Just as you can have a bad day at the gym, you can also have a rotten time at the yoga studio. To make sure you always have an awesome experience on your mat, make sure to avoid the following mistakes in your next class.
- Excuse me, I think your boob fell out of your shirt: No one is paying much attention to your outfit, but it will cause a scene if a too-loose shirt causes a bit of indecent exposure. Make sure your outfit is made of fabric that fits well, offers coverage, and doesn’t have annoying tassels, seams, or extra material to get in the way of your movements. Futzing with your outfit when you’re trying to focus on your breath (while also trying to hold intricate positions with your body) is sure to get in the way of a blissful experience.
- Puddles on your mat: Sweating in a hot yoga class is all part of the fun, but if you sweat too much on your mat, it’s a fall waiting to happen. When wet, some mats are slicker than others, so if you tend to sweat a lot, choose a mat with a grippy surface or place a yoga towel on top. Also bring along a hand towel so you can quickly wipe off your face and get back to your practice. Here are a few of our favorite slipless yoga towels.
- That burrito you ate for lunch: Eating right before class means your gurgling stomach may be louder than your breath. Avoid pains and bloating by finishing meals at least two hours before heading to the studio, and if you need a pre-workout snack, choose something light, easy to digest, and low in fiber such as a banana. Check out these tips for choosing the right pre-workout snack.
Keep reading to find out other things that can ruin your yoga class.
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Exercising regularly means going through lots of fitness gear. Instead of just tossing out old kicks or a worn-out yoga mat, do something good for the Earth. Here are ways to recycle or reuse old workout gear.
- Donate: You can toss them in a Goodwill bin, or send them to an organization that’ll put them to good use. Soles4Souls‘s tag line is “Saving the world — one pair at a time.” This organization takes your tired, but “gently worn,” sneakers and finds needy feet to fill them. They strongly suggest organizing shoe drives and mailing all the pairs to one of their three warehouse locations. Another organization, One World Running, has been serving runners around the world since 1986. Through collection programs, they are able to provide shoes for needy runners across the world. Check here for drop-off locations.
- Recycle: Turn your old shoes into something new. Nike Reuse-A-Shoe takes all brands of sneakers that are beyond “gently worn” and turns them into a recycled product known as Nike Grind, which is used to make tracks, indoor basketball courts, fields, and playgrounds. Just drop off your retired sneakers at any Nike store, or check here for drop-off locations.
- Reuse: Keep an old pair of sneakers around for days when you’re running or walking in the rain or on muddy trails. Some people even use old shoes as plant potters. Fill a disinfected shoe with soil and grow some basil or cilantro on your deck or windowsill.
- Donate: When you buy newer gear, pass on your old gear to friends or siblings, or donate them to Goodwill, a homeless shelter, or other charity store.
- Recycle: Patagonia accepts all its products back for recycling. Either mail them to Patagonia or drop them off at a retail store.
- Reuse: Used fitness clothes make excellent old rags for cleaning. Cut them up and store them in a bag under the kitchen sink.
Keep reading to find out what you can do with your old fitness equipment and yoga mats.
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Tennis pro Samantha Stosur is hitting the courts for the BNP Paribas Open this week, but the busy 2011 U.S. Open champion still found time to fill us in about how she prepares for intense competitions. Did you know this 27-year-old has been playing tennis professionally since she was 13? Read on for her training and motivation tips.
Right now you’re competing in the BNP Paribas Open. How do you prepare for a tournament like this?
I’m trying to spend as much time as possible on the courts practicing with my coach, so I know what to expect in a match. I spend about two hours a day practicing—any more than that would be too much. Some days I try to get a massage, too.
How do you get psyched up for a match?
I’m always ramped up to go on the court. I warm up by running around the court, doing short drills and going over the game plan with my coach. This helps me focus on what’s ahead so I know exactly what to do.
Describe your training in the months leading to a big event like this one.
I have tournaments scheduled pretty close together, so there aren’t long periods in between to just train. You learn what you need to do and how to get better after every practice or game. I’ve learned that just because you’re good on the court one day, doesn’t mean you’ll be better the next day. Your performance is an accumulation of your day-to-day routine.
Spring is around the corner, which means warmer weather and shedding clothes. But you don’t have to panic if the workout clothes you got for Christmas haven’t exactly been worn out. If you’ve been on a Winter hiatus, start anew with these tips for getting back into a healthy routine.
It’s common sense: The thing about living healthfully is that a lot of it is just common sense, says celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak (he’s responsible for Rihanna’s amazing Grammy body). When you can make a few healthy changes, do it. It doesn’t take much thought to know that moving around more burns more calories than sitting all day, or that you can get your exercise for the day by walking to the store instead of driving.
Every little bit counts: Harley also says that remembering this can also help you make the common sense decision. Instead of thinking of exercise as a huge daunting, boring task, think of your goals in smaller increments. When you walk around, every step or healthy food choice helps you to your goal.
Don’t overdo it: Going all out for it after not exercising for awhile can take its toll on your mind as well as your body. To prevent injury and a discouraged feeling, start small and work your way up slowly when you’re ready. “Take it slowly, bite off sizable aspects of your fitness routine that you can complete, don’t underdo but don’t overdo,” celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson recently told us. “Overdoing it is going to kill it. You can’t overhaul your entire fitness and health regimen in one day.”
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You may be tempted to try to ease your pre-date nerves with a glass of wine or a few chocolates from your Valentine before your big date, but Stacy Berman, founder of Stacy’s Bootcamp, has a better idea. “A quick workout will give you a little color on your cheeks and will help you achieve that natural glow ,” Berman says.
She designed this 30-minute total body circuit exclusively for FITNESS to “help you look and feel your best and de-stress.” Try to take little to no rest between each exercise, but feel free to take a one-minute breather after you complete all nine moves. (Click on the name of each to see how to do it!) Complete the circuit three times.
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We all use different techniques to get through a particularly tough workout, but one of the biggest motivators are images. Thanks to the latest Web-obsession with Pinterest (Are you following us? Click here to do so right this minute!) We’ve been seeing tons of goal getting pics from sculpted hot bods to warm destinations where the only appropriate clothing to don is a bikini. So we decided to ask you, what image do you keep handy to help you reach your fitness goals?
@StacyLazar: Delicious and healthy meals waiting for me at the finish line.
@tattoo54: I keep my starting photo many places to remind myself to maintain my 90+ lb. loss. #goalgetter
@sjcowboys5: My wife keeps pictures of Jen Nicole Lee. #goalgetter
@LNLellaa: A picture of myself when I was at my absolute best fitness-wise. In a swimsuit nonetheless! #goalgetter
@mae_evans_lee: I have my calorie counter on both my phone and computer. I also have a goal dress up on my wall, I need a new one now!
Now tell us: What motivational image do you use to lose weight or stick to your fitness goals?
Written by Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern
Ab-tastic actresses Selina Lo and Krystal Vee trained rigorously for their roles in the new Scorpion King 3 movie so they could not only look the part, but also perform their own sword fighting stunts. The starlets’ moves in the action-packed flick, available Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray, are enough to inspire both yogis and runners alike to sign up for a martial arts class.
We got to chat with Selina and Krystal about The Battle For Redemption and their portrayal of the ancient art of Muay Thai for the film. Here’s what we learned about how to kick some butt!
- It’s hard work, but they make it look so easy! “I train six days a week as my normal routine but before the film started I had specific training for the movie where I trained with the Seng Stung team,” says Selina, whose background lies in a less fluid Wushu style. “I had to learn some choreography as well as Muay Thai moves and adapt to using the film swords.”
- Get started with a group class. “It is always much easier when you are doing something interactive and you have other people to support you. Start slow and build up your workout as it’s easier to conquer things in progressive steps,” Selina says.
- Don’t give up. “The spinning kick was one of the few ones that was hard to achieve. With determination and discipline, I was able to nail it down,” Krystal says. “Finally I was able to do the spin and open up my hip to get that power kick going.”
- Replenish after training. “I increase my complex carbohydrate intake by 600 calories when filming to fuel my body for a day of combat. It’s important to give your body the necessary ingredients to perform your best,” Selina says. “I generally eat a lot of complex carbs and white meat, but I’ll also have things like peanut butter sandwiches on set for quick energy releases.”
- Mix up your workouts. “It’s tough to start with, but if you’re looking for a whole body workout that’s not boring, Capoeira is the one,” Krystal says. “Ballet is very good, too. It works with your core and strengthens every part of your body. Plus it’s fun!”
Now tell us: What flicks inspire you to stay fit?
Baby it’s cold outside! But for those of us training, sans gym membership, or just yearning for some fresh air, we can’t let the chilly weather keep us from an outdoor workout. If you find your morning runs too cold, have achy joints, or just want to make it through a run without wiping out, we hear you! That’s why we asked Dr. Scott Weiss, clinical director and owner of Bodhizone Physical Therapy your burning cold weather workout questions. Read on below to see how you can have a successful workout no matter what the weather.
The cold weather makes my joints hurt! What stretches can I do before a workout to stop constantly feeling sore?
If cold weather is making you sore, the worst thing to do is go and stretch since you’re more likely to pull a muscle or tear some cartilage. In the cold weather, the key is total body warmth. Spend a little more time warming up, by adding 5-10 minutes to your normal warm-up routine. Stretching while your joints are warm will then enhance flexibility and range of motion while also reducing your chance of injury.
Sometimes when I go for a run in the winter, my toes lose feeling. Why is this happening and how can I fix it?
Most of the time numb toes are a minor circulatory or footwear issue. Try making a fist with your toes, or do some calf raises to get the blood pumping. Once you get home, be sure to elevate your feet to relieve the pressure. If tingling persists, it could be something more serious (like frostbite), and you should contact a physician.
Guest post written by Kathy Kaehler, celebrity trainer and co-author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Life Fully Charged
The holidays are here and I am hearing about and seeing the stress in everyone. From my kids, teachers, clients and even the random lady in the check out all have a strange look in their eyes. What can one do to lower the stress and stay on track?
Here are five tricks to stay healthy during the holidays, no matter how crazy your schedule:
- Keep your workout schedule at whatever cost. You never regret working out you only regret not doing it! Make it an appointment and stick to it. If you don’t regularly write it down on your calendar, write it down during the holidays. And if possible, bring a friend along for the sweat, as having a partner will add to the pressure of making sure you do it.
- Workout type makes a difference as well. It’s obvious that everyone’s time is limited, so kick it up by lifting weights. This blasts your heart rate and burns more calories. Plus, muscle cranks up your metabolism—meaning you burn more calories even when you’re not working out.
- Watch your beverages. The holiday seems to add liquid calories that many of us won’t consider until we see the numbers add up on the scale. Have glass of water before and after each cocktail to quench your thirst and keep you feeling full and hydrated. Try using extracts of almond or peppermint in your coffee instead of flavored creams or powders to help cut down on calories as well.
- Don’t make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get in shape—get started now! You don’t need to run a marathon by the time the ball drops, but you can be well on your way by fitting in exercise three times a week for 30 minutes. Walking, running, kickboxing, step aerobics class, and lifting weights are all great options.
- Throughout the holiday, pair carbs with protein when possible, to help you feel full and crush cravings. Some of my favorite combos: cheese with apple slices, peanut butter on whole-wheat toast and berries with Greek yogurt.
Be in the moment as much as possible, this holiday season of 2011 comes only once, so enjoy! Have a super holiday.
If you want to check out some easy work-outs that you can do at home (like right before you hit the parties), visit kathykaehler.net.
For a fun party-inspired move from Kaehler (she’s worked with Julia Roberts, J. Lo and Kim Kardashian!), click below.
She has two kids, two jobs, one lofty fitness goal and a crazy holiday schedule ahead…how does Alison Sweeney do it? The host of The Biggest Loser and star of Days of Our Lives, who is currently training for the L.A. Marathon in March has a few tricks to keep her life organized, manageable and healthy all at the same time. We recently spoke with Sweeney to snag some secrets and learn more about her relationship with Bob, Jillian, and this season’s two new trainers, Dolvett Quince and Anna Kournikova.
How do you stay fit during the holidays?
It’s really important to find a workout that you can do with no excuses. [See below for Sweeney's at-home exercise routine!] And I keep track of my nutrition. With so many treats around, it’s really easy to just pop brownies without thinking about it! You may not even be hungry. I also eat before going to parties so I’m less tempted when I get there and am satisfied with a smaller amount of the treats.
Do you and your family have any seasonal traditions?
We shop for gifts and pick out a tree together. When I was young, my parents always took me skiing in the winter, which was really festive since I grew up in L.A. It was so fun and exhausting—you’re basically burning calories all day long! Now, when I’m skiing with my family, I take a picture at the top of the mountain and email it to my dad. I thank him daily for instilling this love of activity at an early age.
So you mentioned that you shop and travel—as a busy working mom of two, how do you stay connected and keep track of your to-buy lists and events this month?
There are so many distractions during the holidays, so I try to use technology to keep my family together. I use my Windows phone, which syncs with my computer, to keep track of my calendar and get photos texted to me. It’s really family-oriented and you don’t need a manual to understand it!
To learn about Sweeney’s 2012 resolutions and get the scoop about the future of The Biggest Loser, keep reading.