My Summer of Fitness Kick-Off

Since I moved to the city, I have been on a fitness roller coaster, starting at the top and then dropping so low that it was hard to get the momentum going to get back up on the workout wagon. I used every excuse in the book (to myself, of course) – mainly that I was too busy balancing school, work, and life to workout. Well… My mind listened, but my body did not. Not only did I gain a few pounds, but I became really sluggish. So I decided to change that this summer.

With my blogging internship for FiTMAPPED, and just being in New York in the summertime, I’m gaining the momentum that I need to make fitness a bigger part of my life. Luckily, living in such an expensive city has its perks – so many things are free! Whatever you’re into, there’s a festival or some kind of event geared for it. And with NYC being such an active, fitness-obsessed city, there’s fitness and healthy lifestyle events all the time, especially in the summer. And because of that, I’ve dubbed this summer my Summer of Fitness. And hopefully next summer and the summer after that.

And since the summer officially started last Friday, I’m proud to say I’ve been on quite a roll:

Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind over Madness, which you can read about here.
Ballet Class at Dokoudovsky New York Conservatory of Dance (as part of Dance Week)
Buns n’ Biscuits Bootcamp and Brunch (you can read about my experience here.)
Pilates Mat Class at Ballet Academy East (as part of Dance Week)
Outdoor fhitting room class (as part of FITiST & Lole Showtique Summer of Fitness at Hudson River Park)
Mid-workday lunch-hour run
Pilates Circuit Class at Studio Anya (as part of dance week)
A nice, 3-mile run passing the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges (talk about a view!)
Real Ride spin class at Revolve Fitness
One last evening run along the East River (to top it all off)

My favorite workouts of the 10-day kick-off, other than the ones I’ve already written about, would definitely have to be:

the fhitting room’s FHIX class at Hudson River Park

fhitting room - Hudson River Park

(source)

This high intensity training class was challenging and fun at the same time. Eric and Ben, the trainers, made sure to introduce themselves to everyone (this is quite impressive given that there were about 70 people in the class), and double-teamed to make sure we sweat ALOT. Interspersed with burpees and planks was a relay-race including sprints, crab walks, bear crawls, you name it. It felt like I was back in 4th grade again, only this time my gym class was filled with fitness fanatics and the “gym teachers” made sure you gave it 110% effort. Of course, I’m sure their classes at the actual studio are even more intense, and I would love to try them out there as well.

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(a sweaty and wide-eyed me with the trainers)

Pilates Circuit Class at Studio Anya

The minute I walked into Studio Anya, I was captivated by the zen atmosphere. The Pilates Circuit class was no joke, and I’m not proud to say my former experience in Pilates classes and the reformer did not prepare me for this, probably because my core hasn’t been worked like this in quite a while. Pilates has a fabulous way of activating muscles from their very core, rather than on a superficial level. The circuit class included exercises on the reformer, wall, and chair, all which worked different muscle groups and in different ways. Following the class,  I had a greater sense of my alignment and more control of my core.

Studio Anya(source)

Real Ride spin class at Revolve Fitness

This class was INTENSE! Taught by Kristin Kenney, who is HUGE in the fitness world, this class was no joke. I was dripping sweat almost immediately. She led us through a stimulated route in Sicily, and we alternated between high resistance and high speed. There were times when I was struggling, but Kristin had a great way of motivating everyone to keep going, so I tried my best to give 100% effort throughout the entire workout. 

Revolve Fitness(source)

What I’ve learned from the past 10 days: always give everything you do 100%. The best workouts I had was when I stopped holding back and just went for it. I never realized how strong my tendency was to hold back and conserve energy, but what I realize now is that its not worth it. There’s a fine balance between conserving energy for endurance and going all out for intensity.

This is just the start to my Summer of Fitness, but I’m confident that it will give me the motivation I need to keep going. Are you making this YOUR Summer of Fitness as well? Let me know!

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week + The Starving Art

NEDAwareness_2013In case you didn’t know, February 24-March 2 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. As the week is coming to an end, I wanted to make sure that the awareness spreads.

The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to increase awareness and education about eating disorders and body image issues for effective recognition, early intervention and direction to care (NEDAwareness.org).

This is something that I am so passionate about and find so important that I want the impact to last greater than one week – I want the awareness to spread, so that anyone with body image issues, disordered eating, and/or eating disorders knows that there are resources out there for them – there are people who are willing to help and there are plenty of people who are going through the same problem – You are not in it aloneYou can get help. You can get better. 

Now, eating disorders are something that I am very passionate about. Growing up in the dance world, disordered eating and eating disorders were always around me. That is not to say every dancer has an eating disorder, or that dance necessarily causes eating disorders, contrary to popular belief, but they are more prevalent among dancers than in the general population. So for my undergraduate honor’s thesis, in an effort to spread the awareness of eating disorders and educate health professionals (including registered dietitians and physicians) and the general public, I enlisted the help of my friend and videographer, Nick, and we created a documentary. I interviewed college dancers who were affected by disordered eating and/or eating disorders, whether personally or through a friend or family member. To gain a professional perspective on the treatment and physiology behind eating disorders, I also interviewed health professionals who treated individuals with eating disorders – medical doctors, pediatricians, registered dietitians, and licensed counselors. The documentary turned out to be much more than I expected – not only do the brave dancers expose their secrets and feelings about eating disorders, but you gain an overall perspective of the role that the dance world, the media, and society play in the development of disordered eating and eating disorders.

So without further ado, I bring to you:

 The Starving Art:

The Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders Among Dancers

I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. For any commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times.

NEDA’s campaign this year is that Everybody knows somebody who has been affected (NEDAwareness.org).  So if you know someone who struggles with body image issues, disordered eating, and/or eating disorders, please please please refer to the resources I have listed below. Eating disorders are a very sensitive topic and need to be approached in such a way – remember eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are diseases.

ED_Women_Infographic

MalesED_Infographic

The National Eating Disorder Association has information and resources available on their website and helpline:

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

NEDA Helpline: 800 931-2237

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