My Yoga Journey

I have wanted start a yoga journey for quite awhile.  I took some yoga classes years ago and never went back to it due to, now realizing in hindsight, I wasn’t quite ready for the full journey.  It will be good for my body and soul, therefore, I have decided to dip my toe into the yoga pool. I cannot remember many of the poses so I feel that I am a beginning beginner.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been to a yoga class in forever is because I will feel embarrassment.  What if EVERYONE in the class knows all the poses hence I am the only one who doesn’t know them?  When I give it a second thought, however, I know that most yogis want to spread their love and knowledge of yoga so I shouldn’t be embarrassed.  If any group can be understanding of a beginner, it would be this group.

When I look for local classes, I have seen some beginning beginner classes, but they don’t fit into my schedule.  I want to start this journey NOW so I decided to do some research and take the first step.  Much needed information and supplies are a click or stretch away.  As a result of said research, I discovered some wonderful realities.

EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP.

What do I need to start this wonderful journey?

Versatile clothes?  Yes!

Informational books?  Yes!

For the mind:  True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

For the body:  Mindfulness Yoga

Especially relevant…helpful videos?  Yes!

Do Yoga With Me

My Yoga Journey Click To Tweet

Okay…no more excuses and full speed ahead.

Finally, I would love to know any resources that you cannot live without in regards to yoga.  Please tell me about any music you listen to,  essential oils you use, videos you follow…I want to hear about all your yoga non-negotiables.  A yoga journey update will be forthcoming.  Namaste.

Fitness Obsession: Tabata Timer

home workouts taken to another level!!

I must admit that I have a new obsession to the Tabata Stopwatch app; a tabata timer.  I take an arms/abs and booty class at my friend’s fitness studio.  The instructor for the class always uses a tabata timer when we do our rotations.  It would give cues for when to start the exercise.  There would be three beeps when the rotation was coming to an end.  It would then tell you to rest.  I got so accustomed to this routine that it was hard for me to do classes any other way.

If you aren’t familiar with a Tabata workout, it is basically an interval workout with periods of high intensity exercises followed by rest periods.  Although I am using a tabata timer, the workouts I have done are not the true definition of tabata, which is more of a HIIT (high intensity interval training).  I do exercises with weights, squats, lunges, etc. followed by periods of rest. (I will be writing another post including some of the circuits that I have done or will be trying in the future.)

free in the app store

This is a description of the Tabata Stopwatch app taken from Itunes:

“Tabata Stopwatch Pro is the ultimate Tabata Interval Timer that works for ‘all’ your interval training needs. Use with Tabata, HIIT, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, interval running, sprints, etc.

Tabata Stopwatch Pro is a universal (both iPhone and iPad) feature packed interval timer for people who follow the Tabata training method. The main thing the Tabata app will aid you with is automating your exercise, rest, cooldown and other intervals. As simple as this sounds, it has a profound effect on your workout. You will be able to concentrate much better, won’t have to constantly count and honestly the whole workout just goes by faster. Try it with your Tabata, HIIT, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, interval running, sprints, and other workouts.

Designed with both beginners and advanced users in mind Tabata Stopwatch Pro comes ready to use with basic Tabata already set up for you. As you gain more experience you can customize all intervals to match your pace. You may even create and store your own interval presets to quickly change to different workouts.

Tabata Stopwatch Pro is loaded with beeps that help identify what part of a workout you are in, interval beeps for example tell you when a new interval has started. Tabata Stopwatch Pro also has voice support that announces intervals to further help you focus on your workout. Oh and what would an exercise app be without music, select your favorite tracks from your iPod and blast through that workout.

 

 

The Apple Health app is supported and the Tabata app will write your Tabata workout times, calorie burned estimates and heart rates (needs a chest strap heart rate monitor and Pro purchase) after each workout.

By far the best app for Tabata training available for your iPhone and iPad, Tabata Stopwatch Pro includes:

+ Pro grade Tabata timer.
+ Ready to use out of the box. Classic Tabata already set up for you.
+ Simple to use, just push play.
+ Works on both iPhone and iPad.
+ Comes with 2 beautiful themes.
+ Color coded display visible from afar. Colors represent the amount of energy you are using in an interval.
+ Customize initial countdown and warmup time.
+ Customize exercise, rest, recovery and cooldown intervals.
+ Adjust the number of sets and cycles to match your pace.
+ Jump between intervals in the middle of a workout as needed.
+ Build presets to support your multiple interval training needs (Pro purchase needed).
+ Pause your workouts if needed.


+ Works with the screen locked and in your pocket (Pro purchase needed).
+ Interval beeps for each individual interval. Need a separate beep to mark when it’s time to rest, no problem.
+ Interval vibration.
+ Continuous beeps.
+ Three second beeps.
+ Halfway beeps.
+ Voice assist so that you focus on your workout and not the screen.
+ Workout to music from your iPod.
+ Set music to pause to hear beeps and voice assist clearly.
+ Shuffle tracks or albums to suit your taste and workout.
+ Apple Health support”

In conclusion, I can’t say enough about how much I love this app…it has motivated me to do more workouts at home on days that I don’t have time to get to the gym.  Hope you give it a try and that it motivates you, too. *There was no compensation for writing this review.  I just wanted to share it because it has been helpful to me and I want others to benefit from it,*

 

MindBody App

I just found out that I was accepted as a brand ambassador for MindBody.  I am very excited about it.  If you don’t know about the MindBody app, you need to look into it.  It is awesome if you are a fitness minded person who liked to be organized.  The app has tons of gyms, studios, spas, etc that you can choose as favorites on the app.  Once they are chosen as favorites, you can use the app to sign up for classes at your favorite gyms or studios AND for appointments at your favorite spas.

Sign up for your favorite fitness classes (4)

 

 

You can set up the app with a credit card to pay for your classes or appointments.  You can also connect the app to Facebook if you like to check in with your awesome workouts and relaxing massages on your news feed.  My absolute favorite feature is that you can connect your Fitbit to the app and it will tell you how many calories you burn for each class you take…which is much more accurate when you have a Fitbit that measure heart rate.  It will also tell you your active minutes, heart rate zones (if your Fitbit measures), & max and average heart rate.  There is even a spot to review your class.

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Another special feature of the app is a “Groupon-type” stream at the bottom of the home page.  There are local classes and deals advertised and you can sign up for them right on the app.  There are some great deals and it gives you a chance to try out all different classes, studios and gyms at reasonable prices. There are so many small studios and such a variety of classes in my area that I wouldn’t have know about without the app.

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There is also an explore feature where you can see fitness, wellness and beauty locations in your area. Fitness includes yoga, group exercise, barre, pilates, spinning, cross fit, personal training, bootcamp, MMA and more.  Wellness includes massage, meditation, acupuncture, nutrition, physical therapy and more.  Beauty includes salon, skin, nails, spa, sauna and more.

Check out the MindBody app...fitness, wellness and beauty in one place @thehappierplaceblog Click To Tweet

It keeps a history of the classes and appointments you attended.  It also keeps all the statistics from your fitness classes.  There are phone numbers, website links and maps all integrated within the app.  It is your health, beauty and wellness hub!!

What classes and appointments will you schedule on MindBody?

5 Thoughts about Having a Healthier 2016

It’s that time of year when people set a New Year’s Resolution into action.  Or maybe they will wait until Monday, January 4th because many people like to start on a Monday.  If you label it a resolution, you may feel that it just a cliche that will be abandoned by mid-January.  If you look at it as getting healthier, it may be more successful for you.  

1 – Choose something that is attainable.  If you decide that you want to, say….lose weight….don’t make your resolution, I will lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks.  Make your resolution that you will eat more fruits and vegetables.  If you are eating more fruits and vegetables then you aren’t eating other unhealthy snacks and, therefore, you will feel better and lose some weight.  This is very attainable.  Also, a treat every once in while will not be the most awful thing ever.  

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2 – Choose something that you will follow through with.  If you hate running, then don’t make your resolution that you will run more.  If it is something you don’t like to do, then chances are, you won’t do it.  If you want to exercise more then start out slow…maybe walk every night before or after dinner OR take the stairs instead of the elevator OR park farther away from the door at work or when shopping.  Every little bit will help.  If there is an exercise class that you’ve always wanted to try, do it!!  No time like the present.

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3 – Find a buddy that has the same goal.  When you do something with someone else, you are more likely to keep doing it because you have that personal connection, you don’t want to let them down and you probably are having fun doing it.  You can act as each other’s cheerleaders and support each other in your goals.

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4 – If you slip up on your resolution, don’t give up.  Sometimes you may skip a day of walking or exercising OR eat a treat meal OR have too many unhealthy drinks.  Don’t give up the ship…just acknowledge it and move on.  No one is perfect…it’s okay to make mistakes…we are human.  Take a deep breath and keep going.

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5 – Reward yourself for successes.  Set small mini goals within your overall resolution.  Say that you’ll buy a new workout outfit when you do “x” amount of classes or walk “x” amount of days.  Maybe you could buy yourself a new kitchen tool or other kitchen item after you’ve made fruit and veggie swaps for “x” amount of days.   Put a quarter/dollar in a jar for every:   class you do, walk you take, fruit or veggie you eat, glass of water you drink.  When it adds up, you can buy yourself something special.   Whatever reward will motivate you and will help you move towards your goal (and doesn’t impede your goal), do it for yourself.

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Do you make a New Year’s Resolution?  If you do, what is it??

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Hope you all have a healthy, happy 2016!!

Five Health/Wellness-Themed Books You Will Love

I am a sucker for a great health/wellness book.  I have read numerous books and have gotten a little something from each one of them.  I don’t always agree with everything the author says, but if I can take away a few healthy ideas…I feel it is time well spent reading the book.  *This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions of the books are my own.  When I find something useful, I want to let others know about it so that they can share in the great ideas.

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1- It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig  this is by the creators of the Whole 30 movement.  This is a good example of not agreeing with EVERYTHING an author says.  There are tons of great ideas and eye opening information in this book.  I don’t follow the Whole 30, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

2 – Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels – I love all of Jillian’s books.  I’ve read all of them.  I have learned a little something from each book.  If you are a JM fan, you’ll love it.  It’s very easy to read and you can just hear her in your head reading it to you.

3 – Flexible Dieting by Scott James – I was introduced to flexible dieting/IIFYM (if it fits your macros) earlier this year.  I had a lot of success with it and I NEVER felt deprived.  There are a lot of books out there about this topic and I liked this one because it was a book and recipe book.  It makes a lot of sense AND it is not really a diet, it’s a change in eating habits that you can use all the time.

4 – Exercise Every Day by SJ Scott – Practical, easy to follow ideas for getting into a exercise habit.

5 – Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin – This book is by the wildly successful Happiness Project.  It talks about starting good and breaking bad habits.  Easy to read and insightful.

What’s on your must read list?

November Fitness Blogging Challenge – Goals

I joined this challenge because it combines two of my passions…blogging and fitness.  The first day, November 1st, we were asked to write out goals for November.  I am going to combine my 2 passions in my goals.

Goal 1 – Go to fitness studio/gym at least 3 times a week

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Goal 2 – complete this fitness/blog challenge

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Goal 3 – eat in moderation and kick the daily candy corn binge to the curb

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Goal 4 – keep focus of blog on the theme:  Fitness, Nutrition and a Healthier You

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Join the November Goals linky at My So-Called Chaos and the Fit to Blog challenge on Facebook