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Fitness

3 Ways to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

A new year brings the opportunity to make new habits, break old ones and everything in between.  We go into the year with the best of intentions and it is great to have a fresh slate.  Then these little things called “reality and stress” set in and somehow we lose sight of the promises, goals, and even the written down intentions.  So I encourage you to make this resolution with me before going any further:

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55 Minutes That Have Changed My Body & Mind

About a year ago I decided to take a fitness class that has resulted in a change in the fundamental fiber of who I am. Any one who has known me for longer than a day now, knows one thing… I love my Pure Barre classes! Even the most athletic will tell you that a Pure Barre class will make you shake & sweat. It will help you find muscles you didn’t know you had! But to truly paint a picture of  that  first class, Let me walk you through a quick “Cliff Notes” version of what to expect.

The First Class: You Can Do This!

You show up in a beautiful studio that undoubtedly smells wonderfully like Volcano candles or the like.  You are surrounded by other women of varying ages, athletic stamina, and wearing super cute clothes.  You are hopefully draped in your own admirable work out clothing, your sticky socks, water-bottle in hand and pony tail tight and high!

The Equipment: The Gather

Next comes the essentials of every Barre Babes class: the equipment!  We are not talking machines, we are talking exercise simplicity at its finest.  A set or two of weights and a exercise band and ball.  Yes, that is all you will need! You gather these items before class and claim your spot in the room. Trust me, you still got this!

Warm-Up: Get Movin’

The first section of class is low impact aerobics designed to get you and hopefully your heart rate moving. A series of floor exercises will then isolate the core muscles and you are on your way to a fabulous Barre class workout.

Now the next part of class will very from instructor to instructor but follow the same general format. You will usually start with weights, (two sets if you choose) and working those arms.  Form is key here so make sure you ask for help if you need it, followed by moving to {Cue dramatic music ‘dun dun dun’} the Barre

Thighs and Seat Work: Embrace the Shake

This is the part of class that will create the real change!  Your instructors will come up with effective yet creative ways to work muscles you didn’t know you had and most of these exercises will happen at or near the ballet barre.  But not to fear, You will learn how to tuck, small movements, the proper form and embracing the shake. Just remember to breathe and you can do anything for 30 seconds.

Ab work and Cool Down: The Finish-line

The remainder of class (I promise will go by quickly) will focus on all areas of your abs and back muscles.  A strong core will make any physical activities that much easier in the long run.  They will walk you through the last 2.30 mins of lower seat work (Low bridge) and some final stretches.  And guess what…you’ve made it! (Although you may want to…don’t pass-out on the mat!)

Please note: This is a very simplified, non-instructor, mother of two review of a typical Pure Barre class.  Things may change from instructor to instructor and different studios and states.

  • How it changed My Body:

After a year of doing Barre and almost 100 classes later, I have seen many dramatic changes in my body shape, tone and overall strength.  Let me clarify, you will most likely see results much sooner than a year!  You get what you put into things in life.  I noticed the biggest changes when I joined an in-studio 6 week challenge and made a plan to complete it!  It pushed me to do more, so I scheduled time to make it happen and gave it my all.

  • How it changed My Mind:

To be really honest I have never been a big fan of gyms and/or organized group exercise. I, like many of you, have joined a half dozen gyms in my life only to never really stick with it.  They are overwhelming for me and I always felt like I was a little fish in a big (sweaty) pond. Pure Barre was the first studio that has kept me coming back for more.  But it hasn’t always been Volcano Candles (Order Here) and bouncing ponytails. There have been classes, even weeks where I felt like giving up.  I can remember one class where I almost walked out and one where I thought I might pass-out…but I didn’t. I didn’t give up.  I pushed through, kept going and told myself I am not a quitter. You will have classes where your mind and body just can’t seem to communicate.  Classes where you’re struggling to do something this week that last week was drastically easier.  That is by design and an indication that your body is changing.  Once I was able to mentally able to grasp that I don’t have to be perfect, that my instructor  is correcting my form because she wants me to get the most out of class, it clicked.   Barre was helping me mentally and emotionally just as much as physically: I was beginning to master mind over matter.

It takes time, dedication and discipline to make anything a habit.  But If I can do it while managing several businesses and a family, you can too! You are deserving of a strong mind and body. You are deserving of taking time out of your week for you. If Barre isn’t your thing, go find your passion that allows you to really enjoy exercise. Some say gyms and classes are “too expensive”:  So are doctor’s offices folks! If you don’t take care of yourself now, you will pay for it later.  Price is relative to value.  As the Barre saying goes, You are stronger than you think.

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