Zumba has Many Benefits


Zumba is a dance-based exercise class that will leave you in a sweaty state of joy!  The class is typically hour long.  Upbeat dance music is played while your teacher guides you through fun, muscle building poses that are guaranteed to increase your heart rate!  Zumba has many wonderful health benefits – once you read them, there will be nothing stopping you from attending your first class (or continuing your healthy Zumba practice).

 

 

  • Mood-Enhancing: when you exercise and increase your heart rate, endorphins are naturally released, which cause an elevation in your mood for the following several hours.  Beyond endorphins, in a Zumba class, you are moving your body in uplifting ways by jumping and dancing – a happy body translates to a happy mind!  Plus, you will be listening to super fun music for an hour, which can only increase your happiness even more!
  • Weight-Loss: for those of us that struggle with weight, Zumba is a fun and easy way to burn calories.  In fact, WebMD reports that people burn an average of 369 calories in 60-minutes of Zumba – wow!
  • Glowing Skin: the sweat you work-up during a Zumba class does more than just melt fat – it affects the health of your skin.  When you sweat, you clear out your pores allowing your skin to breathe.  And since your heart rate and breathing is accelerated during a Zumba class, the cells in your skin will be filled with ample amounts of oxygen.  You will leave the class with a lovely after-Zumba glow.
  • Stronger Bones: Zumba is considered a high-impact exercise since there is jumping involved.  High-impact exercise helps your bones grow stronger, preventing osteoporosis.  And if you add weights to your Zumba class, your bones will become even stronger!  Broken, brittle bones will no longer be a worry for you.
  • New Friends: when you dance with a group of people for an hour, you’re bound to make a few new friends!  What better friends are there than like-minded people that just want to have fun?  You may only get to exchange laughs and smiles during class, but there is always time before and after to get to know your new friends better.  Plus, telling your friends “see you next class!” will greatly increase your chances of sticking to the healthy habit of Zumba practice.

 

 

That’s just the beginning of the bountiful benefits of Zumba!  If you think I missed any other major benefits, please comment below.  All this writing about Zumba is making me want to head to my own Zumba class… to start your own Zumba practice, check out Brick House Cardio Club.

Yoga Benefits for Everyone


Yoga is a popular form of exercise and relaxation.  There are many different types of yoga.  Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga classes will typically increase your heart rate and increase muscle mass.  Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga classes will allow you to stretch deeply and relax fully.  If you’re not sure whether or not you want to start your own practice, maybe the top 5 benefits of yoga will convince you:

 

 

  • Decrease Stress: when you take time to move your body in mindful ways and focus on the breath, your cortisol levels decrease.  Cortisol is the stress-causing hormone that we tend to have way too much of!  At the beginning of a yoga class, the first thing a teacher typically cues is to control the breath.  As you learn to control your breath through your daily activities, you are able to naturally relax yourself, even in the most stressful of situations.
  • Decrease Pain: yoga allows you to move and stretch the body, and when practiced correctly, yoga can eliminate pain throughout your body.  More and more doctors across the country are prescribing yoga to patients that are recovering from injury or illness.  Stretching the body deeply allows the release of pain and the opening of the body.
  • Increase Peace of Mind: the most common word and feeling I hear at the end of a yoga class is “peace”.  There is something semi-magical about the transformation that occurs during a good yoga class.  I have seen a group of soldiers (naturally reluctant to try yoga) leave a yoga class feeling completely at ease.  It is something that you must truly experience!
  • Increases Self Care: yoga is a great form of caring for the mind, body, and spirit – but that self care doesn’t end after the yoga class!  Through meditation and mindful movement, yoga helps decrease cravings.   I have taken numerous classes where I walk in wanting to eat a hamburger instead of practicing yoga, then afterwards my hunger is gone, and I realize that it was just a silly crazing.  Next thing I know, I’m picking up healthy groceries and cooking myself a wholesome meal for later that day!  When you begin to practice yoga, you put yourself on an upward spiral in the realm of self care.
  • Increase Clarity: during a yoga class, you are encouraged to keep your focus on the mat and forget about the world outside.  This is known as a moving meditation because your focus is entirely on the body as you move through the poses.  This sort of meditation allows your subconscious to process thoughts that were previous stuck in an endless loop in your consciousness.  If there was a problem to solve before yoga, you may notice that after yoga the solution becomes clear!  Or you may even realize that there was never a problem at all… EIther way, yoga aids in your own mental clarity.

 

 

I could go on, but I think these benefits are great enough to convince you to at least give yoga a try.  And remember, not all yoga is the same!  So if you find that hot power yoga is not right for you, search around for a more relaxing, restorative class.  I hope you find as many great benefits by practicing yoga as I did!  And if you want to share any of your yoga experiences, please comment below.  And to head to your first yoga class, check out Brick House Cardio Club. Namaste!

Habits – Creating Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits
Healthy Habits

It’s never too late to start healthy habits! So why not start today?

Below is a list of healthy habits that you can practice for a healthier life. When adding or changing a habit, it is best to focus on one at a time. I suggest picking the habit that sounds the most appealing to you, and practicing it whole-heartedly for one week. If after that week it has become part of your daily routine, pick a new habit to add to your daily routine! If not, use another week to incorporate the original habit. Either way, once the habit becomes routine, it is time to pick a new one to bring your life up to the next level!

  1. Drink Water: start the day with water, end the day with water, and fill your day with water! There is no better beverage on this planet – it is the ultimate fuel for your body. To make this a true habit, invest in a large BPA-free water bottle and take it everywhere. With water within hands reach, you will definitely drink more, which will only increase your health.
  2. Sweat Daily: exercise has soooooo many health benefits! You will start looking and feeling amazing in a multitude of ways. There are two general types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise includes cardiovascular activities like running, biking, or swimming. Anaerobic exercise includes muscle-building activities like lifting weights, jumping, and sprinting. Do you want to multitask? You can accomplish anaerobic and aerobic exercise at the same time at gym classes like Zumba, BODYPUMP, CXWORKS, and R.I.P.P.E.D.! To learn more about these classes, you can read about them here. If you’re new to exercising, start by sweating for 15 minutes a day, and gradually increase to at least a full hour of exercise daily – you won’t regret it!
  3. Stretch Daily: your body is going to need some stretching after all that exercise! Stretching releases lactic acid, so your body doesn’t feel sore after working out. It is best to stretch when your muscles are warm, preferably after your workout. If you need more guidance while you stretch, try practicing yoga! Not only will you increase your flexibility, you will gain bountiful mental and physical benefits. Curious about yoga? Read about a basic yoga class here.
  4. Journal: now we have 3 solid physical habits, so it’s time to work on the mind. Journaling is recommended by nearly every mental health professional as an everyday practice to increase emotional well-being. People that journal feel happier, more at peace with the world, and less stressed. To make this a daily habit, try journaling at the end of the day before you go to sleep. You can recount the day’s activities: what went well and what went wrong. Try to journal without judgement; simply reflect on what happened and think about what you could do better next time. Journaling is a powerful activity that will truly increase your mental health.
  5. Enjoy Nature: don’t forget about Mother Earth – she is everyone’s friend! Who doesn’t enjoy sunshine and fresh air after being stuck inside all day? And spending just a half hour in the sun can give you your daily dose of Vitamin D which helps increase happiness among other benefits. If you are able, try to use your lunch break to spend some time with Mother Nature. Maybe you can even take your lunch outside so that you take in Vitamin D as you digest all the nutrients in your wholesome meal.

Habits – Tips for Breaking a bad habit

breaking bad habit

breaking bad habit

Have you been struggling with a bad habit? Maybe you have a habit of mindlessly snacking while watching shows, drinking soda instead of water, or spending money on frivolous items. It’s time to say goodbye to your bad habits and live the life you want to have! Simply follow the process below to break an unhealthy habit.

  1.  Find your Focus

To begin, you need to think about the one habit that is most degrading your life – your focus will be on this single bad habit. It is best to devote some time to meditate on what your focus will be. Sit quietly and either think or write as you answer the following questions:

  • What is something wrong with my life?
  • What causes this aspect of my life to go wrong?
  • What can I do to improve this aspect of my life?

For instance, if the “something wrong” is your weight, you could look at what causes your weight to go wrong. Are you eating too much or too little? Then decide how you could improve this aspect. Maybe you could resolve to eat mindfully and stop eating once you are full. No matter what your bad habit is, these questions can help guide you towards a healthier life.

  1. Replace the Bad Habit with a Healthy Habit

It is so difficult to tell yourself “don’t do this.” Think about a time when your parent told you “don’t eat this candy”, then as soon as they left the room, you suddenly wanted to eat the candy! This characteristic of you probably hasn’t changed as an adult. So instead of telling yourself to simply stop the bad habit, think about what you could do instead of that bad habit. For instance, instead of grabbing a soda as you sit down to a show, you could grab a glass of water! Or instead of habitually turning on the T.V. once you get home from work, you could habitually put on your running shoes and head to the gym to get your sweat-on! For more healthy habit ideas, check out this article [insert link to first blog post under “article”].

  1. Make Your Resolution

This is your Anytime Resolution (because it doesn’t have to be January 1st in order to improve your life!). Once you know the habit you want to break and what you are replacing the habit with, you need to make a resolution to truly end the habit. Make this your #1 priority over the next three weeks. This is a big commitment, so make sure that there are life-changing reasons for replacing this habit. It also helps to post reminders throughout your house, car, and workspace so that you don’t lose your focus. Friends and family can be great tools as well – build yourself a support group by letting your loved ones know about your new resolution. But remember, life is a journey and we are bound to stray from the path now and then, but our reminders and relationships help to bring us back on track!

So if you are struggling with a bad habit, it’s time to take the first step in the right direction! Say goodbye to that bad habit and say hello to a wonderful life. If you want to strengthen your resolve to end your bad habit, simply comment below with your resolution to a beautiful new you!

 

Creating Healthy Habits


It’s never too late to start a healthy habit!  So why not start today?  

 

Below is a list of daily habits that you can practice for a healthier life.  When adding or changing a habit, it is best to focus on one at a time.  I suggest picking the habit that sounds the most appealing to you, and practicing it whole-heartedly for one week.  If after that week it has become part of your daily routine, pick a new habit to add to your daily routine!  If not, use another week to incorporate the original habit.  Either way, once the habit becomes routine, it is time to pick a new one to bring your life up to the next level!

 

    1. Drink Water: start the day with water, end the day with water, and fill your day with water! There is no better beverage on this planet – it is the ultimate fuel for your body. To make this a true habit, invest in a large BPA-free water bottle and take it everywhere.  With water within hands reach, you will definitely drink more, which will only increase your health.

 

  • Sweat Daily: exercise has soooooo many health benefits!  You will start looking and feeling amazing in a multitude of ways.  There are two general types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic.  Aerobic exercise includes cardiovascular activities like running, biking, or swimming.  Anaerobic exercise includes muscle-building activities like lifting weights, jumping, and sprinting.  Do you want to multitask?  You can accomplish anaerobic and aerobic exercise at the same time at gym classes like Zumba, BODYPUMP, CXWORKS, and R.I.P.P.E.D.!  To learn more about these classes, you can read about them here.  If you’re new to exercising, start by sweating for 15 minutes a day, and gradually increase to at least a full hour of exercise daily – you won’t regret it!
  • Stretch Daily: your body is going to need some stretching after all that exercise!  Stretching releases lactic acid, so your body doesn’t feel sore after working out.  It is best to stretch when your muscles are warm, preferably after your workout.  If you need more guidance while you stretch, try practicing yoga!  Not only will you increase your flexibility, you will gain bountiful mental and physical benefits.  Curious about yoga?  Read about a basic yoga class here.
  • Journal: now we have 3 solid physical habits, so it’s time to work on the mind.  Journaling is recommended by nearly every mental health professional as an everyday practice to increase emotional well-being.  People that journal feel happier, more at peace with the world, and less stressed.  To make this a daily habit, try journaling at the end of the day before you go to sleep.  You can recount the day’s activities: what went well and what went wrong.  Try to journal without judgement; simply reflect on what happened and think about what you could do better next time.  Journaling is a powerful activity that will truly increase your mental health.
  • Enjoy Nature: don’t forget about Mother Earth – she is everyone’s friend!  Who doesn’t enjoy sunshine and fresh air after being stuck inside all day?  And spending just a half hour in the sun can give you your daily dose of Vitamin D which helps increase happiness among other benefits.  If you are able, try to use your lunch break to spend some time with Mother Nature.  Maybe you can even take your lunch outside so that you take in Vitamin D as you digest all the nutrients in your wholesome meal.

 

 

With these 5 habits, you are well on your way to living a happy, healthy life. If you have any other healthy habits that you live by, feel free to comment below!

 

Tips for Breaking a Bad Habit


Have you been struggling with a bad habit?  Maybe you have a habit of mindlessly snacking while watching shows, drinking soda instead of water, or spending money on frivolous items.  It’s time to say goodbye to your bad habits and live the life you want to have!  Simply follow the process below to break an unhealthy habit.

 

  1. Find Your Focus

 

To begin, you need to think about the one habit that is most degrading your life – your focus will be on this single bad habit.  It is best to devote some time to meditate on what your focus will be.  Sit quietly and either think or write as you answer the following questions:

 

  • What is something wrong with my life?
  • What causes this aspect of my life to go wrong?
  • What can I do to improve this aspect of my life?

 

For instance, if the “something wrong” is your weight, you could look at what causes your weight to go wrong.  Are you eating too much or too little?  Then decide how you could improve this aspect.  Maybe you could resolve to eat mindfully and stop eating once you are full.  No matter what your bad habit is, these questions can help guide you towards a healthier life.

 

  1. Replace the Bad Habit with a Healthy Habit

 

It is so difficult to tell yourself “don’t do this.”  Think about a time when your parent told you “don’t eat this candy”, then as soon as they left the room, you suddenly wanted to eat the candy!  This characteristic of you probably hasn’t changed as an adult.  So instead of telling yourself to simply stop the bad habit, think about what you could do instead of that bad habit.  For instance, instead of grabbing a soda as you sit down to a show, you could grab a glass of water!  Or instead of habitually turning on the T.V. once you get home from work, you could habitually put on your running shoes and head to the gym to get your sweat-on!  For more healthy habit ideas, check out this article [insert link to first blog post under “article”].

 

  1. Make Your Resolution

 

This is your Anytime Resolution (because it doesn’t have to be January 1st in order to improve your life!).  Once you know the habit you want to break and what you are replacing the habit with, you need to make a resolution to truly end the habit.  Make this your #1 priority over the next three weeks.  This is a big commitment, so make sure that there are life-changing reasons for replacing this habit.  It also helps to post reminders throughout your house, car, and workspace so that you don’t lose your focus.  Friends and family can be great tools as well – build yourself a support group by letting your loved ones know about your new resolution.  But remember, life is a journey and we are bound to stray from the path now and then, but our reminders and relationships help to bring us back on track!  

 

So if you are struggling with a bad habit, it’s time to take the first step in the right direction!  Say goodbye to that bad habit and say hello to a wonderful life.  If you want to strengthen your resolve to end your bad habit, simply comment below with your resolution to a beautiful new you!