Get Moving: Endorphins Make You Happy!

Fitness. It has such a variety of meanings. What fitness looks like for one person can be completely different from what it looks like for another. To us, fitness looks like whatever you feel is best and healthiest for your own body. It’s not something you torture yourself with to lose weight or to impress someone else. It’s something you do that makes you feel good and happy! We love getting our heart rates up and just feeling our bodies move. There really is something to be said about that release of endorphins, which is why it’s on our list of 2019 resolutions to try and get our bodies moving more. Like we said, we’re all about feeling good and being happy when it comes to fitness. We’re not looking for anything that makes us miserable, we want it to be fun! With that in mind, we researched some fun, new ways to get yourself moving this year.

Image Source: @swervefitness

Image Source: @swervefitness

SWERVE Fitness

Usually we don’t do location specific things, but this seemed too cool to pass up. SWERVE is a spinning class but way more fun. You’re teamed up into three groups. These three groups, red, blue, and green, are essentially “competing” for the best score. It’s a great way to push yourself to do your best but in a semi-anonymous way where you’re only seen as a team total versus an individual total. Your personal results and stats are emailed to you after the class, so no one has to know. We love the idea of a little friendly competition and think this sounds like such a fun way to really get your sweat on!

Parkour

Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Have you ever watched American Ninja Warrior or similar shows and wondered what it would be like to try some of the things you see participants attempting? There are so many gyms all around the country where you can do just that! This is such a fun and unique way to get your body moving, seriously, sign us up!

Image Source: @rosegracejones

Image Source: @rosegracejones

Hiking Yoga

Yoga and nature just seem to be a perfect match. Hiking yoga is a great way to blend the two together! These types of classes take you out of the studio and into nature, where you can breathe in the fresh air, have an added challenge of uneven ground, and just really focus on disconnecting and becoming one with nature. We think this is such a great way to see some new, beautiful places while also getting some great exercise. Yoga isn’t for the faint of heart! We love how deceivingly tricky it can be and how much energy and strength it truly entails. There’s really nothing like yoga to help you find your inner peace and strength.

Circus

Circus classes include things like trapeze, fabric, rope, lyra, aerial, and more. These are another example of a shocking amount of strength and endurance, but so much fun and definitely not an experience most people have had! They’re a great option for someone looking for something a little different and creative that brings that little kid inside to life.

Rock Climbing

Image Source: @kacia.fitzgerald

Image Source: @kacia.fitzgerald

Have you noticed a theme yet? We weren’t kidding about out of the box methods of getting your body moving this year! Rock climbing is another really fun way to get out there. There are great rock gyms all over with indoor walls for you to try. Grab a friend and take a class so you can learn the basics, and then just have some fun! There are levels from beginner way up to advanced. Not only will you have fun trying to climb whatever wall you’re on, but it’s also so fun to watch some of the more advanced climbers do their thing. You’ll be in awe!

Rebounding (Trampolines)

This is something that is much more up and coming than a lot of other options on the list. Honestly, how can jumping on a trampoline not bring you back to childhood? It makes us giddy just thinking about it! Seriously, you’ll laugh your way through this one and get a good sweat while you’re at it, too.


Whatever you choose to do to get your body moving this year, just remember that you’re doing it for fun and endorphins! Healthy looks different on everyone. You’re not here to lose weight, you’re just here to have a good time.

Wedding Season: Fitness Bootcamp

IMAGE SOURCE: MAD OLIVE SHOP

IMAGE SOURCE: MAD OLIVE SHOP

So you didn’t stick to your New Year’s Resolution - that’s okay! But now, wedding season is fast approaching, and odds are you’re rushing to get back into a routine so your dress fits like a dream. Whatever silhouette you’ll be rocking, we’ve got the perfect one-stop fitness guide to get you sculpted and toned for your big day!

Prioritizing working out in the middle of planning a wedding may seem a bit ridiculous at times, but it’s crucial to treat every work out sesh as if it’s another make-or-break appointment to prep for your big day. Chances are, you already have a lengthy to-do list - pencil in an hour a day, four times a week to dedicate solely to a workout. Grab some headphones, put down the seating chart, and focus on yourself for a little! Not only will this help get you in the right mindspace for your big day (and relieve some stress), but you’ll see more results the most consistent and dedicated you are to your routine!

Drink some water, water, and more water!

IMAGE SOURCE: 123RF: BELCHONOCK

IMAGE SOURCE: 123RF: BELCHONOCK

First thing’s first: if you’re going to be dedicated to an intense fitness routine, you’re going to be sweating a lot. It seems like an obvious tip, but between all the stress and planning, it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated. Ideally, you should be drinking about half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, someone who weighs 130 pounds should aim to drink 65 ounces of water a day. Another great tip is to always add some lemon! Lemon water is proven to boost your metabolism and improve your skin, but remember: it’s only effective if you drink it in place of something else, like diet soda or coffee. Cut out all unnecessary drinks up until the big day - you can treat yourself post-wedding!

Listen to your body, and set realistic goals.

Fasted cardio is a new trend that tons of brides are opting for in preparation for their big day, but consult a doctor before you integrate it into your own routine! Fasted cardio, even when approved by a physician, should only be done for an hour max every other workout; you don’t want to do work out on an empty stomach all the time because it’ll drain you of all your energy. When done properly, working out in a fasted state makes you burn about 20% more body fat, but be careful because you could also burn muscle. Be mindful of the changes you wish to see in your body and your own personal goals. If you’re looking to gain muscle, fasted cardio is likely not the route for you!

If you’re only a couple of months out from your wedding, make sure your goals are realistic and you’re moving in a positive direction, rather than overworking yourself and not seeing the results you were hoping for. For example, if you’re rocking a strapless gown, you want to focus most of your workouts on toning your arms, shoulders, and chest. If you’re wearing a mermaid gown, you want to work out that booty! Short dresses show a lot of leg, which means leg day, leg day, leg day. It’s a lot easier to say “I want my booty to look better in my dress,” than to say “I want to lose 40 pounds in two months,” so set your priorities! We rounded up a ton of great workouts that’ll target all the areas you need for some of the most popular silhouettes!

Try out some of our favorite workouts!

A good rule of thumb is do some cardio for a minimum of 30 minutes, then move on to target problem areas with 3-4 supplemental strength workouts. If you’re finding it difficult to set aside a huge chunk of time to head to the gym every other day, we have tons of at-home strength workouts that you can get out of the way before you even start your day!

IMAGE SOURCE: SHAPE

IMAGE SOURCE: SHAPE

Our favorite exercise to prepare for a strapless gown is one that you can do in the comfort of your own home, so you don’t even have to worry about setting aside the time in your busy day! Just wake up, drink some water, and get going - it’s the perfect temperature for a run! Plank shoulder taps are the perfect compliment to a workout after finishing up some cardio.

Not only are they easy to do in the living room, but they target your arms, shoulder, and chest, so everything can be super toned when you walk down the aisle. Just start off in a proper plank position, and alternate tapping each hand on the opposite shoulder, returning to your original position between each. Do 20 reps of these each workout up until your wedding day!

Mermaid Dress

A mermaid dress can be very intimidating, since it hugs every last curve. If you’re opting for this sexy style, make sure to dedicate a portion of your workout to sculpting your hips and booty! Squats typically the go-to for toning these areas, but we recommend challenging yourself a little bit more to work out your arms, too. Try this hinging deadlift from Shape.com for even better results:

“Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the weights in front of your thighs, palms facing in. Maintaining a neutral spine, hinge forward from your hips, reaching the dumbbells to the ground, until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. Focus on using your glutes to raise your body halfway back up and then return to full forward hinge again. That’s one rep. Repeat 20 times total.”

IMAGE SOURCE: SHAPE

IMAGE SOURCE: SHAPE

Short Dress

Wearing a short dress on your wedding day is already a bold statement - impress your guests even more by working on toning your legs before the big day! To sculpt your thighs, calves, and hips, try another advanced squat workout like this pistol squat from Women’s Health:

“Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Raise your right leg off the floor, and hold it there. (A) Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. (B) Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.”

Time is a problem for tons of brides when it comes to following a fitness routine. Make every workout count!

If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s vital that you make every moment worth it. For example, instead of just walking aimlessly on the treadmill for half an hour and calling it a day, try something a little more challenging for a shorter period of time that works more muscles than just cardio would. Try out jumping rope! This targets tons of problem areas that brides face, like the thighs, calves, shoulders, and back, but it also burns fat through cardio! Alternate this with other toning exercises that are less cardio-centric, like leg crunches or squats, and you’ll be toned and glowing for your walk down the aisle!

Get in Shape for the New Year

One of the most common resolutions people have is to get in shape. But the majority of people never through! This can be credited to a variety of reasons, one of which is being unprepared. Today, we’re here to help you combat this reason with a full quickstart guide and some of our top tips and tricks to get yourself in gear. Be sure to consult your physician if you have any medical conditions that may affect your ability to participate in increased physical activity.

Image Source: Suzy Squats

Image Source: Suzy Squats

How to Start

A great way to establish a basic level of fitness is simply walking every day. Hitting at least 10,000 steps every day is a good start on your road to fit. Walking is a low impact form of cardio that gets the body moving and heart rate up without being too intense. In addition to walking, there are a variety of moves you can do at your own home to continue your journey. The best part? You don’t need any equipment! Your own body weight makes these moves beneficial to you. Be sure that you are properly stretching both before and after your workout to avoid any injuries. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid lactic acid build up or cramping in the muscles.

Image Source: You Beauty

Image Source: You Beauty

Move #1: Squats

Work that booty! Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly sink your hips back to a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes. Easier variation? Use a wall for support and slide your upper body up and down the wall while completing your squat. Harder variation? Add a little jump between reps to transition into squat jumps! You’ll quickly feel the burn in your quads with this one.

Move #2: Lunges

Lunges also work that booty along with your core and leg muscles. Pick which leg you want to start on and step it back so that both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Once again, be sure that your knee is not coming in front of your toe! Variation #1: Pulse while in your lunge to get that burn going. Variation #2: Jump lunges! Instead of stepping back to switch legs, jump!

Image Source: Anytime Fitness

Image Source: Anytime Fitness

Move #3: Wall Sits

Similar to the modified squat, position yourself with your back against the wall. Slowly slide yourself down until your legs are at a 90 degree angle, keeping your knees behind your toes. Sit here and hold for as long as you can! You’ll feel this in your thighs and core. Time yourself and try to beat your time from the day before!

Move #4: Push-ups and Burpees

The dreaded push-up. While they seem to be nobody’s favorite, they’re great for your entire body! Easier variation? Drop to your knees instead of your toes! Harder variation? Burpees! Start on your feet, drop down, jump your feet back, do your push up, jump your feet back in, stand up, and take another little jump, and repeat!

Move #5: Jumping Jacks

A childhood favorite. Jumping jacks are a great, fun cardio move you can do to get that heartbeat pumping. Be sure to fully extend your arms and hold that core tight! Need an easier variation? Instead of jumping, step one foot out and then back in, alternating sides. Lower impact but still gets the blood pumping!

Move #6: Planks

Another great full-body move. Perform this in low-plank on your elbows or in high-plank on your hands. Easier variation? Drop to your knees! Harder variation? Try some side planks. Stack your feet and raise your off-hand into the air. See how long you can hold your plank and try to beat it the next day!

Image Source: Shape.com

Image Source: Shape.com

Move #7: Leg Raises

Lay on your back. Place your hands underneath you at the small of your back for some extra support. Keeping them straight, raise your legs into the air as far as you can, bending at the hip, with the goal being to get them straight into the air, perpendicular to the ground. Slowly lower them back towards the ground without actually touching, and raise again. Do both legs together or switch off sides!

Move #8: Crunches

Work that core with some crunches. Crunches are great because there are so many variations you can try. Straight leg crunches, side crunches, or step it up and go for the full sit up. Try a fun alternative and using an exercise ball to spice things up. Regardless of what variation you try, make sure you hold your core tight.

Image Source: Pop Sugar

Image Source: Pop Sugar

Move #9: Glute Bridges

Booty, booty, booty! Lay with your back on the floor, knees bent with feet on the floor. Squeeze your core and thrust your hips into the air, squeezing your glute muscles at the top. To increase difficulty, raise one leg up off the ground and continue the move the same way.

Move #10: Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers quickly get the blood pumping and your breathing spiked. Drop down into a high plank and start toe tapping upwards. The more skilled and fit you are, the quicker you can go. Start nice and slow, focusing on form and precision.


Looking for More Guidance?

If you’re someone that needs more guidance in your routine, there are tons of options out there for at home video workouts! Some of our favorites are:

oneOeight Yoga

Founded by Yoga Girl herself, Rachel Brathen, oneOeight is a wonderful platform where you can stream various yoga and meditation videos to help with your practice. We are huge fans of both yoga and meditation! Yoga is great for stretching and believe it or not, strength training too. A great way of cross-training, adding some yoga into your rotation is a must.

Beachbody on Demand

Have instant access to thousands of workouts from top-tier super trainers! These range from Beginner to Advanced and cover a whole range of styles. You can do mixed martial arts one day, yoga the next, and crazy cardio after that! If you’re someone who gets easily bored, BOD is a great option for you with its huge variety of options.

Kayla Itsines BBG Program

BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide -- 28 minute workouts using just your body weight (or weights if you opt for the BBG Stronger variety!) that you can complete at home. Yes, please! These HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts will get you sweating fast. Wonderful results from a body-positive crowd focused on being the healthiest you can be!