Balletoning: A great class you may have missed!

If you work out at JV, you should absolutely check out Amanda Epstein’s Balletoning class. It’s a great deal of fun (because dancing is always good for not feeling like you’re “working out”), but it’s so much more that that. This class stretches and strengthens all of those beautiful muscles that you use to jump, kick, recover, stabilize, and present yourself to the world in general.

I was getting a little annoyed with my workout routine, and missed the days long ago when all I did was dance for exercise. I saw this class on the JV group excercise schedule on Mondays and Thursdays, and I’m so glad I gave it a try. I walked out of class feeling taller, lighter, longer, leaner, and stronger all over.

If you’ve never danced before, this is also a great intro to the groundwork of ballet in terms of body positioning, core stability, arm movements, and flow. If you need a little inspiration, look no further than these beautiful photos from SHAPE magazine of 10 dancers in the real world. They certainly inspired me!

See you there!

A Superhero Steam

Friends, something wonderful has happened: I have discovered the steam room.  I avoided it for a long time, because I’m startled by sudden loud noises (like the steam vents make), and I have never been a fan of excessive heat.  (No pun intended. Maybe.)  I do enjoy sitting in the hot tub, but just never equated the same sense of cleansing and relaxation with being out of the water.

Recently, I started read an article about some of the muscle-relaxing, skin-clearing, toxin-busting, immune-boosting benefits of steam rooms and saunas, so I gave myself 5 minutes in the steam room to try it out.  At first, I wasn’t sure.  The steam vent “whoooshed” loudly as soon as I walked in, and I almost jumped out of my skin, but I reminded myself to be a grown up and took a seat as far away from the vent as possible.

After 5 minutes had passed, I started to feel the relaxation seeping in, and I wanted to stay even longer.  Having just gotten over a cold, breathing in the moist warm air felt really healing and wonderful.  I gave myself three more minutes before I decided it was just too darn hot, and I had gotten all the relaxation I needed.  For the rest of the night, I felt calm and relaxed, and I even slept more soundly.

If you’re thinking about trying the steam room or sauna, be sure to read the instructions and warnings on the door before you go in.  Just like the hot tub, it may not be right for everyone, especially those with specific medical conditions – but if you are able, and if you’re one of those people (like me) who likes rewards to stay motivated for tough workouts, I highly recommend gifting yourself with a little time in the steam room.

Holiday Season: surviving the stress


We all know that the holiday season is a stressful time. Whether you are the sort of person that welcomes the holidays, or if your the type that does not really get all the hoopla, you feel the stress regardless. The mayhem begins with the crazed shopping efforts, extends through the decorating shenanigans and all the cooking and entertaining means we are eating more and thinking of other people more than ourselves. It’s great to consider other people- it’s largely what the holidays should be about. They should be about who we care about and being thankful for people and things we have and love.

Some things to think about:

1. Don’t forget yourself. Without your sanity, you can’t accomplish much. Take time for yourself whether it’s treating yourself to a massage, reading a book, taking a walk to clear your head or getting a manicure or pedicure (that goes for both Men and Women by the way). Club Fit also is offering a great special on massages through the holiday season. Click here to read more about the benefits of massage therapy.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. So your garland fell off the railing, the kids missed the bus, you’re stuck in traffic and are late for work. Let it roll off your shoulders. Those are small things that inconvenience us. We tend to get more worked up about the fact that they happened. Don’t dwell, let it go.

3. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
If you need a hand, ask someone! Too often we take on too much by ourselves when our friends and family would be more than happy to help us out.

4. Stay active. Fitness is a great stress reliever. Take a class, stack some wood, go for a jog . . . doesn’t matter what you do, just that you do it.

5. Spend some quality time with your spouse or significant other. Take a hike, go for a drive or even plan a quiet evening together at home. It’s easy to take relationships for granted during this stressful time so make sure to appreciate each other.

6. Remember and reflect on what is truly important. Don’t go crazy over gifts, appearances and food. The important things, are health, family, thankfulness and friends.

For those of you that suffer from seasonal depression, The Mayo Clinic has some exceptional advice. Click here to read Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping.

This season, don’t forget to take care of yourself. There ARE things we can do to prevent the state of panic, stress or even depression. From a perspective of well-being, it behooves us to mention that you should not sacrifice your fitness regime through this time. Your body is used to being active. Make sure you make time to fit in your workout. Consider them this season!