fitness in boston

Free Fitness - #SharetheLove at @HealthworksFit

It's not just a New Year's resolution... it's just time. My baby is now 8 months old and I finally feel ready to commit to a serious fitness routine like I had before she was born. Luckily, I received an email from Healthworks about an event they're offering featuring a week of FREE fitness classes! How perfect is that?? They were kind enough to let me share the info here on the blog in case anyone reading would like to partake as well:

Starting on Feb 8th through the 14th, Healthworks is having its annual Share the Love event which includes a full week of special programming like themed classes and giveaways to share the love of fitness with the Boston community. Each Healthworks location has different offerings which you can learn more about through the Eventbrite links below:

Back Bay: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/share-the-love-of-healthworks-back-bay-tickets-31424830514

Coolidge Corner: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/share-the-love-of-healthworks-coolidge-corner-tickets-31422676070

Chestnut Hill: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/share-the-love-of-healthworks-chestnut-hill-tickets-31424335032

Cambridge: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/share-the-love-of-healthworks-cambridge-tickets-31423135444

Let me know if you plan on attending, maybe I will see you there!

#FitMom Talks: Kerri Thomas of Orangetheory Fitness

It's the beginning of the month and I have another awesome FitMom to share with you (to see more from this series, click here)! And now - meet Kerri!
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: 
My name is Kerri Thomas and I am the Regional Fitness Director and Trainer for Orangetheory Fitness. My husband and I are working on starting a stroller run club in the greater Boston area starting this May! More information to follow. Nevin is our son and he will be 7 months on April 20.
photo courtesy of Kerri Thomas
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again? 
I took 12 weeks off for my leave, starting 1 week before I delivered. I stopped training classes 2 weeks before my due date and worked out up to the day before I delivered.

I had a quick and relatively easy delivery so I started going for 2+ mile walks the day after we came home from the hospital, and then started with shorter body weight circuits at home around 4 weeks postpartum. At 6 weeks I tried to do a box jump (not smart) and nearly face planted as my hips were still separated and the pain I felt was a big eye opener that slowly getting back into things was needed even for me.

Also, I was a pretty avid runner before, and that was the only thing that was too uncomfortable for me to do while I was pregnant. I had awful ligament pains in my lower abdominal area, so it's been TOUGH running again after almost a year!

How did that schedule/routine look different from before baby?Well... My schedule was jam packed with working out before Nevin! Work and working out were basically my top two priorities as I was about to start training for a marathon the week I found out I was pregnant. 
Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
Absolutely! Your whole life and priorities shift or change after you have a baby, or at least mine did. I'm a HUGE goals person, and the goals I had before Nevin were more personal when it came to my health and fitness. Now, my fitness and health goals take on a whole new meaning as I want to be a role model for my son, not just a "fit mom". A very important goal of mine working in fitness is to inspire every person I meet to be the strongest and healthiest version of themselves, my son will be one of those people!

What is the biggest challenge you've found in working and being a mom?When you love what you do, your "work/life balance" doesn't seem to be an issue, right? This was me! I was always working and didn't really think about it twice. Now, time management is something I am working on a lot. When I'm at work I'm working more efficiently and I'm minimizing the amount of work I do on my days off, other than when Nevin is sleeping. So, most of my emails go out after 9PM :) I still work full-time, with some days being at 2+ locations or some weeks working some part of every day, but I feel as though I am home much more and when I am home it's quality time.

The real challenge I found when going back to work is not so much my work/mom balance, but the work/working out or going out/mom balance. When I was on maternity leave, I didn't feel guilty and craved getting out to get a workout done or go out with friends. Now working, I have a hard time being away from Nevin for personal time as I'm already away for work. It's something I'm sure all working parents face, and have started to put a schedule together that has helped me figure this out and not miss his face too much!

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your son (either one-on-one or as a family)?In the fall, Mike and I used to go for longer walks with Nevin and then stop at the HS track or a big hill to do a workout with Nevin typically sleeping. The winter has been tough to incorporate Nevin into our workout routines but we've taught him some great pushup and sit-up to stand exercises! But what's been really great as the weather is getting warmer and Nevin has now developed strong enough head and body control, is we are starting to jog with him in the stroller (if you are a runner you need a BOB stroller). We are excited to get some hikes done as a family this spring!

To follow Kerri on her adventures in fitness and motherhood, check her out on instagram at @kjfitchick. Thanks for chatting with me, Kerri! 

#FitMomTalks: Gina Fay of DanceFIT Studio

I'm so excited to share a new feature on the blog with you! When I found out I was expecting my first baby this spring, I immediately turned to my mom friends for any and all wisdom they had to share. I realized I'm lucky to know so many moms in the fitness community who are kicking ass at their jobs, some even owning their own businesses, and figuring out how to be super moms as well.

I thought it would be fun (and hopefully inspiring!) to share their stories and any advice they have on the blog in a regular feature called "FitMoms." Our first FitMom is Gina Fay, business owner and mom of three, who I've known and admired for years. Here's what she had to share:
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: 
Hi! Lucie, thank you for asking me to be a part of this special blog series! I am Gina, the owner/founder of danceFIT Studio with locations in Brookline, Natick and a virtual fitness studio which I started 6 years ago.

A little bit about danceFIT, without turning this blog into a marketing piece, but my business is first and foremost a very special dance studio for children. We present classical ballet & technique in a friendly welcoming environment. Second, my Natick studio offers a variety of adult barre and fitness classes like pound, zumba, balletFIT, bootcamp, pilates with props, deep stretch and our very popular class hot barre (which you got to experience!) 6 years ago, I launched a virtual fitness studio from my living room. I taught from home and my clients stayed home. It seemed so strange at first, but the community grew and grew and grew, and now we offer 20+ group virtual fitness classes per week, and we have had clients from 5 countries and 23 states. I am also co-founder of bvirtualstudio in which I train other boutique barre, yoga and pilates studios how to โ€œbvirtual.โ€

My hubby and I live in Wayland MA, a suburb west of Boston. We have three amazing children, Joey (6), Tommy (5) and Maggie (6 months). The boys love baseball, football, walkie talkies, ninjas, legos and playing outside. Maggie loves crinkly paper, peas, cuddling with daddy, stuffed animals and watching her crazy brothers.
photo courtesy of Gina Fay
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again?
I taught up until I went into labor, 3 days after my due date [with Maggie]. I kept a pretty full teaching schedule, but the last month teaching balletFIT cardio was just impossible. The amount of pas de chats, chasses and stamina needed for the class just wasnโ€™t working with the big belly ;) I loved teaching pregnant, though....I even scheduled a virtual class on my due date called "labor inducing danceFIT," haha. I still couldnโ€™t dance her out! I put myself back on the schedule 3 weeks after Maggie arrived. I think it was similar after the boys were born too. I started working out and dancing when my body felt ready; I couldnโ€™t wait for the first workout, which was very humbling, ha. I started by teaching virtual classes and then finally was back in the studio at 6 weeks.
How did that schedule/routine look different from before baby?
I am actually trying to think back more than 6 years ago to my workout routines before kids- that feels forever ago! I taught 5+ classes a day, 7 days a week. Chris (my hubby) and I would spend our โ€œfreeโ€ time being active...walking around the city, running, and riding our bikes. Now our โ€œfreeโ€ time is collapsed on the couch, drinking coffee, meal prepping, grocery shopping, fun trips with the kids, sporting events and family walks. Thank goodness for our virtual studio which allows me to make dinner, nurse Maggie, tuck everyone in, teach class from my living room and then relax on the couch after.

Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
Before kids, I would workout and dance to lose weight, flatten my tummy, get ready for summer, etc. Now I workout to de-stress, sweat and stretch. Growing a baby, having a baby and caring for a baby definitely changed the shape of my body. I can try tirelessly to get it back, or I can embrace the new shape & stretch marks and get as fit and strong as I can with the minimal time I have left for me at the end of the day. I treat my workouts as a โ€œbreakโ€ and really enjoy them. I love the feeling of being drenched in sweat from ballet jumps and sequences, my legs shaking like jello from an intense balletFIT class and my abs sore from pilates!
What is the biggest challenge you've found in running a business and being a mom?
This is such a good question because owning a business has actually been one of the best things about being a mom. I am able to make my own schedule to work around my kids schedules. The biggest challenge though is not being able to โ€œturn work off.โ€ I am trying to disconnect more and be more present at home, but there are so many things to think about when you own a business. I love when I can bring my kids to work. At DanceFIT, I host infant/ mom playdates, baby wearing balletFIT and kids dance and yoga nights for the boys and their friends! We have more fun events like this coming up.

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your kids (either one-on-one or as a family)?
We love water sports! Water skiing (which I am bad at, but love!), paddle boarding, swimming. We also love going on walks.

Thank you Gina!

More info about Gina and her studios - 
locations: 25 monmouth street, brookline ma 02446 | 721 worcester street, natick ma 01760
twitter: @dFITstudio
instagram: @dancefitstudio

Brunch + Burn with Trillfit (@makeittrill)

In January I was invited to check out a fitness event that sounded just too good to turn down - a wellness day party (or "Brunch + Burn") with TRILLFIT, a new workout party popping up all over Boston, created by Heather White and DJ Nick Bishop. The event was held on Sunday Jan 31 at the Hotel Commonwealth and featured a yoga class, a hip-hop inspired signature workout, and then brunch! Plus a few extra goodies like beauty treatments, health consultations, and of course a photo booth. How fun does that sound?!
The yoga class was lead by Sanaa Jaman (aka @LadyDork) and was a perfect combination of relaxing and invigorating. Her cues were helpful and the poses were challenging without being too strenuous. After yoga, we did the signature workout which was basically one big dance party (and made me miss the Zumba classes I used to take in the North End!). The class was taught by professional dancer Melisa Valdez whose energy was totally infectious. I loved the music too (a big focus of Trillfit) which made it even better. Workouts that are hard, sweaty AND fun are the best, am I right?
After getting our sweat on we were treated to an awesome brunch including different juices, fruit, a trail mix bar, and these awesome gruyere egg sandwiches. Yum! Oh and on the way out we got some cool swag in gift bags. Overall, it was an extremely well-produced event and fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning. I highly recommend checking out the next Trillfit event! Details on their website or contact Heather for more info - info@trill.fit.

Have you tried any new classes lately?

Save the Date - July 31st - #SummerPopupShoot at the Arboretum

Model Credit: Jacqui Mimno
We had so much fun last time we're doing it again - another summer pop-up photo shoot, this time at the Arboretum in Jamaica Plain! This is one of my favorite places to shoot in Boston; it's quiet, serene, and so full of natural beauty all year round. When you're there, it's hard to believe you're actually in the middle of the city. I could shoot there all day! If you've been there, you know what I mean. If you haven't, you will love it, I promise.

Ready for more details and/or to sign-up?! Yay! We've got a few slots left so visit our website: 
Model Credit: Jacqui Mimno

New! Fitness Photography + Web Design

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have already seen this but I wanted to announce it on the blog here too! I've recently partnered with the fantastic team at patientMoon Web Design to offer a new service to our friends in the fitness industry. We've created three packages to help individual instructors and trainers market themselves; each package offers a variety of services but all three include a brand new website and a photo session with me! Sweet!

We designed these packages with busy fitness professionals in mind- we take care of your website and photos, you focus on your teaching and training. Sounds pretty good, right?

If you're ready for more info, just visit our website or send me an email with any questions or comments you have. I'd love to hear from you!


Free Fitness Classes in Boston this Summer!

Summer is almost here and you know what that means- Boston is full of fun free fitness. Here are a few you will not want to miss...
Jennifer Phelan Pilates
Pilates superstar, Jenn Phelan, is back from maternity leave and kicking spring off with her "Bikini & Bellini" series in partnership with Sterling's in Faneuil Hall. The class is a bootcamp-style Pilates workout and runs EVERY Saturday from 9:30 to 10:15am in May and June, every other Saturday in July and August, and then every Saturday in September. Since it's outside, be sure to check out Jenn's Facebook page for any weather-related cancellations.
Photo by Matt Teuten/New Balance
Ladies who love to run? New Balance just started a series called Girls Night Out from their Boylston Street location (read all about it on Healthy Chicks' blog). The evening starts with a fun run and winds down with stretching, live music, guest speakers by local fitness experts, cocktails and apps. I went to the first one on May 15th and had a blast!
Move Sweat Love with Ali
Another bootcamp to try is Ali Baldassare's cardio Pilates bootcamp on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the North End. The series will take place on Mondays throughout the summer starting with June 9th and 23rd from 6:30 to 7:15pm.
Lena Andrade of the Z Spot
Good news for Zumba fans- the Z Spot will be back (but this time in Christopher Columbus Park) every Monday starting June 2nd! Their crew is so much fun to watch and even more fun to dance with. Follow their fan page for more details.

Leventhal Park in Post Office Square will be offering 8 free weekly classes for the second summer in a row weekday mornings as well as after work from June through September. Check their calendar and Facebook page for a full schedule and updates.

And finally - the 2nd Annual NEWHBA Fest! The North End Waterfront Health & Beauty Alliance will be hosting an all day affair on June 21st including live music, health and beauty vendors, and free fitness classes scheduled throughout the day. I'll be there taking photos so come say hi!

Need more free fitness? Check out this calendar on the Little Miss Runshine blog to stay updated all summer. Also, sign up for the Sweetgreen passport offering free classes all over the city every month (not just in the summer!). Have an event to share? Please leave the info in the comments below, I'd love to learn about it!

Fitness in Boston: Hot BalletFIT at DanceFIT Studio

 Even though I had never set foot in the studio before last weekend, I'd been a fan of DanceFIT Studio for a while. Last spring I participated in their 6FIT program (which I loved) so I became familiar with the classes they teach virtually through Skype. They teach the same classes and more in their studios located in Brookline and Natick and last Sunday I was at the Natick studio for a special blogger event. We were there to try a new class owner Gina Fay has started offering- a hot version of the popular BalletFit class. 
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Hildreth Photography
BalletFIT is like a barre class with a lot of traditional ballet moves mixed in. When I took the online classes, BalletFIT was my favorite- it always made me feel graceful, toned, and strong (which is probably not how I looked!). I've never taken a hot version of any class so I was a little nervous but obviously up for the challenge.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Hildreth Photography
One thing I like about Gina's classes is the emphasis she puts on warm-ups and cool-downs. There is a lot of stretching involved so when you're doing the hard stuff, you feel ready for it! Even if it's a tough class, the cool-down stretch is so relaxing- such a nice way to end the hour. I thought the hot element would be a distraction from what I was doing but it really wasn't and I felt even more limber than normal. We had two short water breaks which were much-needed; I went through about 20 oz of water in an hour. 
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Hildreth Photography
While I felt great during and immediately after the class, I was really sore for the next few days, especially in my calves! The pain was worth it though and I'd definitely recommend Hot BalletFIT if you're looking to trying something new and challenging but also fun (jumping is fun, right??).

For more information on BalletFIT and other classes DanceFIT offers, check out their website:


Locations:
25 Monmouth Street Brookline, MA 02446
721 Worcester Road, Natick, MA 01760

Have you tried any hot fitness classes before? What did you think?

Fitness in Boston: ClassPass has Launched!

Love boutique classes but can't afford to join them all? Me too! Luckily for us, ClassPass has just launched in Boston and they're here to help. The way it works is simple- pay a monthly fee and choose up to 10 classes offered by all different boutique studios around the city. Perfect for anyone who likes a bit of variation in their workouts (most of us, am I right?).
I attended the ClassPass launch party last week at Flywheel (catered by Sweetgreen and Boloco- mmm!) and was then offered a 10 day trial membership. When I logged onto the site, I was surprised to see how many studios they had- 26 already! From spinning to yoga to bootcamp to barre, I was really impressed with everything I had to choose from.
I also like the site's interface- easy to navigate, friendly design, and uncomplicated. I can sort class availability by date, times, and studio; if I only have a window of a few hours on a certain day, I can narrow down the search to only show classes in that timeframe. If I want to learn more about a certain class, I can click on it and it opens in another window, and if I book one, it gives the option to add it to my google calendar. Hey, it's the little things!
With ClassPass memberships at $99 a month for 10 classes, the value is clear- many of the classes they offer are normally upwards of $20 each. I would definitely recommend checking out the site for yourself; there are so many awesome classes in Boston with more being added every day, ClassPass will help keep your workouts from ever getting boring.

Have you signed up for ClassPass? What do you think?

Fitness in Boston: Flywheel Never Coasts

There was a lot of buzz last fall when Flywheel swooped into Boston. The NYC-based indoor spin cycling chain with locations all over the US boasted stadium-style seating, energizing soundtracks, custom engineered bikes, free use of cycling shoes, and a "workout that offers a chance to achieve something more."
 I had the chance to take a class when Jessica of Gluten-free Boston Girl organized a class and fitness networking event with Flywheel's regional marketer, Stephanie Rodolico. The class was led by Rachele Pojednic who immediately got the us going with her energy and upbeat music. One of the things Flywheel prides itself on is the choreographed routines created by its instructors. I found this to be very helpful and several times found myself pushing harder because of the beat.
Another cool Flywheel feature- the Torqboards. These are screens above the instructor that occasionally display how everyone in the class is ranking based on their metrics. These metrics- RPMs, torq, speed, power, distance and estimated calories- are also stored in participants' private accounts on the Flywheel website allowing people to set their own goals and monitor progress. Talk about motivating- seeing yourself in last place on the board will definitely make you push yourself harder! It did for me!

Whew! What a workout. I found it challenging- I had a hard time keeping up by the end. That's the beauty of spinning though- only you know how hard you're working (you and the Torqboard...)! No one will yell at you if you feel like you have to slow down sometimes.
photo courtesy of Jessica Dennis
After class attendees also received a gift bag full of goodies from sponsors/donatations: City Sports, PopChips, Kathie's Kitchen Super Seedz, Artisana, Bare Snacks, Au Bon Pain, JP Licks (my fav! Did you know I used to work there??), Healthy Solutions, and Evolution Fresh (who saved me with their water bottles- I forgot mine! Don't make that mistake!).
Thanks to Jessica, Stephanie, Rachele, and Flywheel for offering this event, I loved it! 

Check out Flywheel, located in the Belvedere Arcade in the Prudential Center (800 Boylston Street in Boston). Your first class is free! Woot!

Fitness in Boston: The Club by George Foreman III

 Have you heard of sweetgreen passport? It's a program offered by the healthy take-out joint sweetgreen (which I blogged about here) and if you become a member (free) they offer monthly fitness classes with different gyms around the city. Of course I signed up and the first one I tried this year was the brand new boxing gym known as "The Club" in Fort Point.
Founded by George Foreman III, the Club offers a wide range of activities- from boxing/sparring to circuit training to yoga. We did the circuit training (Box-FIIT) which consisted of two minute intervals at 10 different stations. After a tour of the stations, we did a thorough warm-up and then broke up into groups of 5. I really enjoyed the stations, especially the body bag and kettlebell ones. Most of the stations had a slow and steady flow to them- form and control over speed- which I liked.

There were around 50 of us in the class so it was a little chaotic at first but once we got going it was a killer full-body workout. At the end we did some final exercises that involved the whole group which was fun and distracted me from the actual burn that was happening- not a bad thing at all!
In short, the workout was awesome and I had a lot of fun doing it. I'd definitely try one of their Box-FIIT classes again or any other class they offer. Also, the facilities are fantastic- clean, fully stocked locker rooms, awesome gym set-up and overall look. Definitely worth a visit, you'll be glad you did!
15 Channel Center
Boston, MA 02210

Yep, that is me, getting ready for the TKO (photo courtsey of Rachel/Healthy Chicks).

What are your favorite fitness classes?

Fitness in Boston: Healthy Noshing at Cocoanuts Boston in the North End


When I heard about a chocolate tasting at local candy shop, Cocoanuts Boston, I was not expecting it to be a very healthy evening. Turns out that Tara, the shop's owner, had three vendors lined up (two were Boston-based, one was from Brooklyn) who each had different healthier approaches to their candy-making. All three companies boasted handcrafted, chemical-free products and brought lots of samples to prove that candy can be just as delicious (if not more so!) without the junk.
Brooklyn-based Raaka is certified organic, certified fair trade, soy free, nut free, and vegan. A great gift for the sustainability-conscious or people with food allergies.
Pure 7 just started less than two months ago! Even at 87%, their dark chocolate was surprisingly not overly bitter which owner Carrie attributed to the fact that it is sweetened with local honey as opposed to granulated sugar. 


McCrea's Candies creator and "Caramel Scientist," Jason McCrea, was interested in creating a caramel that had no high-fructose corn syrup and used all USA-made (locally sourced when possible) products, including the cellophane the candies are wrapped in!


All three had a passion for their products and mission statements I could really appreciate. 

Another thing I loved about the shop is how they put up bios of their vendors next to their product displays! It's a great personal touch and I always enjoy learning about the stories behind the goods.

Thanks to Tara from Cocoanuts for hosting and Jen from Blog & Tweet Boston for organizing a delicious evening!
28 Parmenter Street
Boston, MA 02113

Fitness in Boston: Barre to Bar at Exhale Battery Wharf

 When I found out that Exhale Battery Wharf Spa was offering a "Barre to Bar" deal where you take a core fusion class then head to the Fairmont's restaurant, Aragosta, for drinks and apps, I was immediately intrigued. Exercise followed by cocktails? Sign me up!
Living down the street from Exhale, I've been meaning to get over there for a class so this was the perfect excuse. I had been once before but that was for a photo shoot with one of their instructors, Meg Scannell (post coming soon). As luck would have it, Meg was our teacher for the class too.

First the workout- what a burn! Core fusion is ballet-inspired and designed to tone every part of the body. I left feeling tighter and thoroughly worked but also relaxed- the class is all about focus and "targeted mindful muscle movements." It was one of the hardest classes I've taken and I really enjoyed it.
After the class, we headed over to Aragosta where we were treated to several hot appetizers and a "deep cleanse" cocktail which consisted of aloe, muddled mint, and gin. Ahhh! Everything was delicious and the staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. They even made gluten-free apps for some of the women in our group (which were excellent as well).

What better way to spend an afternoon? For more information about Barre to Bar (offered Monday through Friday) contact Exhale at 617-603-3100 or sign-up online at exhalespa.com/batterywharf. I'm already looking forward to doing it again! Thanks to Sam and Meg from Exhale for taking such good care of us and to Blog & Tweet Boston for organizing!

Fitness in Boston: Thai Yoga with Bodywaves Boston

Before I headed off to Switzerland for a week (photos coming soon), I was able to check out a class being offered on the Greenway by Bodywaves, a therapeutic massage studio located on Hanover Street near Haymarket. The class was in Thai yoga which Bodywaves now offers. We paired up and followed Frances and Margo as they led us through the moves. It was really more of a massage with lots of rhythmic kneading and slow pulling on arms and legs. It felt fantastic! It was also interesting to learn how much pressure and twisting the body can take- every time I thought I was pressing too hard on my partner, Jen, most of the time I wasn't doing it hard enough. We learned a lot and got to hang out in the sun while our muscles got a nice massage, what better way to spend a Saturday morning?
My Thai massage partner, Jen Dorman, and I getting to know each other intimately during the demonstration.

Thanks to Bodywaves for leading a fun class and to Blog & Tweet Boston for organizing it!

145 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
617-778-5501

Fitness in Boston: Free Classes in September

Back in the beginning of the summer I did a post about some of the free classes being offered in Boston. Lucky for us, they were so successful that new ones are popping up and some have been extended into September! Here are some fun ones coming up:

When: Sunday 9/8 at 10:00am
What: Long & Lean is a total body workout that will tone and lift in all the right places. During class you will be using your own body weight and inspiration from dance and Pilates. You will leave feeling sweaty, toned, and stretched! 
Where: Artists for Humanity, 100 W2nd St, South Boston, MA 02127

When: Monday 9/16 from 6:30 to 7:30pm
What: Ali will lead you through her signature Cardio Pilates fusion class while special guest DJ Joey D'Agostino will spin live beats to keep you energized & motivated! The class is a fusion of cardio drills, Pilates, and innovative core exercises designed to challenge, strengthen, & tone your whole body.
Where: The Rose Kennedy Greenway at Cross St and Hanover St, North End

When: Mondays in September at 6:30pm
What: Zumba! Bring your sneakers, towel and water...and don't forget your smiles and energy!
Where: City Hall Plaza


Fitness in Boston: The Studio Empower

Always looking for new fun exercise classes in Boston, I had the chance to try out one recently at The Studio Empower in Newton, MA. Taught by Bobby, the class was conducted almost entirely on the Megaformer M3, a souped-up Pilates reformer type contraption with that works with a system of springs and body weight resistance.

I was a bit intimidated by the machine at first but we were led through a series of exercises and learned quickly how it worked. On thing that challenged me, somewhat surprisingly, was going slow- each exercise is done on counts of 4 for a set amount of time, as opposed to fitting in as many reps as possible. This turned out to be even tougher than doing many quick reps, in my opinion, but it felt good and was even kind of relaxing.

For a low-impact class, I definitely felt worked by the end and a bit sore the next day (in a good way!) especially in the chest and shoulder area. I could see the benefit of going on a regular basis; even after one session I felt stronger and more toned.

Conveniently located in Newton Centre, the studio is directly across from the Newton Centre Green Line stop. They offer both private and group classes at reasonable rates so why don't you give them a try? Tell them I sent you!

81 Union Street
Newton Centre, MA
02459

Fitness in Boston: Free Zumba at City Hall Plaza

Here's another free class series to add to your schedule! The Z-Spot, Boston's first Zumbaยฎ studio, is offering free classes at City Hall Plaza. In conjunction with the Boston Moves for Health initiative and Mayor Menino's Fitness in the City series, the Z-Spot crew will be leading hour-long classes starting at 6:30pm on Mondays all summer long.

But it doesn't seem totally accurate to call it a class- it's a scene. From twenty-somethings in workout gear to curious tourists, the crowd is a diverse bunch and includes people of all ages and backgrounds. It even draws an audience-
It's definitely a workout but I've never spent an entire workout laughing like I do during Z-Spot classes. They just have this energy that's infectious and you really can't help but have a good time. New to Zumba? Seasoned veteran? Z-Spot welcomes participants of all levels and abilities. For more information, check out their website and Facebook page. Have fun! :)
Lena Andrade, Z-Spot founder

When: Mondays, 6:30pm
What to Bring: Sneakers, water bottle
Cost: FREE

Fitness in Boston: sweetgreen has Arrived!

Thanks to Lauren Hefez for trying it out with me! 

Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand so I figured it was appropriate to add a healthy restaurant review to this blog feature. Last Tuesday I had the chance to try a new take-out joint on Boylston Street in downtown Boston- sweetgreen. With locations all over the east coast, sweetgreen was founded on the concept of sustainability, sourcing locally, and community impact. All good things but how is the food?...

Turn out- awesome! They have their seasonal salads or you can make your own. I had the misoba salad (added shrimp and sweet potatoes) and then the frozen yogurt (the candied pecan topping is a must). Delicious and filling, I recommend it and think it will be a hit in this town. Check out their website for more info (they also offer a rewards app and online ordering)-

659 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

Looking forward to going back! Want to join me??

Fitness in Boston: Free Summer Classes

The Boston fitness scene is booming! One of the major perks of working with fitness professionals in Boston has been learning about all the cool fitness-related events going on in the city. I decided to start a new feature on my blog to share them with you all, sound good??

First post! There are so many *free* fitness happenings going on all summer long that are definitely worth taking advantage of. Here are a few coming up in the next few weeks to check out:

6/21: Yoga and Pilates instructor Jacqui Mimno will be teaching a free Summer Solstice Shape-up class outside of Equinox Franklin Street on Friday, June 21 at 11:45am.

6/22: The North End Health and Beauty Alliance is having its first annual NEWHBA-fest 2013 on Saturday, June 22 at Christopher Columbus Park. There will be several fitness classes, exhibitors and performers throughout the day.

The W Hotel is hosting a series of free classes on Monday evenings in June called TURN UP THE BEAT: Cardio Pilates Bootcamp with Ali Baldassare. Guaranteed to make you sweat (I've taken this class, it's intense)!

Norman B. Leventhal Park is offering a summer series of classes in PO Square including yoga with Kendall Covitz (On an Inhale). Check out their Facebook page for a complete schedule.

Crossfit at the Greenway: Every Wednesday in June from 6:00-7:00pm, City Sports is sponsoring free CrossFit sessions led by an instructors from Reebok Crossfit Back Bay.

Spectacle Island: this Boston Harbor Island is hosting a variety of fitness events throughout the summer including Let's Move! Fitness Programs and Island Yoga. For a complete schedule of activities, click here.

Did I miss any? Let me know!

What are you doing to stay fit this summer?