I heard a poll recently on the radio that said about 37% of American’s are too intimidated to go to the gym and start working out. People don’t know where to start and so they don’t even try. I know for myself this was very true at the beginning of my fitness journey as well.
I was shy and didn’t know what to do on all the different machines. But I bit the bullet and asked for help from friends and also watched a number of “how-to” videos on YouTube. What I found is when I asked for help people were eager to help, because they are impressed I was taking the initiative to work out. Now, it’s my turn, when people ask me for guidance, I’m happy to support them because I am thrilled to see anyone start a work out routine and a new path towards a healthier and happier lifestyle!
I LOVE the difference I feel from working out. Not only do I feel healthier and stronger physically, I also feel more mentally and emotionally stable. The drive and work ethic you get from working out can channel into every aspect of your life. If you want results in the gym you have to put in the hard work and time, but if you’re motivated and persistent you will hit your goals. I channel that in every aspect of my life. If I want something, I work hard for it; the reward is that much sweeter at the finish line! It’s okay to have off days at the gym or in life in general. Tomorrow is a brand-new day if today doesn’t go as planned. Just remind yourself…
“I will be back to dominate tomorrow.”
Working out can be such a stress relief for you, but can also improving your health. Sounds like a win-win situation to me! Where else do you really get the endorphins going while working towards goals that empower you physically and emotionally? I can’t really think of anywhere else myself besides the gym!
Empowered… I love that word. There are different definitions for that word, but the one that sticks with me when thinking of empowerment from working out would have to be, “To make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights” (Webster’s Dictionary) We all notice how much more comfortable and confident in our own skin we feel after working out for even just a bit. Sure, your body might be a bit sore and achy, but your brain is so much clearer, your step is lighter, you have a huge smile on your face…. You went and you did it! You conquered and now you are stronger physically, mentally and emotionally!
Joining the FIT & Flirty ambassador team has introduced me to fun and positive company that has similar interests to mine and cute fitness apparel! More importantly I’ve connected with a group of strong, beautiful and positive women. These women support and empower each other. We build each other up and applaud each other in our endeavors. There is so much light and love in this company. I’m so happy to be part of the team and can’t wait to keep sharing love and empowerment with so many other wonderful ladies!
We give so much to our relationships with our significant others, our friends and our family… but how often do we give attention to our relationships with food and movement? I learned the importance of this, the hard way.
In the beginning of my fitness journey I thought I needed to be extreme in order to see progression. I always go all in when I have a goal in mind – which is as positive as it is negative. I would hesitate going out with friends because I knew my evening would consist of saying no to tempting foods and passing on a glass of wine. I almost began to loathe being asked to attend events. I was exhausted trying to keep up. I began to question what this lifestyle was really doing for me. I reach my goals, sure… but at what cost?
I realized that this lifestyle wasn’t worth it and it made absolutely no sense depriving myself. I shouldn’t feel guilty indulging in one meal or spending time with the people I cared about. I realized I needed to learn the right ways to do this. How can I reach my goal while still having a life and feeling good? How can I still be balanced and still maintain my progress? The answer was simple: quit doing more and simply do less.
Here’s what I learned:
1. You don’t have to deprive yourself.
Realistically speaking, there is only one way to lose body fat: be in a caloric deficit (and the deficit doesn’t need to be 1000 calories). If you want that one meal on the weekend then GO for it! It wont make or break the results you have made thus far. If you want that glass of wine, drink it and ENJOY it. There is no need to feel guilty afterward. As long as you are eating well often and moving often, you will be fine. Live your life
2. You don’t have to eat salad every day.
Don’t get me wrong… I do LOVE me a good salad, but I definitely don’t eat them all the time. We are conditioned to believe that we have to eat like rabbits and aren’t allowed to eat food that taste good. How boring of a life, right? So instead of feeling like a slave to food, I learned that it really isn’t that hard to eat healthy. I eat pasta, rice, and meals with sauces. Instead of buying low-fat this or low-calorie that, I focus on the individual ingredients I put into my body (foods typically in their most natural state / unprocessed). Food is fuel. Food is not the enemy.
Everyone is different. Do your research and go back to the basics. No need to feel like you’re “on a diet.” Mindset is everything! A lot of people believe carbs are bad, when in reality carbs provide our body with energy. Your body NEEDS them. It’s all about moderation and portion control.
3,You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym, simply MOVE.
How are you feeling about working out? I mean really… Even as personal trainer, I have had moments where I was like ugh I am just NOT FEELING it. So how do I stay motivated and LOVE moving my body daily? Seriously though, I actually get excited about doing something daily to move my body. This isn’t always a high intensity workout or a heavy lift day. Sometimes, this isn’t even a cardio day. This can literally be a quick walk, or bike ride outside.
It doesn’t take much to feel amazing and just MOVE. Don’t get stuck in thinking that it always has to be intense. You will make such a difference if you just spend about 15-20 minutes a day doing SOMETHING.
Rebuild your relationship with food and movement, it’s a lot easier than working against it. Once you see the magic in simplicity it’ll be easy to maintain. For me, wellness is never just an “end goal” type of thing… it’s a lifestyle.
On January 20th I arrived to Fit and Fly Girl Luxury Fitness Retreat in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. This unique fitness retreat series is organized by owner Rebecca Garland. Her desire is to bring women together, combining travel with the pursuit of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
A fitness retreat is about escaping your everyday life and taking the time to focus on yourself. It gives you the opportunity to reflect, learn healthier practices, workout with a personal trainer and discover new fitness tips and exercises. Many fitness retreats include spa therapies, a body assessment and adventure and wellness activities. This type of travel can be particularly popular with solo travelers, as singles are likely to meet like-minded individuals.
Attending a fitness retreat is a great way to take a break from work, family stresses or any other dilemma. It can serve as a great recovery or reset after a break-up or a personal loss. Whatever you may need time away from a fitness retreat offers an escape to adjust your perspective, regain control of your life and maybe even discover aspects about yourself that have been dormant or you didn’t know existed. When dealing with stress or self-doubt it can help to remove yourself from your current situation and share your stories with others who can offers a different perspective and help you to see another way of dealing with your situation.
Fit & Fly Girl luxury fitness retreats provide a well-rounded approach to fitness getaways; blending together fitness, wellness, culture, adventure, nutrition, and pampering.
Overall, the purpose of Fit and Fly Girl is to empower women to travel in style, to find adventure, to create meaningful and lasting friendships, and above all, to take care of your mind, body and spirit!
At this particular fitness retreat we were a group of 16 ladies staying in the luxurious Don Vito Villa. We were spoiled with nutritious and delicious meals prepared by our own personal in house Chef Fabien Mandrea.Our body assessment, daily workouts and yoga practices were all taught by Hannah Davis, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, also known for her training program called Body By Hannah.
Christine BibboHerr the fitness and fashion blogger from @NYCPretty was also part of our fitness group and he husband John a professional photographer, took on the role of “paparazzi”, capturing our moments of pain and dripping sweat.
Here is a summary of my week at Fit & Fly Girl’s luxury fitness retreat in Costa Rica.
Day One – Saturday January 20th
All the ladies arrived at the villa and Hannah conducted individual fitness assessments to learn our personal fitness objective for the week. She also took our body measurements and before and after photos to show us how much progress can really be made in seven days.
We had our first body shake out class which was a short 30 minute workout with dynamic stretching to open up our tight muscles after a long day of travel and prepare us for the week ahead.
After dinner we sat around getting to know each other.
Day Two – Sunday January 21st
Rise and shine at 7 :00 am, inject caffeine before a short foam rolling session and we were out the door before 8 am for our first Full Body & Strength Class at the gym next door to the villa. This hour workout was designed to build muscle and tone us up. The workout included eight strength training stations performing 3 x 1 minutes per exercises. Stronger is better!
10:30 am – Time to Surf!
“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf “⠀
This was my first time surfing; I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it, but it was an amazing!! Thanks to the patient instructors at Iguana Surf I managed to get up five times and I fell a more times than I can count; I have the bruises to prove it. In all aspect of life you should never be afraid to try something new and push your limits!
Later that afternoon we took advantage of our free time to watch the NFL playoffs. Go Jacksonville Jaguars!
5:30 pm – We wrapped up the day up with a vinyasa yoga and guided meditation. A much needed stretch session after a tough day of surfing.
Day Three – Monday January 22nd
8:00 am Body FHITT class at the beach. This was a team based high interval class to improve our metabolic conditioning and burn max calories in the shortest amount of time. The heat and sand made this workout extra challenging,
Down time I spent the afternoon at Coco Spa getting my sore muscles massaged.
Day Four – Tuesday January 23rd
You don’t inspire your teammates by showing the how amazing you are, you inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.” – Robyn Benincasa
8 am we were back to the beach for a Body Team Training Class. (My personal favorite workout of the week) This was a partner-based beach workout which had us focused on pushing our physical limits as we accumulated points for our team. There is something very powerful about working with a partner and not wanting to let down your teammates. I personally thrive with a some friendly competition!
On Tuesday evening we had the pleasure of going to the La Senda labyrinth. Unlike a maze you can not get lost because a labyrinth has only one path which symbolizes our life’s journey and takes us inward guiding us to find out who we really are. We had a guided meditation in the middle of the labyrinth which was a magical experience for me. Another marvelous dinner was prepared for us on the La Senda property using fresh organic vegetable grown on the scared land.
Day 5 – Wednesday January 24th
8 am workout in the backyard at the Don Vito Villa. The 60 minute body power class was focused on building power and helping us to tap into our fast switch muscle fibers to stay quick and powerful,
Followed by a 30 minute optional hill sprint workout, which of course I was keen to partake! All those years of running in higher elevations and hills of Vancouver BC proved to be good training for this workout.
We spent the rest of the day soaking in the beauty of Tamarindo on a boat, sipping cold cocktails, waddling in the water and just hanging out.
Hills. We love them. We hate them. They make us stronger. They make us weaker. Today I chose to embrace hills. – Hal Higdon
Day 6 – Thursday January 25th
Adventure day: fun filled day included zip lining, a mud bath, horseback riding, rafting and much more!
Day 7 – Friday January 26th
Time to double up!
8 am. Body FHITT workout at the beach. A super high intensity interval class designed to improve our metabolic conditioning and burn maximum calories in the shortness amour of time.
That’s afternoon I had time to relax at the spa again for a facial before we went back to the beach for a sunset body burn out class. An all body weight exercises to burnout the legs, arms and abs like nothing we’d done yet.
Although every woman on this retreat had a different fitness level, background and reason to travel to Costa Rica, we all had two things in common: we all wanting to better ourselves physically and I think we all had some kind of personal quest. Some were seeking new experiences or adventure, others wanted to establish new fitness and health habits. Some wanted to step away from their daily grind and evaluate life and break out of their comfort zone and other others wanted to make new connections.
Personally I got all of the above and more from this experience. The Fit and Fly Girl luxury fitness retreat combined my two loves; fitness and travel and gave me time to reset and evaluate many things of my life. Thanks to our personal trainer Hannah (who was extremely relatable) after only seven days I walked away stronger and feeling inspired to push myself further on my personal fitness journey. I think we can all agree we shared personal and physical breakthroughs, lots sweat, laughter and some wine too! We all made special memories and real friendships were created! I feel blessed to have been part of such a powerful, determined, strong, creative and caring group of women!
“Its easy to spot the strong women. They’re the ones lifting each other up!”
If you like fitness and would like to travel to new locations that you may not otherwise visit on your own, if you’re looking to connect with like-minded women, then what are you waiting for? Step out of comfort zone and get ready because it’s your time to fly!
Fall has officially hit the west coast; torrential downpours and gusty winds are likely to be with us for the next five months. After only two days of darkness my body was desperate for some heat and since I can’t just hop a flight to Hawaii I decided on the next best thing; a workout at Oxygen Hot Yoga & Fitness. The Kitsilano location opened up few blocks away from my place, so I decided to go try a class.
Oxygen Hot Yoga & Fitness is not a typically yoga studio. First of all, the studios are heated with far infrared heat which has extraordinary heath benefits such as; improves your immune system, reduces toxins and wast minerals, helps reduce stress, burns extra calories and helps control weight gain. It’s also been proven to help diminish cellulite and improve skin tone, plus can strengthen the cardiovascular system, relieve pain from arthritis, sprains, strains and over worked muscles.
You can indulge in a wide variety of yoga classes such as “Hot Yoga Rise & Shine” – Mix sun salutations, balance poses, standing poses with strengthening poses and deep stretches. Early morning yoga is a great way to center yourself, listen to your body and set an intention. But if you’re looking for something more powerful, I welcome you to try one of the many fitness classes such as “Hot Cardio Fusion” – A intense cardio party that helps keep your heart healthy and burn fat. View the full schedule
The Oxygen Yoga & Fitness mantra is “I Love My Life” which is written all over the studioand the fitness instructors have you recite it at the end of every single class; expect nothing but good. positive and friendly vibes! The room is hot approx 30 degrees and the lights are usually dimed. If you’re in a yoga class the mood is calm and meditative but in the fitness classes you can expect loud music and very high energy! You’ll need your yoga mat, a yoga towel, a face towel and WATER! Be prepared to SWEAT A LOT!
“No one has ever drowned in sweat.” – Lou Holtz
I hadn’t been to a “hot class” since February of this year, so I decided to looked up my sign in records at the Olympic Village/Fairview location from February 2016 to end February 2017. I attended 155 classes (13 classes per month or 3.5 classes per week for a year). WOWZA! So I thought it best to ease the hot classes back into my fitness schedule this week.
–Monday October 16th 7:30 pm – Combo at Kondi 30 minutes of a total body TRX workout to strengthen and tone and 30 minutes of Callanetics to lengthen and tighten your muscles.
–Tuesday October 17th 6:30 pm Oxygen Hot Yang/Ying Yoga lead by Sandra: first class back and forgot how HAWWWT it get’s in there. The yoga teacher was friendly and had a meditative voice; this much needed deep stretch was painful yet ohhhh so good!
–Wednesday October 18th 7:15 pm TRX class at Kondi is a core-focused workout which uses your own body weight and angle to determine the difficulty.
–Thursday October 19th 6:30 pm Oxygen Hot Fast and Furious Fusion Challenge Level 2/3 with Holly. This class was kickass ! One hour of non-stop heart pumping cardio and strength training! I felt amazing after! This class confirmed I’d to signing up again!
–Friday October 20th – Rest day
–Saturday October 21st 11:15 am – Combo Kondi 30 minutes of a total body TRX workout to strengthen and tone and 30 minutes of Callanetics to lengthen and tighten your muscles.
–NFL SundayOctober 22nd – 4:30 pm 6km hilly run
– Monday October 23rd 6:30 pm Oxygen Hot Power Core with Lindsey!! One of my favorite teacher’s from the Fairview location. This class ABS-olutely rocked!!! This class incorporates yoga, weights, resistance training and cardio into a fast paced heart pumping core blasting session!
Having only been back for a week, I can already see and feel the benefits of combining my fitness routine in the far infrared heat. My body leans out and builds muscle so much faster, my skin is glowing, I push myself to my physical limit in each session and I’ve been sleeping like a baby! Plus working out in the heat is a good way to prepare for the outdoor workouts I will be doing on my luxury fitness retreat in Costa Rica. Not to mention, all my fitness needs are met under on roof with classes ranging from yoga, barre, cardio, core, strengthening and more!
“I will make sweat my best accessory, I will run harder than my mascara.”
If you’re a Vancouverite, Oxygen Yoga & Fitness is a must! Especially in the winter months! But don’t take my word for it, for only $10.00 you can try it yourself for a week or for $49.00 have unlimited access for a month. With 35 locations in British Columbia and 11 more opening soon there’s sure to be a studio near you!
Have you tried Oxygen Yoga & Fitness? What’s your favorite local studio these days?
There’s still so much juicy goodness ahead of me in 2017 but I’m excited about the New Year already! Fitness resolutions aside this coming January is special because it’s my big 4-0 and to celebrate I’m going to a surf, sand and fitness sanctuary! Words can’t express how thrilled I am about the @fitandflygirl fitness retreat located in a private luxury villa in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. This really is how every female fitness fanatic should start her new year’s fitness journey!
Upon arrival I’ll be escorted to my private room in the 8,000 square foot Villa of Don Vitowhich has 24/7 concierge service; daily housekeeping; a full-time caretaker, pool keeper, and gardener; and a private chef who will prepare all the healthy and delicious meals during the retreat. I’ll get to meet to all other fabulous ladies and then receive a one-on-one consultation with fitness professional to discuss my fitness goals and perform a short physical assessment.
Every day I will be challenged to a group workout lead by @bodybyhannah. Hannah is one-of-a-kind personal trainer focused on taking a personalized approach to building a strong body and strong mind. Daily yoga sessions and self-development workshops are also scheduled.
Travel + Leisuremagazine has named Tamarindo as one of Costa Rica’s “Best Girlfriend Getaways.”
I can’t wait for all the additional fitness adventures; surf lessons, horseback riding, rappelling and zip lining.
I get to indulge in mud bathing, a guided meditation in the world’s largest labyrinth and two spa treatments. (1 treatment included in the price)
There will also be plenty of free time to get to know the ladies, hang out at the beach, catch up on some reading, go shopping in town, as well as have a special dinning experience in the private outdoor groundsof La Senda with the group.
This will truly be an epic start 2018 and launch my fortiest year on a fit and soulful path!
To learn more about this luxury fitness retreat and other amazing destinations please visit FITNESS RETREATS
Where to get FIT, have fun and be fabulous in Vancouver? I get asked “Which gym do you go to?” all the time. According to StatsCan as of December 2016 Metro Vancouver had over 300 fitness facilities, plus 19 in Abbostford and 48 in Victoria, B.C. Some of the biggest fitness chains being Steve Nash Fitness World with 23 locations and counting. Anytime Fitness, Club 16 Trevor Linden, Goodlife, Curves and OrangeTheory . Vancouver also has 23 community centers who offer gym services, add to the mix yoga-only studio, Pilates studios, Cross-Fit Clubs, Spinning studios, boxing and martial-arts gyms, work place fitness facilities, condo gyms, tennis clubs & golf clubs and independent personal trainers how does someone decide where to sign up?
For years my fitness routine included two personal trainer session per week and and running about 50 km per week. I was obsessed with logging my miles; rain, snow or scorching heat, I would be out there pounding the pavement. But after completing four half-marathons and a full marathon I now find myself seeking different ways of staying fit. About a year ago I signed up for Class Pass and I’ve discovered never ending variety and constant physical challenge.
The first class I signed up for with the Class Pass app was at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness (564 W Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.) Don’t let the name fool you, this is NOT your typical yoga studio. I tried the Hot, Fast and Furious class and I was instantly hooked. These yoga and fitness classes are conducted in an infrared sauna. The workouts vary from boot camp style classes (with weights), Pilates Fusion, Hot Power Core, Yoga and more. I guarantee Oxygen Yoga & Fitness will challenge you, push you and get you chiseled for the summer.
For addicts like me you can sign up for an unlimited monthly package directly at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness. They have multiple locations throughout the city with more popping up soon! Bring your yoga mat, full length towel, face towel and lots of water!
My second favorite facility is Kondi Fitness (100-1462 W. 8th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.) This boutique studio specializes in fun and challenging group classes featuring Callanetics, Pilates, TRX resistance workouts for stronger legs and H.I.I.T. workout guarantees to help you become a faster runner. When I first walked in I was a bit intimidated; everyone was modelesque (trainers and students alike) but it didn’t take me long to feel welcomed. The instructors/trainers are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable; they take the time to correct your form and push you to your physical limit. If you’re looking for a real challenge or want to bring your training to the next level, this studio is made for you. The classes are TOUGH, especially the H.I.I.T. series so bring alot of energy, your water bottle and be prepared to get breathless!
Vancouver saw the biggest snow falls since 1969 this winter; the sidewalks have been slippery and covered in snow for months so instead of my outdoor run I’ve been booking spin classes for my cardio blast. My current favorite spin studio is:
Eastwood Cycle (154 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C.), nestled between Yaletown and Gastown, is a gorgeous 4,500 sq spinning facility. You can ride to the rhythm of the beats in the Icon Class or train for endurance and strength training in the Athlete Class. I love this studio, especially for my early morning workouts—the beats are super loud and you ride in the dark! The instructors focus on empowerment and motivation to make sure your heart gets pounding!
My latest find on the Class Pass app is Pure Barre (1907 West 4th Ave, Vancouver, B.C.) These 55 minute full- body low-impact workouts concentrate on areas where women tend to struggle the most: with the use of the ballet barre, you perform a series of small isometric movements that will lift your seat, and tone your thighs, abs and arms to build long and lean muscles. The vibe at the Kitsilano location is inviting but don’t be fooled by their kindness at reception, these workouts are a BURN! I also recommend you invest in a pair of sticky socks.
I work out 5-6 days a week, I bored and lose interest quickly so changing up my routine and trying new things workouts keeps me interested and challenged. What’s your favorite workout or fitness studio and why?