I’ve always known that maintaining an exercise routine is important but until the start of this year I had never fully committed to it and kept putting it off. Now 11 months later, I’m here looking to motivate anyone who feels these familiar sentiments.
How did I motivate myself? A part of keeping myself motivated came with discovering different types of exercise routines. It started with using the elliptical that I have at home (definitely no excuses there, the gym couldn’t get any closer!). I then started getting a little restless and realized I needed some variety so over the months I added some Jillian Michaels dvds, outdoor cycling, treadmill and weight training in the mix. (image source)
So fast forward to now, I recently discovered a gilt city deal for spinning classes and decided try it out. As it got nearer to my first class I started to hear people telling me how hard it was and how they thought they were going to die and that your body just hurts so bad after! I thought to myself what the hell have I gotten myself into!
So my first class was on a thursday night at 7pm right after work, I had all my gear ready (check out the mini list below of some essentials I suggest taking). I hopped on the bike, the lights were turned down low and then the music started blasting. Our instructor explained a few simple positions and we were a go. Let me just say not only was it hard but it was actually fun! All the months of exercising had paid off, I managed to keep up for the most part and was proud of myself for getting through the hell that most people had described.
The whole point of this post? To tell you if I can do it then so can you! I’ve put together some quick points of why Spinning can be a beneficial addition to your work out routine. I haven’t been doing spinning for very long at all but I find it really fun and I feel great once I’m done so I wanted to share my thoughts and what I’ve discovered since I began.
If you are like me and need to stay motivated then keep reading and please don’t be shy! Feel free to share your experiences with spinning or any advice you may have in general.
What is Spinning?
Spinning is a studio cycling workout on a stationary bike that allows the rider to tailor the workout to their ability by adjusting the tension. At Sweat & Soul Yoga, I attend classes that use the RealRyder bike which is not only a stationary bike but it also allows the rider to engage the entire body with a range of motion as it allows you to steer left and right which emulates the feel of a road bike. So with this type of bike you are actually working your upper body, lower body, core muscles resulting in a great cardio workout.
Burn Baby Burn
Yes I’m talking about calories! Have you ever been on a treadmill at the gym and just felt that it was dragging on forever and you had barely any calorie burn to show for it? With spinning that is not the case, you work hard and you see the results. Typically a workout of 45 minutes burns around 450-550 calories which depends on the intensity of the workout.
Taking My Sweet Time
The stationary bike has the ability to adjust the level of intensity it takes to pedal. Your instructor will typically have a lesson planned and he or she will indicate when to adjust or alternatively you can adjust accordingly to help build your stamina and achieve your fitness goals.
Please Don’t Stop the Music
Not only do you have an instructor but music is also played which should help keep you focused on the task and not on the tension you may be feeling. Sweat & Soul Yoga in Allston, MA where I go has some great classes that offer themed classes such as Pop Princesses, Hip Hop, 90’s, 2000’s where they only play music from those eras or themes.
Baby Its Could Outside
If you are like me, then you probably hate the cold. I’m most happy when its nice and hot so having the option to throw on regular exercise gear and skip buying hardcore winter gear (costly!) is a huge plus. So Spinning can be performed at any time of the year.
Be My Motivation
Feeling a little deflated? Just getting yourself to the class is enough, its a huge commitment to show up, the rest will come naturally. All classes are held by an instructor who will motivate you throughout your workout and not to mention you are not alone! Seeing other riders push themselves allows you to feed off of their energy and keep going so its a win win.
How Low Can You Go?
Not very low! A great benefit of spinning is the fact that it is a low impact exercise which means it keeps the pressure of your knees and joints (they will thank you!).
I Heart You
Spinning is great for boosting your cardiovascular health and lung capacity, with time it begins to build endurance and you are able to better control your breath.
I suggest purchasing a heart rate monitor, I got myself this Polar HRM from Amazon earlier this year and its great for monitoring your pace, calorie burn and most importantly it sets an indicator that lets you know if you are over doing it.
Another perk to Spinning is that as you are using large muscle groups in your legs (thighs, hamstrings & calves) you’ll begin to see some definition and start feeling stronger.
I Can’t Get No…. Satisfaction
So not true! You’ll have good and bad days just like you have with any other part of your life. Rest assured that you are doing something that is going to be good for you, your body and your mental strength in the long run. No matter how hard it is as I said before the fact that you showed up for the class is what matters.
I promised I’d share my work out necessities:
- Water bottle – Replenish your body as you sweat it out.
- Towel – To wipe away the tears! No just kidding, its for sweat 😉
- Tank Top – It will get hot so I suggest something thin and sleevless.
- Support Bra – the girls need some support!
- Capris/Leggings -no loose trousers because it can get tangled in the bike, always choose something thats fitted close to the body
- Protein Bar/ Energy Bar – I typically eat a cliff bar or odwalla bar before or within 20 minutes of my workout, it helps rebuild those muscles you just broke down.
- Polar HRM – to monitor my progress throughout my workout
- Fun socks – why not? I have some great bright coloured ones, just adds a bit of fun 😉
- Comfy Trainers – Or sneakers as they are called in the states 😉
- Additional Top – After I workout I hate going home all sweaty so I quickly change into a long sleeved fresh top until i get home to shower.
- Hoodie/Light Jacket – Because sports gear is generally thin, I prefer to have another layer under my winter coat (told you i hate the cold!)
Now for the fashionable side of working out 🙂 It should be no surprise to you that I was going to add some key essentials that can help make exercising more comfy and no I’m not suggesting extremely expensive work out gear, don’t buy into that.
Check out stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Old Navy, H&M & Aeropostale for some basic, inexpensive tank tops and pants. As for my UK people check out Matalan and George by Asdas, they also have good quality gear at low prices.
I’ve never really been a fan of the polka dot trend or P.D as I like to call it, I always thought it just didn’t suit me or something, I felt it perhaps didn’t fit into my style… However, lately I’ve been browsing stores and I came across the photos below of bokeh photography on pinterest that made me see P.D through a different light, so to speak…
Am I now willing to give P.D a shot? I’d like to think so, below are some ideas for those who love dots or like myself are a bit skeptical when it comes to getting down and dotty 😉
Every woman should own a little red dress! At least that’s what actress Penelope Cruz’s recent photoshoot for 2013 Campari’s Calendar illicits and for a good reason.
I decided to do a little digging into colour theory where Mr Red is concerned and discovered:
Red, is associated with love, passion, desire, heat, lust, sexuality, romance, joy, strength, courage, vigor, rage, anger, danger, action, vibrance, radiance and determination.
How DOES THE COLOUR RED AFFECT US?
- Encourages action and confidence.
- Represents power and strength.
- Creates a sense of energy and joy.
the varying degrees of red:
- Light Red: Joy, Passion, Love & Sexuality.
- Dark Red: Anger, Leadership, Courage & Willpower.
- Pink: Romance, Love & Friendship.
- Brown: Neutral, Down to Earth & Stability
Wearing red can make you feel sexy, boost confident and create a sense of energy. It is a great way to stand out at an event and without further ado check out some looks that are bound to make you stand out at that Christmas party! So have fun and dare to be bold!
At the Light Festival in Ghent, Belgium, the Italian family business Luminarie De Cagna created an astounding light display featuring a Cathedral that utilized 55,000 LED lights. The arched structure stands tall at an impressive 91 feet at its peak and is made of wood that is adorned with beautiful multicolored lights. This astounding light display is not only a work of art but is also impressively energy-efficient, consuming only 20Kwatt/h of electricity.
Plus Model Magazine has published a provocative issue sparking controversy which has shed insight into the disparity between real life women and models.
Although apparent for quite some time, it is clear that in order to model in the fashion world models must meet the standard criteria. The typical runway show comprises of models ranging between a size 0-4, (typically the latter of course) strutting what little meat remain on their bones in a bid to sell fashion. Does this vision of a dangerously waif like size echo the reality of women in today’s society?
This is the same question that Plus Model Magazine daringly raises. The heavy topic (so to speak) is featured in an 8 page editoral, featuring Russian plus size model Katya Zharkova along side a “straight size” model in the nude. The thought provoking photography displays the stark contrast paired alongside controversial headlines that voice staggering statistics discussing body sizes and stating how a size 6 is now considered plus size.
The magazine makes an attempt to add food for thought regarding the issue and had this to say:
The answer to the question is this, there is nothing wrong with our bodies. We are bombarded with weight-loss ads every single day, multiple times a day because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the fear of being fat. Not everyone is meant to be skinny, our bodies are beautiful and we are not talking about health here because not every skinny person is healthy.
What we desire is equality to shop and have fashion options just like smaller women. Small women cannot be marketed to with pictures of plus-size women, why are we expected to respond to pictures of small size 6 and 8 women? We don’t! When the plus size modeling industry began, the models ranged in size from 14 to 18/20, and as customers we long for those days when we identify with the models and feel happy about shopping.
Statistics Printed With Photography:
- Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.
- Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned.
- The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.
- Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.
- 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.
Overall I appreciate what the editors are trying to accomplish, the notion of embracing oneself and accepting your body type as well as ultimately being comfortable in your own skin is a positive message that requires encouragement and reinforcement. I do however find it repulsive to discover that a size 6 is now considered plus size within the fashion industry. There is no secret on my stance on plus size, we all come in different shapes and sizes, fashion is intended for everyone and it makes little sense to solely display one certain type of image that is not accurately representative of everyday women in society. Evidently a size 6 is now deemed plus size, which raises the question of what are women at sizes 14 and above considered? Ultra Plus Size?
What are your thoughts on this controversial issue?
New Year. New Post! Happy New Year everyone, looking forward to a productive and exciting 2012. I’m a huge movie buff and thought it would be great to share my most anticipated movies of 2012. Below are my selections in no particular order:
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20th)
Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Nick Fury and the international agency S.H.I.E.L.D. bring together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki & his various membered army.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner
Directed By: Joss Whedon
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
Staring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemmsworth, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone
Directed By: Rupert Sanders
Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Ola Rapace, Judi Dench
Directed By: Sam Mendes
Trailer: Not Released Yet
The lone survivor of a space mission to repair the Hubble telescope desperately tries to return to Earth and reunite with her daughter.
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Trailer: Not Released Yet
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Sean Harris
Directed By: Ridley Scott
When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley
Directed by: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein
As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Violante Placido, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth
Directed by: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
For the past year, Matt Weston has been frustrated by his inactive, backwater post in Cape Town. A “housekeeper” who aspires to be a full-fledged agent, the loyal company man has been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. When the first and only occupant he’s had proves to be the most dangerous man he’s ever met, Weston readies for duty.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga
Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Agent Jay travels back in time to 1969, where he teams up with a younger version of Agent Kay to stop an evil alien from destroying the future.
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Tony Shalhoub
Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Mirror Mirror (March 16th)
When Snow White’s beauty wins the heart of the prince that she desperately pursues, the Queen banishes her to the forest, where a ravening man-eating beast hungrily awaits. Rescued by a band of diminutive highway robbers, Snow White grows into an indomitable young woman determined to take back her realm from the treacherous Queen.
Django Unchained (December 25th)
With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gerald McRaney
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Trailer: Not Released Yet
Beyonce’s Baby Bump Reveal
Beyonce made the big unveil during her entrance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards while wearing a spectacular one-shouldered Lanvin gown in Pantone’s Tangerine Tango 2012 Color of the Year shade. The mum-to-be was seen clutching her belly lovingly displaying “the love that’s growing inside of me.” A line she later belted out during her performance of “Love On Top” while wearing a sequined purple Dolce & Gabbana tux.
April 29, 2011 was the day that over 2 billion people tuned in worldwide to watch the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton take place. The event itself was a spectacular masterpiece however it was the custom made creation by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen that the bride emerged in that was all the talk. The dress will be forever etched into the memories of millions and has become a part of fashion history.
H&M and Versace recently teamed up to release a capsule collection featuring the label’s classic style that has been reinterpreted through stunning prints, intricately studded leather pieces, silk dresses, costume jewellery and more. The collection was priced within an affordable price range in comparison to what the label usually charges for their pieces. This explains the eBay bidding wars that ensued as well as the reasoning behind how the collection sold out almost instantaneously nationwide.
Remembering Elizabeth Taylor
The world lost screen legend Elizabeth Taylor earlier this year on March 23rd, when she passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 79. Taylor’s belongings were recently itemized and categorized into a collection that was presented for auction at Christie’s. Hundreds of items ended up selling at sky high prices with bidding wars ensuing for the late two-time oscar winner’s prized possessions including vast amounts of jewellery that Taylor had amassed through out the years.
The Kardashian Wedding
Kim Kardashian married for the second time round, this time to NBA star Kris Humphries on August 20th, 2011. However the fairytale was not meant to be and Kim filed for divorce 72 days after the big day… The socialite was seen wearing not one Vera Wang wedding dress but three for the big day. For the main event and walk down the aisle she wore an ivory ballgown with a full tulle skirt.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York recently housed an exhibition dedicated to the late British designer Alexander McQueen. The exhibition, entitled “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” included over 100 pieces from McQueen’s archives. The exhibition spanned his entire post-graduate collection in 1992 to his last collection entitled Angels & Demons. The exhibition drew 661,509 visitors, making it the 8th biggest show on record at the Met.
Emma Watson Ends Harry Potter On Top!
2011 said goodbye to the Harry Potter film franchise and Emma Watson for one made sure to go out with a bang! The actress who made her name through the franchise took to red carpets and press events to promote Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Banishing her familiar style, Watson rocked a series of dramatic designer looks from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Rafael Lopez and Bottega Veneta as well as a sleek, chic cropped do in comparison to her long tresses that she became known for.