Meditation On The Run

 

Photo by Larry Gloth

Whether you already meditate or want to get started, meditating while running is a different way to meditate and a different way to run. While running itself can be a meditative experience, when you combine it with a guided meditation it changes the experience. “Mindful running is the ability to run with a clear intention, fully connected in body and mind, free from distraction, and with an equal balance of focus and relaxation”, says Andy Puddicombe, co-founder of the popular meditation app Headspace.

At the core of meditation is the focus on staying present in the moment. The goal is to leave thoughts of the past behind and not get caught up in the future that has yet to happen. The breath is the tool that keeps you present by focusing on the rhythm of inhales and exhales — hard to ignore when running. Running can help you meditate and meditation can help you run. The two together can help make you better at both.

If you’re like most recreational runners, myself included, you run with music. Music gives you rhythm, energy, and motivation, but it’s also a distraction. It blocks out many sensations your body is feeling. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when you turn the music off, running becomes a different experience. You take in the sights and sounds. You become aware of your inhales and exhales. You hear the sound of your breath. I discovered how loud that can be when I tried the Mindful Running with Lynne Goldberg on the Breethe meditation app, which on that particular run was more labored than I realized. Read More

 

In The AARMY Now

 

 

“I’m originally from Malaysia and moved here for grad school. I just graduated with an MBA in finance. I came here alone and the only person I knew in this whole country was my boyfriend (now fiancé). I thought no big deal, but it was during the pandemic when gyms were closed. Even school was online, so I didn’t have any friends. It was tough. I started coming to AARMY last May when they reopened, and began meeting people. I went from 1 practice a week to multiple times a day. Now I literally have a whole group of friends that I can’t imagine life without.”

–Shobana Prabakaran (bottom left), 26

PHOTOGRAPHS BY GABRIELLE REVERE

For people who enjoy group fitness classes, the reason is usually more than the workout. It’s the group. Some call it a tribe. Others a cult. But it’s a community of like-minded individuals who have found the combination of workout and instructor they love that motivates them unlike any other. They are kindred spirits who come together to sweat together, to push their bodies beyond their expectations and perceived limits, beyond what they believe is possible when training on their own.

This shared fitness experience bonds people, builds friendships, and creates a special alchemy that is addictive — especially when endorphins are surging, and bodies start to transform. For Shobana Prabakaran, Anjali Shah, Mouna Kammoun, Katie Ambrosi, and Vera Papisova (bottom left to right), that place is AARMY. In my years of taking group fitness classes, I’ve never seen a stronger group of women or sculpted physiques to match.
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The Skinny on Strong

 

 

It’s Saturday morning at Barry’s Bootcamp and class is packed for a newer workout called LIFT. There are no treadmills or running in this class. The entire 50 minutes is floorwork only, in the same circuit format Barry’s regulars know so well, but slower paced with heavier weights designed to work muscles to exhaustion. For people who don’t like to run, this class has become super popular, while those who don’t like to lift have found a fun and motivating environment to get that essential strength training done.

The benefits of strength training cannot be overstated, yet many of us, this editor included, choose cardio and HIIT classes, opting for what we assume is a better calorie or fat burning workout. The irony is muscle mass is more metabolically efficient, and research has shown our metabolic rate is boosted up to 72 hours after a strength-training workout. It can help decrease abdominal fat as well. (Healthline)

In addition, weight training supports all those cardio activities by building strength, improving mobility, and increasing range of motion to help prevent sidelining injuries. For women especially, as we age and become more susceptible to osteoporosis, strength training is essential to keep bones strong. Despite all this supporting information however, many women have stayed away from weight training for fear they would get too big and muscular — a myth the steroid filled heyday of bodybuilding helped propagate. Read More

 

The Smart Ones

 

CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: TONAL, MIRROR, OXEFIT, TEMPO STUDIO, TEMPO MOVE, NORDIC TRACK VAULT

With more people working out at home, the all-in-one home gym has become increasingly popular. Many will remember the multi-station Universal and Bowflex that packed an entire gym into one apparatus, but with the boom in smart technology and connected fitness, brands like Mirror, Tonal, and Tempo have redefined the genre.

High-tech and interactive, these machines offer personalized weight training and fitness classes in a sleek and modern package that has made the all-in-one a featured showpiece in the home. With the world’s best athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Lindsay Vonn recently endorsing different brands, these machines offer performance to match. Read More

 

31 Days of Fitness 2022!

 

 
Happy New Year and welcome to 31 Days of Fitness 2022! 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 class, studio, app, modality, and trainer to showcase the amazing variety of workouts to get and stay in shape for the new year. Omicrom may be raging but we’re going to keep it safe with a mix of digital, studio, indoor, outdoor, and socially distant workouts. There’s no guessing where I might turn up!
 

DAY 1: POLAR BEAR PLUNGE

What a way to kick off the new year and 31 Days of Fitness 2022 than at the 119th Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge, which returned this year after the 2021 Covid hiatus. Besides the symbolic cleansing of the past year, greeting the new year with a frigid but invigorating plunge has numerous health benefits as well. A cold water plunge increases blood flow, improves circulation, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, releases endorphins, and elevates your mood. In fact, I feel great! While most of us revelers are out there just one day year, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter bathing club in the United States, founded in 1903, and members take the plunge every Sunday November-April! Photo:Casey Steffens Read More

 

#TrainersforHire

 

CLOCKWISE TOP: DEGREE DEODORANT INCLUSIVE POP-UP CYCLING CLASS; STEVE SERIO, 2-TIME PARALYMPIAN GOLD MEDALIST TEAM USA BASKETBALL; GARRISON REDD, TEAM USA PARALYMPIC POWERLIFTER

Event Photos Courtesy of Degree Deodorant

In late September, Degree Deodorant launched the #TrainersforHire Campaign, an initiative for of National Disability Employment Awareness Month challenging the fitness industry to hire trainers with disabilities. The kick-off was an inclusive pop-up cycling class in New York City’s Flatiron Plaza, led by eight-time Paralympic Track & Field medalist, Blake Leeper. The class included people with and without disabilities, on both spin bikes and hand cycles, to showcase how simple it is to create an inclusive fitness class.

As a participant, I can attest to the inspiration of a spin class taught by an instructor with a disability – a Paralympian no less – and the fact that it was a great class regardless. Blake told me that he actually has an advantage to offer that others don’t. “I use my personal experiences of adversity and challenges, that mental toughness from being born without legs, and apply that to the class. I’ve had to push through, so push through with me.”

Blake was born with a congenital birth defect, and has worn prosthetics since he was 9 months old. He made his international Track & Field debut in 2009, and his first Paralympic Games were London 2012. Blake set his sites beyond the Paralympics last summer, with the goal of competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but was barred from competition on the grounds that his blade-like prostheses might give him an unfair advantage. Read More

 

What’s App?

 

 

Fitness apps had already become a popular way to train before the pandemic, and now there are even more workouts to choose from, right there in the palm of your hand. We’ve been demoing them all — boot camp, strength training, cycling, boxing, swimming, and more — and with gyms reopened, you can also take these workouts to go! Below are 12 of our favorite fitness apps. With free trials on all, find the app that’s right for you…

VARIIS (above)

SoulCycle, Rumble, Pure Yoga, and all the other boutique brands in the Equinox family (including all the Equinox classes) are here together on the Variis app. Whether you want to box, ride, stretch, or meditate, the most popular fitness instructors are on the app to recreate your favorite classes at home. Read More

 

Just Bring Your Body

 

THE FIT FOUR:

SCOTT MATHISON; CARMEL RODRIGUEZ; JULIAN DAIGRE; RYAN TREMAINE KLARENBACH

 

Bored with your at-home workouts? Want to look like this foursome! Openfit has just launched a new program called JBYB, which stands for Just Bring Your Body, and all you need is you. No weights are required for these action-packed 30-minute workouts. This 5 day-a-week, 60-day total body conditioning program features not just one, but an elite team of four trainers. They are some of the most influential fitness personalities and ready to crank up your fitness.

Known as the “Fit Four”, each trainer brings their own specialty and expertise. There is dancer and gymnast Julian Daigre; stuntman and martial artist Ryan Tremaine Klarenbach; boot camp elite trainer Scott Mathison; and body mastery trainer Carmel Rodriguez. Together they combine the elements of the most effective bodyweight training styles like yoga, HIIT, MMA, and plyometrics in one program. Each takes a turn leading the workout, while the other three train alongside them… and us. The trainers may be elite, but they have designed the JBYB program for every fitness level.

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than four of the most ripped and fit athletes you’ve ever seen! We had the opportunity to talk to one of them, Carmel Rodriguez, about the JBYB program and the advantages of body weight training. Carmel may be the most impressive of the four given that she’s 44 years old and the mother of two! Read More

 
 

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