Happy New Year and welcome to 31 Days of Fitness 2023! We are back with another action-packed January of workouts, wellness, recovery, and more!
Every day this month your intrepid editor will be checking out a different workout for body and mind, showcasing the amazing variety of ways to get and stay in shape for the new year. We’re visiting the hottest boutique fitness studios, sampling the most popular apps, and trying different wellness and recovery treatments to keep us going all month! It’s a mix that’s got something for everyone!
And we want you to join! Many studios are giving special incentives to our readers. Check out the list below.*There are more special giveaways to come so be sure to follow along here and on Instagram @styleofsport! Ya gotta be in it to win it!
DAY 1: AARMY
Kicking off the new year and 31 Days with a one-two punch! AARMY offers two “practices”, as classes are called there, Bootcamp and Cycle. I did them both this morning! While that’s a normal Sunday morning for the regulars at AARMY, it was the first time for me. Bootcamp has actually become a regular part of my fitness routine since last 31 Days of Fitness. What I love about it is that it’s really strength focused – very important for us women of a certain age to keep our bones strong – and I’ve written about how strong the women in particular are in this class: In The Aarmy. While it’s still a fast-paced circuit style, Aarmy co-founder Akin Akman has created a community that motivates each other to push beyond their perceived limits, inspired by their “teammates” in class. No matter your level or the amount you lift, there are always high-fives to go around after every set.
Cycle at Aarmy is turbo-charged! Even as a regular at SoulCycle, I can barely keep my legs moving that fast, let alone add the choreography, but “practice” makes perfect – or at least better! You can check out both classes FREE all month at AARMY On-Demand with code: STYLEOFSPORT.
DAY 2: [SOLIDCORE]
[solidcore] studios have been popping up all over NYC, with locations across the country too. It is a high-intensity, low-impact full-body workout on a pilates-inspired reformer machine, affectionately known as “Sweatlana”. With the philosophy of “time under tension”, the movements are slow and controlled, scientifically designed to break down muscles to failure so they build back stronger. I always say in classes like this there is no place to hide, and you feel every minute of it. Every day features a different body part focus, but at the core is the core – a solid core! While today’s class was glutes and shoulders, somehow my entire body was shaking throughout the 50-minute workout. www.solidcore.co
DAY 3: RISE NATION
We featured Rise Nation back in 31 Days 2018 when there was only one studio in LA. It has recently popped up in NYC with locations across the country, and in Australia too. Rise Nation is a 30-minute Versaclimber workout that engages the entire body in a non-stop vertical ascent. Many will remember the Versaclimber from gyms in the 90’s. This upright climbing machine sat stationed in the corner facing the wall and using it felt like punishment. But the Versaclimber takes center stage at Rise Nation, under the party lights and with high-energy music. What was a monotonous climb feels like dance with a combination of intervals and choreography that hits the upper and lower body, for a cardio and strength, total body workout. And just 30 minutes is all you need! Get 3 classes for $30 Intro (use link) with code: SOS31
DAY 4: GLO
CALM CONNECTION HATHA
After 3 days of intense workouts — and still sore from SolidCore! — it was time for a relaxing stretch for body and mind with a Hatha Yoga class in the comfort of home on Glo. Glo offers yoga, meditation, Pilates, and other fitness classes like Barre, HIIT, and more, and creates a selection of classes and practices targeted to your personal preferences and goals. Hatha yoga is generally a slower yoga practice, holding poses for long periods of time with intention and the integration of breath. Elena Brower’s 30 minute “Calm Connection Hatha” was both relaxing and energizing. Her chill vibes and the zen set provided an oasis of morning calm. It was a much needed stretch to start the day and keep me going for the workouts ahead! See more great digital fitness platforms. Glo.com
DAY 5: HOT HIIT
If you like hot yoga and you like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes, then you’ll love Hot HIIT! Bode NYC offers multiple styles of hot yoga as well as HIIT classes, all in heated studios of about 100 degrees. HIIT 60 (as in 60 minutes) combines short all-out intervals of cardio and total body movements – familiar exercises like squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups, and mountain climbers – that take on a new level of intensity and SWEAT in the heated room. This action-packed workout strengthens your core, burns fat, builds strength, and increases flexibility. Hot HIIT classes are now offered at many hot yoga studios, and are the perfect compliment to your yoga practice. BodeNYC.com
DAY 6: TRACY ANDERSON METHOD
Tracy Anderson is one of those fitness gurus most people know, almost as famous as her celebrity clientele that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Alessandra Ambrosio, Victoria Beckham, and more boldface names. Her method is designed to sculpt strong, long, and lean muscles — regardless of your genetic shape. I took 50-minute “Intermediate Muscular Design” and now get what the hype is about. Classes are in a heated room, with a bouncy wooden floor for reduced impact during cardio. Using 3 pound hand and ankle weights, the moves were completely unique in their combination of body rotation and elongation. The routine was sexy but athletic, set to great dance music, and I could feel how if done regularly, this workout would be a shape shifter.
Having noticed both in this class and one I had taken before online that there are no audio cues or verbal instruction, I asked today’s teacher Elyse Browning why. It’s deliberate, I learned. Part of the Tracy Anderson Method is about staying very present, focusing the mind and body by watching the instructor who does the entire workout with the class. It’s not listen and learn, but watch and learn. TracyAnderson.com
DAY 7: AERIAL HOOP
BODY & POLE
Body & Pole offers Pole, Silk, and Hoop classes, along with other workouts like Flex and Core designed to support these activities. I featured Pole in last year’s 31 Days and knew I wanted to try Aerial Hoop this year! I took the Intro to Hoop class this afternoon which started with a 15 minute warm-up of strength, flexibility and conditioning exercises to prepare for the transition into the air. Then we learned the various techniques to enter and exit the hoop, followed by beautiful shapes and poses like Archer, Man in the Moon, and Dragonfly. Just getting onto the hoop requires so much strength and there is the slight terror of falling, but instructor Dominic Di Felice provided the instruction, patience, and confidence to get us up in the air and posing like pros (kinda) — with big smiles on our faces. Try Aerial Hoop this month for just $20/class with code: HOOPCLASS20 at BodyandPole.com
DAY 8: WALKING
On a much needed rest and recovery day, I went for a walk this morning. Walking is something I do almost everyday, not usually as a workout which it is for many people, but for relaxation and as a way to get around town. New York City is one of the greatest walking cities in the world, and whether it’s in the park, along the East River, or strolling down the avenue, there’s always something to see. It might be for 15 minutes or maybe an hour, but I try to go for a walk at the end of every day to get the blood flowing and jump start my metabolism, especially after sitting at a desk for long stretches.
Walking is a workout in itself too, depending on how far and fast you go, and offers numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. According to Healthline, it burns calories, improves cardiovascular health, eases joint pain, boosts the immune system, and can even help lower blood sugar. Plus it’s the best way to socialize and catch up with friends. Forget going for a drink… go for a walk instead!
DAY 9: DANCE WITH ME
Salsa, Samba, Jive, Tango, Swing, Foxtrot and more… if you’re looking to make ballroom dancing a part of your fitness routine, Dance With Me is the place to go. Home of Dancing With the Stars stars, Maks & Val Chmerkovskiy, Dance With Me has studios across the country, and offers private lessons and group classes in every style of ballroom dance. I took the Cha Cha class tonight, far above my beginner level, but seeing the dedicated community of students who have made Dance With Me a part of their everyday lives, made me feel as happy as they looked. At Dance With Me it’s not just about learning to dance, but moving your body, expressing yourself, and feeling good. To me, that’s what fitness – and dance – is all about! DanceWithMeUsa.com
DAY 10: F45
F45 is a functional training workout which blends circuit and HIIT style training into one 45-minute total body workout. The F in F45, stands for functional training, a style of workout designed to improve overall strength, mobility, and fitness for everyday life with exercises that engage multiple muscle groups. F45 puts it all together in a unique studio setting with their own custom designed equipment: colorful kettlebells, barbells, elastics, balls, step platforms, and more. Exercises are done in timed intervals and are easy to follow with monitors displaying the moves, reps, and countdown clock. There are three style of classes done on a regular schedule: strength, cardio, and hybrid. I opted for the first this morning, which moved from station to station at a fast pace and was done before I knew it. All the different equipment made the workout really fun and definitely hit every body part. F45 has locations across the country and are offering a special 31 Days discount of 50% off trial (normally 3 for $30) with code: 31DAYSOFFITNESS on F45Training.com.
DAY 11: LASTICS STRETCH TECHNIQUE
I had planned on featuring Lastics Stretch Technique last week, but the universe had another plan. I didn’t know anything about Lastics, but I wanted to include a stretch class in 31 Days and it popped up on Google. With a beautifully designed website, I figured I’d found the perfect place. I signed up for the free Zoom class, but because of a computer outage the class didn’t happen. When I received an apologetic email later that morning, I wrote back and told them about 31 Days. They replied that the founder actually taught class in person and would I like to come to that instead. “Much better”, I replied!
Lastics is the brainchild of Donna Flagg, a trained dancer with a BA in dance and MA in education. Dance training is one that balances strength and flexibility. When that balance was disrupted by a knee injury and reconstructive surgery, Donna discovered that physical therapy only focused on building back strength, not flexibility. And so the Lastics Stretch Technique was born, a series of small movements that go deep for big results. I felt those immediately in places I didn’t even realize were sore after yesterday’s F45 class. It was a relaxing workout in itself, and ideal midweek recovery after a my last few workouts — and in preparation for the ones to come!
Lastics is designed to increase body awareness and control, lengthen and strengthen muscles, relieve tightness and tension, and improve posture. Muscles are trained for flexibility, with the same approach they are trained for strength. There are in person classes at Complete Body and Broadway Dance Center in NYC, as well as live and on-demand on lastics.com.
DAY 12: P.VOLVE
P.Volve is a unique fitness method based on functional low-impact movement that utilizes specially designed resistance band equipment for an intense sculpting, toning, and strengthening workout. Exercises incorporate core-engaging balance with a full range of motion that sharpens body awareness and increases stability by activating the major muscles, as well as smaller supporting ones, for total body definition.
P.Volve has studios across the country, as well as live streaming and on-demand classes. I took the signature Strength & Sculpt class this morning at the lovely Soho studio in NYC. I loved all the fun resistance equipment, that worked my body with a unique combination of opposite motions that forced me to use my core throughout to balance against the resistance. It was strenuous but felt good at the same time. Interestingly, my class was all young 20-something girls, who have made P.Volve their workout of choice for the same reasons and visible results. Check out special P.Volve January discounts now on www.pvolve.com. First timers also get a goodie bag after their first workout!
DAY 13: SOUND MEDITATION
SAGE + SOUND
It was a beautiful wrap up to the week last night with a Sound Meditation class at Sage + Sound, a wellness oasis recently opened on the upper east side of Manhattan. Sound meditation uses chimes, gongs, drums, and crystal bowls to create vibrational sound waves as a relaxation technique. One can bathe in these sounds or zone in on the different vibrational tones as a meditation technique that can help tune out distractions and achieve a more present moment focus. At 6pm on a Friday night in NYC, 15 of us joined instructor Jackie Cantwell in a chic and cozy space laid out for us with mats, pillows, and blankets for this much needed respite.
Sage + Sound offers a host of different meditation classes, as well as other health, beauty, and wellness services, and are offering a special 31 Days discount of 15% off all classes and services through January at www.sage-sound.com with code: FITNESS31
DAY 14: PICKLEBALL
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America, with an estimated 36.5 million players in the U.S., so I hustled over to Court 16 in Long Island City this afternoon to give it a try for myself. A cross between ping pong, badminton, and tennis, Pickleball is easy to learn, fun to play, and enjoyed by people all ages. The game is played with a short paddle and a wiffle-like ball, on a court about half the size of a tennis court. It’s fast moving and requires quick reflexes, so you get a good workout, but it’s much to easier to learn than tennis. To me, it’s more like a fun backyard or beach game, but there is a professional tour as well, with high-profile athletes like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees investing in Major League Pickleball teams. Court 16 has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island City with both tennis and Pickleball courts. www.court16.com
DAY 16: IV VITAMIN DRIP AND COMPRESSION THERAPY
RESTORE HYPER WELLNESS
It’s recovery multi-tasking with an IV Vitamin Drip AND compression therapy at Restore Hyper Wellness. Restore offers a full suite of wellness and recovery therapies that also include Cryotherapy, Infrared Sauna, Red Light Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and more. Compression therapy is a regular recovery practice for me that uses dynamic pneumatic compression to boost the lymphatic system and squeeze out lactic acid build-up. The benefits are increased blood flow, reduced muscle soreness, and improved flexibility. These inflatable sleeves feel like a great sports massage. Both NormaTec and Therabody make affordable, professional quality, compression therapy sleeves designed for home use too.
IV Vitamin Drip Therapy infuses a liter of fluids with essential vitamins, nutrients, minerals and amino acids. Whether you want to increase your body’s energy production with B12 and Carnitine, boost your immune system with Glutathione and Vitamin C, or relax with Magnesium and Lysine, Restore offers an extensive menu of IV drip ingredients to serve all your recovery and wellness needs — even hangovers! I went for the “Recharge” combo this morning with Glutathione, Proline, Taurine, and Vitamin C blended together to “boost muscle and tissue repair”. It seemed like the perfect vitamin cocktail midway through 31 Days of Fitness. Let’s see how I fare tomorrow! www.restore.com
And get a free cryotherapy at Restore Hyper Wellness with code: CRYO 31. Details below*
DAY 15: POWER + FLOW
Ever wonder who your trainer trains with? Your spin teacher spins with? For one of my favorites, SoulCycle Master Instructor Stacey Griffith, it’s Kristina Girod on her YouTube channel, Power+Flow. Power+Flow is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was established by Girod in September 2020. Girod wants her class to be the best part of your day, using it as an opportunity to push through any barrier, achieve your potential, and thrive in the collective power of community — one that I felt through my iPad this morning. Her music is as good as it gets, with great choreography that gets you moving and grooving, in or out of the saddle. Girod gives just the right amount of spoken motivation, harnessing the energy created riding in sync with a room full of strangers who become friends for 45 minutes, even at home. And guess what? It’s free on YouTube! Power+Flow
DAY 17: PURE BARRE
I visited Pure Barre last year, as I have in previous 31 Days, and every time my body is left shaking from an intense session of tiny isometric movements designed to work each muscle to fatigue. There is always a short stretch after each body part is worked, but the focus is on that muscle burn. This year, however, it was different. I took the new Align class this morning, what was previously called Stretch and Restore, and that’s exactly what it did. With a unique emphasis on flexibility and balance training, there were various flows of stretching designed to build strength and stability for a restorative full body workout. It was a much more relaxing format, and felt really good!
Many Pure Barre devotees use this Align class as a counterpart to other Pure Barre classes like Classic, Pure Empower, and Pure Reform – their signature low-impact, high intensity, total body barre workouts. In fact, it’s a perfect active recovery class to any intense workout schedule, especially one like mine this month! Get special 31 Days discount now at www.purebarre.com. 23% off all memberships for first 3 months and 23% off all class packs with code: 23for23
DAY 18: UNDERSUN RESISTANCE BANDS
Undersun Resistance Bands come in a set of 5, with all the resistance you need from extra-light to extra-heavy, to build muscle, get stronger, and lose fat. There are accompanying training videos on both the Undersun app and YouTube, with workouts you can do anyplace and anytime. I did a full body HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training) at home this morning on YouTube, led by Undersun founders James Grage and wife Annik Nayler – I should say SHE led the workout – designed to hit every body part in a 60 seconds work/30 seconds rest circuit, with short cardio intervals in between. If you think you need to weights to build muscle, take one look a Grage who is jacked, and you’ll realize everything you need is in that cute orange backpack which holds your gym on the go! www.undersunfitness.com
DAY 19: TOTAL BODY CIRCUIT
James Brewer, aka Brewer Body, is one of my absolute favorite trainers, as much for his positive energy – “Powerful!” as he likes to say – as his action packed workouts. I took his Total Body Circuit class this morning at O2 Fit Nation, a fast moving circuit where the 20 minute warm-up was a workout in itself. The exercises hit every body part with both cardio and strength training, isolated and full body exercises — tried and true moves with kettle balls, weights, and bands that just get the job done. Give it a try for yourself with this Special 20 Minute Brew:
Circuit 1: 2-3 rounds:
Cardio 2 minutes
10 Dumbbell Bicep Curls
10 Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
10 Dumbbell Lateral raises
10 Dumbbell Front raises
Circuit 2: 2-3 rounds
Cardio 90 seconds
12 Kettleball swings
6 Alternating Reverse Lunges
6 Squat Jumps
Circuit 3: 2-3 rounds
Cardio 2 minutes
20 Bicycle Crunches
10 Weighted Sit-ups
Circuit 4: 2-3 rounds
Cardio 90 seconds
12 Tricep Kickbacks
12 Tricep Overhead
James has more quick hit workouts on his Instagram too and at www.brewerbody.com
I first tried cryotherapy in 2015, before it was as widely popular as it is today, when I trepidatiously decided to venture into a -230 degree freeze tank. Now cryotherapy studios can be found everywhere and booking a session is as easy as signing up for your favorite workout. As an athlete and fitness fanatic, cryotherapy has become a regular part of my recovery routine
The translation of cryotherapy is literally cold therapy, which like ice, is a proven analgesic and anti-inflammatory for post-workout recovery and injury prevention. You enter a cryochamber for 2-3 minutes and are exposed to arctic temperatures chilled by liquid nitrogen gas. Previously, an ice bath was the go-to cold therapy, but cryotherapy offers the same therapeutic benefits of rapid short term freezing and is much more bearable than an ice bath. Because there is no moisture in the chamber, you actually don’t perceive the cold to be as extreme as it is.
Besides a treatment for sports injuries and chronic pain, cryotherapy has other physiological benefits as well. With exposure to such extreme cold, the body goes into survival mode. There is increased oxygen production, and the circulatory system kicks into high gear. The best part of the treatment is the endorphin rush that happens afterwards as adrenaline floods the system. No wonder everyone is “buzzing” about it — cryotherapy provides a natural high! Try it for yourself with a free cryotherapy at Restore Hyper Wellness with code: CRYO 31. Details below*
DAY 21: SURFSET® NYC
Whether you’re an avid surfer, learning to surf, or just looking for a fun and challenging workout, SURFSET® NYC is the place! As co-owner and co-creator Aaron Thouvenin describes it, “it’s yoga meets bootcamp”, but I’ll add Bosu ball in the mix. Inspired by surfing, the workout draws from the movements of the sport to build stability, strength, and body awareness — beneficial to surfers and non-surfers alike!
The SURFSET® Board is a 6-foot long surfboard mounted on top of three balance balls, on a step-like platform. The instability mimics the feeling of surfing, and also adds an extra challenge to every exercise in the class — be that a squat, lunge, or tree pose. It forces you to use your core to stabilize while doing both dynamic fitness and surf moves, like the push-up to pop-up to catch a wave. Not only do you get the physical benefits of surfing in each workout, but you get the stoke too!
And if you want to get in the water and surf for real, SURFSET® NYC offers wave pool retreats at Skudin Surf at American Dream in East Rutherford, NJ, and surf getaways in Long Beach, NY. www.surfsetnyc.com
DAY 22: BARRY’S RIDE X LIFT
Barry’s Bootcamp, or Barry’s as it’s now called, is one of the original boutique fitness studios, and has been offering HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes since 1998. Now with studios all over the world, the original class format of cardio treadmill intervals mixed with strength training has expanded to include LIFT only classes — and their newest Barry’s RIDE, which swaps a spin bike for the treadmill. The format is slightly different with 2 longer segments of cycling and floorwork, as opposed to the 4 shorter intervals of cardio and strength in the treadmill classes. There is also the option to do a cycle only, double ride in each class.
I took the RIDE X LIFT class this morning, and as Barry’s always is, the studio was packed. Barry’s has a massive dedicated following very familiar with all the exercises. If you’re not a regular, Barry’s does not have the beginner friendly monitors you find at similar HIIT workout studios like Orange Theory Fitness and F45 that demonstrate the moves, and also display reps and the sequence of the circuit. In a class that requires the teacher to be both spin and weight training instructor, there was none for the latter portion of the workout, which even for an experienced fitness person like myself I found impossible to follow. I did give this constructive criticism to the instructor so hopefully that will improve, as I do love the idea of a cycling and weight training class all in one.
DAY 23: FOAM ROLLING
Foam rollers come in a variety of lengths. sizes, densities, and textures — there are ones that vibrate too — but all serve the same purpose of providing relief to sore and tired muscles. Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that can be done before a workout as a warm-up, or after as recovery, to reduce muscle tightness, decrease inflammation, increase circulation, and improve range of motion.
Despite the benefits, foam rolling is one of those activities like stretching that we know we should do, but don’t always make the time to do. The good news is you really only need 10 minutes, and there are lots of quick videos to guide you through. If you’ve got the Peloton app, there are foam rolling workouts there, and on other fitness apps as well. I found a great one this morning on YouTube, The 8 BEST Foam Rolling Exercises by certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, Lindsey Bomgren of NourishMoveLove. With one more week of 31 Days… I’m ready to go!
DAY 24: ORIGINAL 26+2 HOT YOGA WITH BOB HARPER
There is hot yoga, and then there is really hot yoga, what is also known as Bikram Yoga (although only Bikram yoga schools can use the trademarked name, and many don’t after the sexual allegations scandal against its founder Bikram Choudhury). Now officially called “Original 26+2”, what makes this hot yoga different is the higher temperature of the room, 105 degrees and 40% humidity, and a set series of 26 poses + 2 breathing exercises all done in a specific order.
The flow is designed to systematically work every part of the body, each move building on the previous one to build strength, increase flexibility, and improve focus. The extreme heat, however, makes just staying upright a challenge — at least for me — but with the amount you sweat, it’s an intense workout even standing in the room. Add the poses and Original Hot Yoga is a calorie burning furnace!
Although the poses and flow are the same, there are still stand out instructors who make the class their own. Bob Harper is one of those, and I took his class this morning at Bode NYC. Many will recognize Bob from the NBC hit show, The Biggest Loser, and from when he made news in 2017 after surviving a “widow maker” heart attack at the gym. Bob was the featured grand finale of 31 Days of Fitness in 2017. What makes Bob’s Hot Yoga class special is Bob. He is a rockstar trainer and instructor no matter the workout, one that pushes and encourages to go beyond what you think you can do – even in a 105 degree room – and with an equally hot playlist that keeps you grooving through it all!
DAY 25: FORWARD__Space
Fitness hits the dance floor at FORWARD__Space with its club-like vibe that makes a workout feel like a night out! FORWARD__Space offers a variety of different signature workouts that blend dance and fitness moves, each a 50-minute nonstop sweat session driven by the inherent power of music and movement. FORWARD offers a continuous cardio vibe with an easy choreographed combo at the end, and FORWARD+ adds a more in-depth choreographed routine. FORWARD__FLOOR brings it onto the mat in a sculpting routine, and FORWARD__FORMS dives deep into contemporary movement and choreography. The FS VIRTUAL HUB offers it all online with Live Sweat Sessions + On-Demand classes.
I took FORWARD_FIRE this morning, a combination of easy-to-follow, high-energy choreography that integrated light weights and sculpting moves into the routine. As one who gets lost in most choreographed workouts, for me this was the perfect blend of dance and athletic moves, that was both fun and empowering. It was a party to start my day! forward-space.com
DAY 26: FREQUENCY BREATHWORK
It was quite a workout this morning – or should say “work in” – and one of the most unique experiences I have ever had on 31 Days of Fitness. It’s hard to imagine a place like Frequency Breathworkexists in New York City — a geodesic canvas dome inside a building on West 27th St, designed like a sweat lodge, with sage burning, the floor covered in fake fur rugs, a psychedelic light show on the ceiling, pillows and blankets arranged in a circle. There were spots for 15 people and it was full at 9:30 am on a Wednesday morning.
Headphones on and immersed in this environment, we were there to breathe, very rhythmically and consciously, led by Frequency Breathwork Co-Founder, Vivian Rosenthal. The pattern was 2 quick inhales, followed by a longer exhale, all through the mouth, while Vivian chanted, played drums and gongs, and channeled various ancestral and animal spirits to aid in creating and releasing a powerful and healing energy flow.
A lot of you might be thinking, ‘What the heck is she talking about, and what has she been smoking??’ It is incredibly challenging to mouth breathe that way for what I think was 40 minutes, so part of it might have been hyperventilation and an OD on oxygen… but 15 people experienced a palpable shift that brought many to tears, as we went around the dome after the session describing how we felt.
As her bio reads: “Vivian is a visionary artist, healer and facilitator who weaves together the visual arts with the healing arts to create sacred spaces for awakening and transformation. Her breathwork journeys are psychoactivations, allowing people to access higher heart consciousness and self-love by unlocking DMT endogenously in the body. The breathwork activations open up expanded states of consciousness and help connect people with their intuition (their higher selves) and their creativity (their divine purpose) and break free of old patterns, habits and stories.”
I can’t describe it better than that. frequencybreathwork.com
DAY 27: POWERSTRIKE FORZA
Powerstrike and its founder, Ilaria Montagnani (above), have been a fixture on the fitness scene since the mid-90’s, with classes still selling out today. Ilaria pioneered the concept of bringing martial arts, her own karate and kickboxing practice, into Group Fitness, creating ground breaking programs like Powerstrike Kickboxing, Atletica strength training, and Forza sword training. Powerstrike was created to help people unleash and empower their everyday warriors, inspiring participants to tackle other areas of their lives with equal fortitude.
I took Ilaria’s Forza class last night at Equinox and it was packed with regulars who have been taking this class for almost 20 years, and a few newcomers like myself. Forza is based on authentic Japanese sword fighting moves, incorporating an ancient art form into a modern day fitness format… cue the Game of Thrones theme song! The class involved different strikes, footwork, and choreography with a wooden Samurai style sword that demanded both physical strength and mental focus. The latter became the more challenging component as the routine progressed, leaving me thoroughly impressed with my classmates who kept up with Ilaria. Forza is an intense workout that challenges both body and mind.
Ilaria offers all her Powerstrike workouts at Equinox, as well as live and on-demand at Powerstrike.com
DAY 28: GYROTONICS
The Gyrotonic Expansion System® is a revolutionary movement method that draws from key principles of gymnastics, swimming, ballet, and yoga. Exercises are performed with spherical awareness and circularity — unlike most conventional exercises which are unidirectional or isolated movements — to create a bridge and flow between contraction and extension. The equipment has a vintage look but a modern design, crafted from wood and metal, something like a cross between Pilates and Universal machines. The apparatus is designed to allow unrestricted movement that builds coordination, strength, and increases flexibility. With Gyrotonic® exercise, major muscle groups are worked independently and in an integrated manner, simultaneously stretching and strengthening the entire body with minimal effort.
I tried Gyrotonics for the first time this afternoon at Body Evolutions which has three locations in Manhattan. The class was taught by owner Billy Macagnone, who has studied extensively with Juliu Horvath, the creator of Gyrotonic movement. It felt fabulous! It was like PT – and something I think I need to do every week. Special attention is paid to increasing the functional capacity of the spine, fundamental to any sport and fitness activity. Billy is passionate about the benefits of Gyrotonic® exercise and I see why. The circular and undalating motion of each exercise that fluidly moved through extension and contraction, left me feeling stretched, relaxed.. and TALLER! bodyevolutions.com
DAY 29: MAYWEATHER BOXING + FITNESS
There are a multitude of slick boxing fitness studios like Rumble, Grit Bxng, and Title Boxing — just to name a few with nationwide locations — along with real, down and dirty boxing gyms like Gleason’s, Mendez, and Church Street Boxing in NYC alone. I had been to them all except for a newer entry into the fitness category, Mayweather Boxing Fitness, which just opened in Tribeca, where I took class this morning to gave former multi-titled, world champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s workout a try.
All these boxing fitness workouts are essentially a variation on the same HIIT workout meets fight club concept, with a circuit training combination of cardio and teardrop or heavybag punch combinations. Mayweather Boxing Fitness has all that, but there are some fun new additions like freestanding training dummies, battle rope stations, and Concept 2 SkiErg machines. I loved punching that dummy in the head! The studio itself is beautifully designed and lit, with monitors all around and Mayweather himself demonstrating the different punches. Most of us know them by now, but it’s fun to have the champ show us the jab, cross, and uppercut.
Mayweather Boxing Fitness has over 100 locations across the country. Find one near you: mayweather.fit
DAY 30: BELLYDANCING
When my friend Alysia Reiner suggested bellydancing for 31 Days of Fitness, I jumped at the idea! Then she arranged for a semi-private lesson at her house. I brought the hip scarves!
Although my pose is not convincing, belly dancing is one the sexiest workouts, enhanced by any extra belly you have! I was happy to have a little jiggle to wiggle. Bellydancing originated in Egypt, and for centuries has been a form of entertainment in Middle Eastern countries. There is a sexual connotation to it, like pole dancing, but it is also very empowering and a great workout.
Bellydancing features movements that are torso driven, with an emphasis on articulations of the hips. It focuses on isolating different parts of the body, moving them independently, but simultaneously in sensuous patterns. The rhythm is both staccato, to punctuate the beat of the music with moves like hip drops and shimmies; and flowing, with the body in continuous motion, enhanced by belly undulations and snake arms. Put on that Buddha Chill vibe, and you’re ready to go.
Thank you Caridad Riviera for a fantastic lesson and indoctrination. I’m ready for more!
DAY 31: BODY ROLL STUDIO
It was a much needed full-body deep tissue massage at Body Roll Studio on the final day of 31 Days of Fitness. Picture a life-size vibrating roller that hits every muscle in a 45-minute session, going through a sequence of 15 different positions, beginning at your feet and working all the way up to your arms. Chic individual body roll massage suites equipped with TV monitors guide you though each body part with easy-to-follow instructions. The state-of-the-art Body Roll machines are designed to perform a powerful lymphatic drainage massage that incorporates the benefits of infrared and collagen lights, for a total mind and body relaxation and detoxification experience.
Body Roll Studio of New York, Miami, and Los Angeles has been completely upending the wellness industry with its next-generation roller technology and revolutionary lymphatic massages. Their stationary machines combine vibration therapy, Infrared heat, and acupressure that stimulate the lymph system for numerous health benefits that include toxin removal, cellulite reduction, increased metabolism, as well as overall muscle tension relief. I popped down their Greenwich Village location to experience the benefits for myself, and left feeling absolutely fabulous. What a reward for a crazy month of hard work!
You can experience Body Roll too with a special 31 Days discount of 20% off with code STYLEOFSPORT20 at bodyrollstudio.com
…AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS A WRAP!
*Check out these special 31 Days discounts good all January!
AARMY ON DEMAND
Free all month with code: STYLEOFSPORT
Buy 10 classes get 2 free now through January
BODY & POLE (Pole, Silk, Hoop classes, and more)
$20/class with code: HOOPCLASS20
BODY ROLL STUDIO (Lymphatic massage)
20% off session with code: STYLEOFSPORT20
F45 (Functional training)
50% off trial (normally 3 for $30) with code: 31DAYSOFFITNESS
MY SWIM PRO (Swim App)
20% off MySwimPro Coach subscription & 7-day free trial: SOCIAL20 (code imbedded)
23% off all memberships for first 3 months and 23% off all class packs with code: 23for23
RESTORE HYPER WELLNESS (Full suite recovery & wellness treatments)
1 Free Cryotherapy session (January only at 1191 Third Ave, NY, NY) with code: CRYO31
SAGE + SOUND (Wellness & Beauty)
15% off any class with code: FITNESS31
COMING SOON: FORWARD SPACE, PURE BARRE, POWERSTRIKE, MAYWEATHER FIT, BARRY’S BOOTCAMP, SURFSET… AND MORE!