exercises to improve strength, balance, and core stability all at the same time. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of if you’ve never used it before, but they have great tutorials on their site and on YouTube OR you can schedule a session or two with me and we’ll go over how to use your new toy!

5) Headspace Subscription

HeadspaceHeadspace is a personal trainer – for your mind. The free Take 10 Program gently guides users into the world of meditation, but the yearly subscription is where the really great stuff is. There are categories for stress, anxiety, sleep, self-esteem, happiness, balance, and so much more. Happy mind = happy body.

6) Les Mills Weight Set

LM Smart BarIf you’re looking for some serious weights, but don’t exactly have the room or budget for an Olympic weight set this may be a great start. I have the Don Oliver set, but I hear the SmartBars are amazing. Can I lift as heavy as I’d like to with this? Not always. But this has kept my strength up well since I’ve had trouble getting to the gym as often with a baby at home.

7) #fitmom Tank

Fit MomIs your favorite fit-friend a new mommy or mommy-to-be? I love my #fitmom tank from Fresh Apparel! It’s comfortable to workout in, washes well (hello, baby puke), and gets lots of laughs when I wear it out. PLUS you’re supporting another mom’s business when you buy from her!

8) Superfun Yoga Pants

Superfun Yoga PantsIf you live in the Richmond area and you’ve seen a woman walking around in the fly-est leggings you’ve ever seen, there’s a good chance that’s thanks to Superfun Yoga pants. They sell lots of brands and sizing can run differently on all of them so if you can, they recommend you try them on in person. Bring your fit friend to a pop-up or shop online! (They even sell gift certificates if you’re just not sure what size or pattern to choose.)

9) Fancy Gym Bag

Lululemon Duffle I treated myself to a lululemon gym bag before I started teaching and it’s still in amazing shape despite the fact that it comes with me EVERYWHERE. This isn’t the same bag, but it has a lot of the same features. I love that these bags have a place for my yoga mat and for a change of clothes, my cycle shoes, etc.

10) Class Packages

BohoOmOnYogaTurn RVA

Does your friend go to a studio for yoga every Saturday morning? Does she set her alarm two hours early so she can start her day with her favorite instructor (maybe 5:45a Fridays at Boho Cycle Studio *hint hint*)? You can purchase class packages as gifts at most studios. Better yet… get her one and then get yourself one too! I love when friends join me for a workout.

If you’re in the RVA area here are a few of my favorite places to sweat:

Have anything to add to the list?  Comment below!

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Workout Wednesday: Veterans Day

thank you In between the posts about red Starbucks cups and bragging about having the day off to sleep in (or being angry that you don't have the day off), I hope you'll take a minute to not only thank current and former military members for their service, but to think about what they have to do just to serve.

Few of us can say that being in peak physical condition is a job requirement, but it is for these men and women.  Could you imagine having to run 3 miles in less than 30 minutes to keep your job?  I'm a fitness professional and that's not even a requirement for me!

Here's a look at the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) Requirements for the Marines:

Pull-ups (males only):  Score is determined by how many pull-ups you can complete before dropping off the bar.

Flexed-Arm Hang (females only): Score is based on how long you can hang maintaining elbow flexion.

Abdominal Crunches:  Score is determined by the number of crunches you can do in the 2-minute time limit.

3-Mile Run:  Score is determined by how long it takes to complete the run.

Source: MARINE CORPS ORDER 6100.13 W/CH 1

My challenge for you on this special Workout Wednesday is to take a "walk" in their boots and give this a try!

Could you pass?

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Try-Day Friday: BODYFLOW

Try-Day Friday is back already, ladies & gents! I had a hard time getting into the gym for my own workouts last week. Our family schedule was packed and I just couldn’t find the time to leave the house for a long enough stretch. Sound familiar? I hear you… I really, really do.

So instead of saying, “Oh well!” and throwing in the towel, I signed up for a free trial of Les Mills on Demand and took a brand new-to-me class in my own living room.

I had never taken a BODYFLOW® class before and now I can’t believe I waited so long to try it! If you don’t know anything about BODYFLOW®, it’s a yoga-based class that incorporates elements of Tai Chi and Pilates to help students “improve mind, body and life.”

One of the most important aspects of yoga – and one that I struggle with the most – is linking breath to the movement. BODYFLOW® is a game changer for me here! In a quiet studio or practicing to ambient music I have a tendency to focus more on the moves and less on the breath. But the choreography in this class flows perfectly with the music, making it easier to remember to inhale and exhale on the beat.

I can’t wait to get to an actual class soon!

flow

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Try-Day Friday: SURF FIT

I. Had. THE. Most fun workout at Turn - Cardio Jam Studio this week! It’s a little bit of a tease getting on a surfboard in mid SURF FIT poseOctober, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Surf F.I.T. starts after Dance Trance Tuesday nights at Turn so the second you walk in the door you walk into the end of a dance party. Seriously… dark room, colored flashing light, the whole sh’bang. And if that doesn’t get your amped up to ride some imaginary waves I don’t know what will.

Fortunately, the lights come back on for Surf F.I.T. because I could hardly balance without the flashing lights at first. 

The F.I.T. in Surf F.I.T. stands for Fun Interval Training and that is exactly what this class was. We did squat presses, lunges, planks, mountain climbers, bicycle crunches, rows and more all while trying to keep our balance on the constantly moving board. I was laughing so hard I didn’t even realize how sweaty I was until my palms got so slippery I almost face planted.

Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a vet looking for something to get you excited about working out, this is definitely a class you want to try!SURF FIT

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