guest post: 5 tips for finding a fitness plan that works fo you
when it comes to finding a fitness plan that works for you, it’s important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. in fact, there are so many ways to keep fit and stay healthy that you don’t need to worry if hitting the gym just isn’t your thing. simply getting off the bus a few stops early or maybe going for a walk during your lunch hour can all add valuable physical activity to your day.
but, what you do need to remember is that any fitness plan has to work around your life, otherwise the likelihood is that you won’t stick to it. this isn’t necessarily a reflection of you, it’s just human nature … and it doesn’t have to stay that way! if you can find a way to get fit that works with your lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals.
keeping all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the best ways to find a fitness plan that will work for you!
1. don’t push yourself too hard at the start. when you first begin a new workout routine, you may feel super motivated and like you have something to prove, but pushing yourself too hard at the beginning is only going to create problems. if you haven’t worked out in a while, you could be increasing the chance of getting hurt if you push yourself too hard. not only this, biting off more than you can chew will encourage you to skip sessions when the going gets tough, and this will likely lead to you just stopping completely. a fitness plan is a lifestyle change, so when it comes to planning yours, you need to make sure that you find something that’s realistic for you.
2. do your research. whether you love going to the gym or would rather spend time at the park with family, there are plenty of ways to get fit. researching will help you to find exercises that you think you may enjoy. If you like swimming, find a pool that has an adults only swimming time so you can get a workout without the distraction of children. if you worry about how you’re going to fit your fitness routine around family/friend time, then bring them with you! working out with a buddy is more enjoyable than working out alone, and if you have kids, they can benefit from a bike ride or a run around the park, too. get creative!
3. tag team it. one of the best ways to ensure that you stick to a new fitness plan is to enlist someone else to join you. whether you choose to take your partner or a friend, it can be a great way to spend some quality time with someone. exercising together will also help you to bond and stay connected, while having someone to keep you motivated and vice versa. if you can’t get anyone on board, try making friends with people who workout at similar times as you. if you’re in touch with someone at the gym or in a workout class and they’re expecting you to be there, you’re more likely to show up.
4. follow a gradual plan. fitness is becoming more and more popular all the time, and because of this, the amount of plans aimed at people who haven’t worked out much before is growing. there are plans that can help you go “from your sofa to running a 5K” and much more. diving in head first isn’t sustainable, but working gradually towards a goal means you will be much more likely to stay on track.
5. find what works best for you. if you have a fitness plan in place and haven’t noticed any changes after about four weeks [or you just aren’t enjoying it], consider changing it up! remember, it’s always best to do a mixture of cardio and strength training, but strength training can be anything from yoga to hiking, and cardio can range from dancing to jumping on a trampoline …. think outside the box and create a fitness plan that keeps you entertained, motivated and is something you love to do!
getting fit and starting a new fitness plan can be intimidating at first, but when approached the right way, can change your life for the better. all you need is the motivation and a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
and remember, fitness is about leading a healthier lifestyle, not worrying about the number you see on the scale or the tags of your clothes. focus on how you feel, because that’s what really counts!
this post was written by amy leach on behalf of focus training.
class review: bfx studio burn + flow
guys. okay. i’m really excited about today’s class reviews for a few reasons. first, i can’t say that i ever thought i would find myself actually enjoying the type of class that i’m about to rave about, but i’ve become obsessed. seriously, i’m going to miss not having this as an option now that i’m no longer living in new york! second [and most importantly] my good friend melissa is the instructor and she’s pretty much the sh*t [i promise i’ll try to be as unbiased as possible].
so, bfx studio is a fairly new studio in new york with a location in chelsea and an even newer location in thefinancial district. it’s a luxury gym with options for personal training sessions and a variety of group classes, but today, we’re specifically going to talk about their new burn + flow class, exclusively taught by my friend melissa!
i can best describe this class as a boot camp style class with a twist. you start off with a little warm up and then get right to it, performing eight sets of different exercises for 50 minutes, getting a full body workout and sweating like crazy. within the eight sets, the exercises range anywhere from tabatas to plyometrics… a lot of plyometrics…. to simple toning and weight training. i’m talking squats, push-ups, ab bikes, tuck jumps, bicep curls… you should probably just show up to class prepared for anything. melissa bumps the music, which i personally love during a fitness class, because it keeps me going when things start getting difficult.
for the last 10 minutes of class, you cool down with a little yoga flow to stretch, relax and let your body settle after a really intense workout. [this is definitely my favorite part of class.]
i have to mention that melissa is an amazing instructor. she knows what she’s talking about and gets you working hard right away. most importantly, she keeps you motivated without being annoying about it. she’s energetic, positive, friendly, super approachable and obviously loves what she does… and she’s like… really pretty [sorry, i just can’t resist the opportunity to reference mean girls when it’s presented to me].
it’s also worth noting that bfx’s fi.di location is brand new and gorgeous, which i’m not ashamed to admit really helps to keep me motivated during an intense workout.
so, if you haven’t already guessed which way this was going…
5/5 bananas for bfx burn + flow!
like I mentioned before, melissa is currently the only instructor teaching the burn + flow class, but their signature class, bfx burn, is also worth checking out if you can’t fit burn + flow into your schedule. they are also currently on classpass, so if that’s your kinda thing, definitely look into it!
guest post: the balanced beauty’s top tips for achieving the body of your dreams
it’s been a while since i’ve had a guest blogger appear on bananas + bellinis, but after i connected with aly of the balanced beauty i knew that you guys would love what she has to say, and what better way to share her approach than with a guest post? a few of my recipes were featured on aly’s blog during her summer slim-down series [here + here] so be sure to check that out as well, but without further adieu, meet aly!
hi there! my name is aly mang and I am a board certified holistic health coach, founder/owner of the balanced beauty and fellow green juice lover… kelsey and i connected because we share a similar passion for health, wellness and striving for balance.
i personally believe balance is the key to living a healthy, happy life! my business was created because as i began to coach many young women, i saw that the majority were using an “all or nothing” approach when it came to dieting or wanting to change the way they looked. my advice is to ditch the extremes and know that balance on your plate, in your relationships, fitness routine and overall life is the way to achieve complete harmony and peace within yourself.
here are a few of my top tips for achieving the balanced body of your dreams!
1. love your body NOW.
the first step is to be grateful for who and what you are. stop comparing yourself others… you were born to be you. also know that the grass is not always greener on the other side. each individual has their own unique set of concerns, challenges and struggles. be grateful for the body you were given and if you want to change it because you want to improve it, come from a place of love! when you shift your desire to change for all of the right reasons, it will make the process much more rewarding and your goals will be more attainable.
2. eat from the earth!
this is a simple way to check yourself. before you consuming anything, ask yourself, “is what I’m eating from the earth or is it manmade?” often times manmade foods are processed and loaded with ingredients that can be toxic to your system. hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colorings may make our food look pretty or have a longer shelf life, but they can reek havoc on our skin, body and immune system. read labels and pay attention to the chemicals or preservatives you are putting into your system. a build-up of toxic ingredients may be the reason you feel sluggish, bloated or are lacking that inner glow!
3. food is FUEL.
the #1 misconception I find when first coaching clients is that they think they need to eat less if they want to lose weight. false! i encourage my clients to eat throughout the day to keep their metabolism burning like a well-oiled machine. go longer than four hours without eating and you’re setting yourself up for ravenous eating and poor choices later on. making healthy choices and fueling your body throughout the day is the best way to keep your metabolism strong and in time will make you a fat-burning machine!
4. quality supplementation is key.
i understand healthy eating can be difficult all day everyday. we sometimes slip-up or have limited time in our schedules to prepare and organize our meals and snacks properly. this can leave holes in our diet, causing us to lack very important nutrients we need to function at an optimal level. this is why, in addition to eating from the earth and making mindful food choices, I recommend proper supplementation. this helps to ensure that your body has what it needs to feel mentally alert, energized and properly supported.
**below are a few of my favorite supplements that i recommend to support overall health, immunity and fitness goals. all of these products are all-natural, non-gmo and made with high quality ingredients. **
morning greens [my #1 recommendation!]
this is a green powder that you can mix with water and drink each morning on an empty stomach to fortify your entire system with 100% of your daily vitamins, minerals, greens, antioxidants and probiotics need! it’s also great for gut health, which is necessary for a healthy metabolism. this formula is 100% all-natural and raw… the perfect foundation for any balanced beauty body!
**the link above contains a limited-time offer of 50% OFF exclusive to balanced beauty and bananas + bellinis clients and followers… so act fast!
omegas fight inflammation, improve workout recovery and brain function, and are optimal for beautiful hair, skin, nails and a healthy heart! this formula has no fishy aftertaste or added ingredients.
grass-fed whey protein
protein powders can be a great option pre- or post-workout when you’re on-the-go and can help you build lean muscle in a delicious way! while there are many similar products on the market, athletic greens are the only products i recommend to my clients because of the high quality ingredients. i credit these particular products for my own personal health and overall wellness, which is the only reason i feel 100% confident in sharing them with you!
thank you, kelsey, for the opportunity to introduce myself to your fabulous community. for more healthy tips, recipes and inspiration, be sure to check me out on instagram, twitter and facebook or at the balanced beauty blog!
health + happiness,
class review: 305 fitness
if you listen to nothing else that I say, do yourself a favor and just try this one thing: take a class at 305 fitness... a$ap. i went to my first class back in january with a group of girlfriends and was instantly hooked… obviously… i mean just look at the stairs leading down to the studio…
305 fitness is essentially zumba meets south beach nightclub. we’re talking fun dance moves taught by upbeat, positive instructors, a live dj, flashing lights and lots, i mean lots, of bass. seriously, i think my favorite thing about these classes is how loud they bump the music.
oh, and did i mention that you’ll sweat your ass off?
everything about the studio and the classes is amazing. they really have channeled the whole south beach vibe and there are positive messages and cool art plastered just about everywhere to keep you focused and motivated, even when the class becomes challenging. it’s mostly cardio, but they alternate between arm and leg days to work on toning up, as well. latoya and sadie are my favorite instructors… they basically both define #badbitchalert.
The verdict? …. I mean… DUH…
5/5 bananas for 305 fitness!
if you like dancing, loud music, positive energy and are looking for a serious sweat session, grab your friends and run to 305 fitness immediately [the cost is worth it].
class review: peloton cycle
let me just start this post, a review of a spinning studio, by being 100% honest with you: i absolutely hate spinning. like, seriously, hate it like i hate no other form of working out. my friends and i still joke about the first time i ever tried soulcycle because i was just that miserable. i don’t know what it is, but i just can’t seem to get down with spinning.
now, with that being said, since my first trip to soulcycle, i have, oh, i don’t know, come to terms with the idea of spinning in the sense that a] i sweat a sh*t load, b] it’s challenging [both physically and mentally, at least for myself] and c] it’s a good way to switch my workout routine up here and there. i’ve pushed myself to attend a handful of spin classes at various studios and i’m at a point where i can handle it in small doses.
about a month or so ago, my roommate invited me to check out a beyoncé ride with her at peloton cycle here in nw york. as you know from my first class review, i’ll sign up for any workout that is beyoncé themed and i figured that even though i’m not into spinning, the music would get me through the ride.
… and i was correct! the instructor, cody, was energetic, funny and kept it positive and light-hearted… and obviously the music was ***flawless. i even enjoyed myself enough to book another class the following week [it was also free soooo]. same instructor only this time nicki minaj themed. again, really fun and definitely a challenge.
i do need to mention that i did take one other class… a 7am-er with a different instructor last week… and let’s just say, even though the theme was jay-z vs. kanye… i still hated it. i’ll go ahead and behonest here: the instructor’s style was not doing it for me. she gave really confusing instructions, made strange noises and by the end of the class i was literally just making sh*t up and doing my own thing. after that class, i think it’s safe to say that it will be a few months before I’m setting foot in a spin class again.
so, what’s the verdict?
3/5 bananas for peloton cycle!
here’s the thing with peloton: if spinning is your thing, definitely get to a class. your first class is full price [$30] but when you check-in they will credit your account for one free ride, meaning that your first two classes are only $15 each. if you feel the way i do about spinning, make sure you take a class with a theme you’ll enjoy [and take a class with cody, you will love him].
another thing to note: the space is amazing and has a community feel. it’s super modern and fun, with a lounge, smoothie bar and really nice, clean locker rooms with all the amenities you could ask for [although the line for the showers after class is ridiculous].
finally, peloton could have earned a 4th banana [even from me] if they bumped the music a little louder during class… i like my music effing loud.
what class should i be heading to next?! i’ll be in l.a. next weekend celebrating my birthday and will definitely be trying out some classes there… any recommendations? share them in the comments below!
image courtesy of peloton
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