Saturday, March 28, 2015

Barre3: A Great Barre Workout

I was introduced to barre workouts five years ago through a free barre class at my local Lululemon store. I fell in love pretty much right away. Over the past five years, I have been taking barre classes at various studios in the area. I enjoy seeing how barre classes differ and how different instructors teach the classes. Mixing things up also keeps things interesting for me. 

Since barre classes are expensive, I’m always looking for specials. Years ago, I took at least three classes per week. At this point, it’s only once a week, and I purchase specially priced packages a few times a year at a few studios, which makes it more economical. 

A new-to-me studio is about to open in Los Altos - barre3. I got to try a free class this past week and enjoyed it a lot. Compared to other barre classes I have taken, there is more movement, and it seemed positions weren’t held for quite as long as in other classes I have taken. The core was worked during different exercises throughout the class, so there also weren’t as many core-only exercises. I loved the pace of the class, and the 60 minutes truly seemed to fly by. Plus, the instructor gave great instructions and clearly showed all exercises in the middle of the room. I definitely got a great workout and was sore the next day and struggled up the steep hills on our hike. I look forward to taking more barre3 classes soon! 

Barre3 Los Altos 

Questions: Have you ever taken a barre class? If so, what did you think? Do you have a favorite barre workout? Do you have a favorite barre exercise? What’s your favorite workout?

Be well,

Andrea

 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Healthy Living Toolbox

A few weeks ago, my blog turned 6. When I started blogging, I wanted to have a space to re-focus on myself and on being healthier. In the process, I learned a lot and met many wonderful people, some of whom have become  close friends. The blog also introduced me to many new things. Without my blog, I would have probably never tried juicing, raw food, or the Conscious Cleanse. Blogging is also a nice reminder when things are not so much in balance. In fact, my aunt often comments that she knows when I’m super busy because the blog posts stop (like they have lately). 

Blogging has been a reminder to keep my “healthy toolbox” alive and to add to it whenever possible. When you do something regularly over a period of time, it becomes a habit. I have found that even if I stop the habit for a while, it’s easy to get back to doing something if it was once a habit. Here are some of my healthy living habits:

  • Walking: I have always been a walker. For many years, I lived on top of a big hill. There was nowhere to go but down. And then I had to go up again of course. It was a fantastic workout. I also learned early on the mental benefits of walking in nature. It is my “me time” - time to just be and enjoy nature. 
  • Hiking: We are fortunate to live close to a number of gorgeous hiking trails. Plus, we can hike pretty much year round. The kid is now old enough to go on 7-mile hikes (with only mild protests usually), and hiking is definitely my favorite form of exercise.
  • Yoga: I took my first yoga class about 15 years ago and have been practicing on and off for years. Two years ago, I got a deeply discounted 6-month membership to a local studio. To make it worth it, I took many different classes. At this point it’s not worth it for me to continue a membership due to my schedule. But I still take at least one yoga class at a studio per week, and I also practice at home, if just for 10 minutes a day.
  • Barre classes: I was introduced to barre classes by taking a free class at a Lululemon store five years ago, and I fell in love right away. Barre classes have done wonders for nagging low back pain (that became debilitating at one point). Over the past five years, I have taken barre classes as a number of studios in the area. Since regular priced classes are expensive, I always look for special deals. Fortunately, there are enough studios in the area so that there is always a deal to be found at one of the studios. I also have several barre workout DVS.
  • 10 minute body weight workouts: I do 10-minute body weight workouts every day. Doing push-ups, squats, lunges, tricep dips, etc. consistently really makes a difference, and it’s easy to fit into my day. 
  • Water: I drink plenty of water and try to start most days with some warm lemon water. 
  • Green smoothies: I have a green smoothie several times per week for breakfast. An older woman told me in the grocery store today that her daughter loves spinach smoothies because they make her feel like Popeye. I can relate! ;) 
  • Raw food: I make a point to eat plenty of raw vegetables every day, a habit I started after doing my first Conscious Cleanse. My favorite way to enjoy a plate of raw veggies is with some homemade guacamole. It’s filling and delicious. 
  • Me time: Walking is often part of my me time. I try to let go of my mental to-do lists and just be in the moment and thankful for the beauty around me. I also enjoy reading and read every day for pleasure (if just for ten minutes). 
 
 
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Questions: What’s in your healthy living toolbox? What’s your favorite healthy habit? What healthy habit do you want to start or get back to? 

Be well,

Andrea