Rave: Getting in shape for spring

It’s finally getting warmer out, which means it’s time for all of us hibernators to get back into a real fitness
routine (don’t give us that look) so we can fit into our swimmers from last summer (remember those?). One of the easiest, most enjoyable ways to get into shape is to run. Time spent outside in the great outdoors, no gym fees and all you need are two feet and a heartbeat (well, and maybe a few other things). Here are some tips for getting into the runner’s groove and excited about running. It IS possible to be excited about running, we promise.

Start small, work up
Everyone says start slowly and work your
way up to being a long-distance (or short-distance) runner. Starting out with short bursts of speed has been proven to build momentum, so try jogging for three minutes and sprinting for one. Couch to 5K is a helpful downloadable program for
people starting from zero and implementing a fitness routine into their lives,
at their pace. 

Go from this…

…to this!
Pick a kick-ass playlist

     You know the difference between Norah Jones
Girl Talk? One makes you want to jump in a bubble bath, the other makes you
want to do everything at hyperspeed. A good playlist can really make the
difference between a good workout and a great one, so make sure you have tracks
with good beats.
Podrunner.com is a great website for downloading running mixes
– you can even choose music to go along with your pace. Music selections range from 120 to 181 BPM. 

Run with friends
You just can’t sleep in if it means your
friend is left at the end of your driveway. She’ll kill you. So get a foolproof
way to get out there on the track, the street, the gym, the treadmill… running with
friends allows you to catch up while burning serious calories.

Ever heard of The Color Run?  If you and your friends are feeling adventurous, head down to
Montreal on Saturday, August 17 for the most outrageous 5K you’ll ever
join. Participants are encouraged to wear white, so when completely doused with paint during the run they can take home a colourful keepsake at
the end. 

Keep it consistent
You can’t just run a 10K every time you feel the urge. No
matter how ready to run you feel, overexerting yourself will just hurt you in
the long run. So use an app or website like mapmyrun.com to log your runs
every day (or every other day, every three days, we’re not perfect), making sure you’re not overdoing it and track
your improvements over time.

Wear the right gear
We’ve all had running shoes that just ended
up doing more harm than good. Nobody likes blisters or bruises (it’s almost sandal season!) so making sure you have reliable footwear is really important. We like Reebok RealFlex Strength TR shoes – they provide traditional flexibility and lightweight feel, plus extra mid-foot stability. Forget Red Bull – these will give you wings. And they’re cute.


Rave: Hot Pilates

After a busy couple of weeks packed solid with running around at events, eating at odd hours and pretty much living in heels, our bodies need a bit of TLC. Luckily, we’ve stumbled upon a new workout to whip us into shape – hot Pilates.

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One of the main goals of Pilates is to develop and strengthen your core, with the end result being a longer, leaner and more toned figure. Like the name suggests, hot Pilates integrates the basic principles of Pilates but is taught in a room between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius, just like hot yoga. It gets pretty toasty but is also kind of nice, especially as the temperature drops.

Turning up the heat promotes a deeper stretch and greater intensity, while simultaneously detoxifying your body. Not to mention that Pilates is a go-to workout for some of our favourite toned celeb bodies including Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Anna Paquin, to name a few.

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Moksha Yoga Uptown (1498 Yonge St., second floor) offers hot Pilates and is pretty much as green as it gets, for all you eco-philes out there. From bamboo flooring and VOC-free paints to filtered faucets and green cleaning products, the studio prides itself on being eco-conscious.

One of their hot Pilates instructors, Anna, throws in a little humour during the class, which is much appreciated when trying to hold a plank for an extended period of time. Moksha Yoga offers a one-month unlimited pass for studio newbies at $40 and individual classes for $17. 

Tula Hot Yoga (three locations, Duncan/Richmond, Liberty Village, Bloor/Ossington) offers a hot Pilates class and hot pricing; your first class is $10, second is free and they offer a variety of packages including early bird and lunch cards.

iam yoga (661 Yonge St., Suite 300) has a Core Flow Class which incorporates “sun salutations and poses that strengthen the core connected by downward dog flows, influenced by Pilates core work.”  For first-timers, one week of unlimited classes runs for $20, with class card options (10 for $160) and memberships (one month for $175).

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If you’re unsure about getting started with an intense hot Pilates class, but still want to introduce Pilates into your life, head to Body Harmonics. It’s a wonderful studio with two downtown locations (672 Dupont St. and 488 Eglinton St.), and has a wide variety of classes to make sure that you’re beginning comfortably and properly. The welcome package is a good option – you can try out an unlimited number of classes for two weeks, and you’ll shell out $49.99.

There are a few supplies you’ll need for class including: a yoga mat, two towels and a reusable water bottle. New to the Pilates or yoga game? No worries – most places offer all of the above for purchase or rent. 

One last thing – make sure you hydrate! We know it can be tough, but knock back a glass of water (or three) before the class.  Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. 

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With all the water consumption and detoxing, our skin will love us…and if we get some sculpted abs in the process, we’re okay with that too.