Staying Fit When Gyms Are Closed

 

 

CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: PELOTON, ALOMOVES, NIKE TRAINING CLUB, INSANITY, MODELFIT, CLASSPASS LIVE, OBE, PHYSIQUE 57

 
Digital fitness has exploded in the last few years with streaming workouts, fitness apps, and interactive home gym equipment. With gyms now closed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these at-home workouts are more popular than ever. Maintaining our health and fitness regimens is still of the utmost priority for many of us — and these digital workouts offer a multitude of options to stay in shape.

So if you can’t go to the gym, let the gym come to you. HIIT, cycling, yoga, dance, cardio, Pilates and more – take your favorite classes online in the germ-free environment of your own home. Whether it’s your regular workout or something new you’ve wanted to try, here are some of the most popular digital options.

MULTI-CLASS PLATFORMS

Fitness platforms like ClassPass, Jetsweat, and Peloton Digital offer a full range of cardio, yoga, dance, sculpt, boxing, barre classes, and more — available live or on-demand to stream on your phone, computer, or TV. With so many options for one monthly price – generally less than the cost of one boutique fitness class – these are the best bang for your buck. Just filter by workout, duration, difficulty – and press play! Read More

 

Fuel Up: Our 8 Fave Nutrition Bars!

 

 
One of the topics about which I get asked all the time are bars — not where to have a drink with friends — but snack, protein, and nutrition bars. Walk into any health food, grocery, or even drugstore, and you see aisles filled with them. But how do you know which ones are actually good for you, which are filled with additives, or which are candy bars in healthy packaging?

I am a snacker. I prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to bigger breakfasts and lunches. A nutrition bar is usually one of those smaller meals, and I’ve found different options I like depending on the time of day, my activity level, and nutritional goals. For a meal replacement, I like a Quest bar. It’s got 20 grams of whey protein, 10 grams of fat, and 13 grams of fiber, so it’s very filling and low in net carbs. If I do want more carbs than protein, I go for a GoMacro bar, which is plant-based too. You don’t have to look very far for either of these options, which makes them very convenient on-the-go.

Nutrition bars are also a topic which our resident expert, holistic nutritionist and wellness coach Sarah Wragge, gets asked about too. Prefacing her list of favorites with the statement, “Snacking is not my preferred choice of nutrition – it’s about eating meals that are balanced in protein, fat, and fiber, so you’re not hungry every couple hours” — did acquiesce that a nutrition bar can be a good option in a pinch. She looks for one that’s organic, plant-based, and additive-free.

Below is a combined list of our favorite nutrition bars!  Read More

 

A Little R&R

 
 
FOUR OF THE TOP SPORT PERFORMANCE & RECOVERY THERAPIES:
CRYOTHERAPY, ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUE, GRASTON, ACUPUNCTURE

 

There is nothing worse for an athlete than being sidelined with an injury – many of which are not a result of trauma, but chronic overuse (believe me, I know!). With a little R&R — Relax and Recover — many of these injuries can be prevented and treated through a wide range of different therapy techniques. Here is our guide to 9 of the most popular and effective sport performance and recovery therapies — some old and some new. And as an added benefit, many are equally popular as wellness treatments for relaxation and overall wellbeing too.

CRYOTHERAPY

We first wrote about cryotherapy in 2015, when your intrepid editor decided to venture into a -238 degree chamber – yes, you heard right — before it became as widely popular as it is today. Cryotherapy was on our radar as a cutting-edge sports recovery tool, popular among top professional athletes, many of whom had their own cryochambers at home. Now cryotherapy studios can be found in everywhere and booking a session as easy as signing up for your favorite workout.  Read More

 

HIIT IT!

 

ROWGATTA

One of the new entries in the ever-expanding fitness landscape of New York City is Rowgatta – a combination rowing and strength training class. You might call it Barry’s Bootcamp meets rowing — and it fits right in with the popular HIIT style workouts that combine cardio intervals on a treadmill, heavy bag, or rower, with resistance training that’s centered around a custom designed step bench.

At Rowgatta, it’s a CrossFit reminiscent “FITBENCH” — complete with dumbbells, kettlebells, a slam ball, and resistance bands. Like Barry’s, Orange Theory, Rumble, and others in this category, Rowgatta features a night-club inspired design, colored mood lighting, and a pumping sound system. If you’re a fan of the formula, and prefer rowing over boxing or running, Rowgatta is for you!

Barry’s Bootcamp opened in 1998 and popularized High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in a group setting. HIIT style classes are a fun, efficient, and effective way to get in shape — offering maximal results in minimal time. You get all the benefits of cardio and strength training in one 50-minute class. High Intensity Interval Training also generates a physiological reaction known as EPOC – Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption – and these total body workouts are proven to offer continual calorie and fat burning up to 36 hours after the workout is done.

What started with Barry’s Bootcamp and the treadmill, has taken off and launched the opening of a host of other HIIT studios across the country. Boxing workouts like Rumble and GRIT BXNG have added or replaced the treadmill with heavy bags (water-filled, rubber boxing bags). LIT Method and now Rowgatta, have added rowing into the mix. No matter your cardio preference, there is a HIIT class for you. Here’s our guide to the most popular:  Read More

 

The Plant-Based Diet Takeover

 

NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FAST FOOD

 
I’ve got friends and family who have been vegan for years. The easiest way to understand vegan, one of them told me, is you don’t eat anything with a face. So in addition to the obvious meat, fish, and chicken — that means no dairy, eggs, and any other products that contain them. Veggie burgers, Tofurky, and soy cheese have been the basic go-to substitutions, available in a limited selection, and tailored primarily to a vegan taste palate. But all that has changed…

Go into any coffee shop or supermarket nowadays and you find menus and aisles of plant-based milks like almond, coconut, and oat — and freezer sections filled with delicious plant-based meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger. Designed to taste and smell exactly like a hamburger, and engineered with the multi-faceted texture of one — these new savory “veggie” burgers are featured prominently on the menu at major fast food chains like Burger King and McDonalds – along with Beyond Sausage sandwiches at Dunkin’ Donuts and Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC. Plant-based eating has gone mainstream — and Hollywood. It was a veggies only dinner last Sunday at the Golden Globes Awards.

A recent article in the New Yorker quoted some powerful statistics on the environmental impact of eating meat. In a nutshell, agriculture consumes more freshwater than any other human activity, and nearly one-third of that water is devoted to raising livestock. One-third of the world’s arable land is used to grow feed for livestock, and cattle are responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions from the methane they produce in digestion. That’s as much each year as from all cars, trucks, airplanes, and ships combined! (NYT)
Read More

 

5 Simple Fixes!

 

 
My edited food journal above may look overwhelming, but the changes come down to a few basic concepts. Back in July we launched a contest offering 2 lucky readers the chance to win a diet makeover by Sarah Wragge, our contributing nutrition editor, with just 5 Simple Fixes. Yes, there are the obvious splurges like pizza, ice cream, and cookies, but lurking in many of our diets are extra hidden calories of which we are completely unaware. I found that out firsthand when I asked Sarah to take a look at my diet.

Thinking I ate pretty clean and expecting a pat on the back, instead I got, “OMG… you eat so much sugar!” Unbeknownst to me, what I thought was my healthy fruit and rice cake snacking was like sugar dosing and carbo loading all day. With some simple substitutions like adding more healthy fats such as avocado and nuts; swapping dairy for plant based alternatives like almond milk and coconut yogurt; and replacing my fruit dessert with dark chocolate (yes!), those abs I work so hard for started to pop — and with no feeling of deprivation because I was eating satiating and nutritious foods.

Our 5 Simple Fixes contest winners, Suzanne Donaldson and Mike Loftus, learned some of the same lessons and few more of their own — along with some easy fixes to attain their fitness and nutrition goals. Our contest should probably have been called “1 Simple Fix” because the leading culprit for all 3 of us was hidden sugar.

We all want to look good and feel good. We want those workouts to show on our bodies. For those of you who entered the contest but didn’t win, we wanted to share a sample 3 days of our diets, with the changes Sarah made. Many of you might have similar habits, and we hope seeing our mistakes and the easy fixes can help you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals too.  Read More

 

Are These Beers Your New Sport Drink?

 

10 POPULAR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEERS

 
Runners take your mark, get set, go, HAVE A BEER! Turns out your favorite brew might be the best sports drink around — but before you start getting hammered after your workouts, we are talking non-alcoholic beer here…

Beer, as post workout beverage, has been marketed as of late to fitness enthusiasts — with craft brews like Sufferfest, whose tagline is “Will Sweat for Beer”, and Samuel Adams’ Boston 26.2 Brew, targeting athletes and weekend warriors. They are still alcoholic beverages, however, and not exactly healthy. Non-alcoholic beers are changing that, and gaining in popularity as a sports performance and recovery drink — thanks in large part to one of the active ingredients, malt.

Traditionally non-alcoholic beers have paled in flavor, compared to their alcoholic counterparts. Stripping the alcohol removes that beer flavor, and adding malt is what brings it back — along with all sorts of additional health benefits. Malt extract is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Some of you will remember Ovaltine — the healthy malted milk beverage that was a staple of our childhoods — which is still widely consumed in Europe by both adults and children. Read More

 

Get More Energy Now!

 

 

Everybody wants more energy — and we want it all day! In the insanely busy lives most of us live, balancing the demands of work and home, we go at full speed from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. We need that energy sustained for our workouts, jobs, kids, and spouse — not just for the body, but also the mind. Whether you’re a busy exec or stay-at-home mom, our physical and psychological demands don’t discriminate.

64% of us start the day with a cup coffee, and the average American drinks about 3-4 cups per day. One cup of coffee is the morning is fine, but drinking too much coffee can have adverse effects, and leave us feeling more exhausted. When we feel tired, our brains do too. Not only is cognitive function impaired, but our emotional stability as well. We’ve all been known to “lose it” when we’re wiped out. The goal is to avoid the highs and the lows.

Since fatigue is not an option, we asked our resident nutrition and wellness guru, Sarah Wragge, for some tips and tricks to have more energy now. The good news is you don’t have to give up that morning brew!  Read More

 
 

BACK TO TOP