Five Top Reasons I love Group Fitness

I love a good workout. You know, the kind where your drenched in sweat, legs are shaking, and your arms feel like jello and you cannot wait to shower.  I know I am not alone here! Ever since high school, I have taken group fitness classes.  Either at a local gym OR at my mom’s fitness studio in Pittsburgh! I continued to do so in college. I would make sure I would attend, I “penciled” the classes into my schedule, grab my girlfriends, and would head to the university gym.  My favorites classes included and still include Power Step, Body PUMP/body sculpting, spinning, zumba…the list goes on.  I loved taking classes so much, that I got my group fitness and personal training certification a few years ago!

After I graduated college, moved home…and started my “big girl” life and now living on my own…I would attend classes here and there at my moms studio…but not like I did in the past. Long story short….My career as a wellness/fitness coordinator and personal trainer/group fitness instructor got in the way. I know, sounds crazy! People think I exercise all day long.  And Yes, some days, I do. So when its time for my workout…I am tired!! And that’s the problem.  Say WHAAAAAT! I LOVE teaching classes and challenging my participates in my classes, I feel like I will always be a group fitness instructor. I love coming up with routines and new ways to workout the same muscles and finding NEW music.  However….Sometimes I like to be the student.  I thought I would share my top five reasons to take a group fitness class…even for those of you who enjoy working out on your own!

five reasons1. Motivation. It might sound cliche, but it is SO true.  There is nothing like being in a room filled with people who are all there to WORKOUT.  The instructor is pushing you, the participants are pushing you…It all keeps you accountable.  Its so motivating to me when I hear the instructor say….higher, push, legs stronger…so on and so forth! If you find you lack motivation in the middle of your workout…group fitness may be just what you need.

2. New Moves. As an instructor and fitness professional, I am always looking for new and challenging exercises.  Even before I was an instructor, I would love to find new innovative moves to do on my own in the gym or at home.  It may be as simple as a new way to do a lunge or a shoulder press.  But the important thing is…I feel like it freshens up my personal workouts. Also, if your instructor keeps the same routine for a few weeks…you can perfect your moves, becoming stronger.

3. Pushes you outside of your comfort zone. I am speaking for myself here, but when I teach a group fitness class, I am watching the participants to make sure the are safe in their form.  I am not totally concentrating on my workout.  So when I take a class, its my time to focus on ME.  Group fitness classes push me in my fitness level.  They push me outside of my comfort zone…takes my heart rate to the next level, my lunges a little lower, or even my sprint a little faster.  They allow me to work extra hard.  Being motivated to keep pace with the rest of the crowd means that you’ll be challenged to work harder. Working out on our own can be fantastic, but I know me…and I tend not to work as hard as  when I am alone.

4. Socialization. Another cliche, but again, SO TRUE! I love seeing familiar faces as well as seeing new faces. I love meeting new people.  I am always asking friends to join me in my classes.  Its much healthier than a happy hour…some days lol! Many people in my group fitness classes have become friends!

5. Its a BLAST. To me, it is much more fun to do alllllll the moves with others than with yourself…you can dance, kick, lunge, squat, and punch to loud amazing music and sing along.  Music is everything to me when I workout. The more enjoyable the workout, the more likely you will be excited to go to the gym. Also, there is SO much variety in group fitness.  You can choose step, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, spinning, bootcamp, zumba…and on and on….soooooo much to choose from!!

There you have it, all the reasons I LOVE group fitness classes.  I hope you try a class.

Do you enjoy group fitness.  What is your number one reason?!

 

Random Thoughts!

Its a rainy Tuesday here in the burgh, slowly the sun will sneak through the clouds…As I sit here jamming to music and drinking some coffee, all while staring at my to do list! ugh, I feel like its ever growing! Here are some random thoughts for this Tuesday.

Happy Cinco De Mayo! What will you be doing to celebrate….Margaritas, tacos, wild dancing to Mexican music….ya me either! I will be going to power step class and have Mexican salsa chicken salad! Mexican food is ALWAYS a go to for me in the kitchen.  So I feel like I am always celebrating Cinco De Mayo! Honestly, we have Mexican at least once or twice a week.  After a crazy busy weekend doing a ton of work around the house, I some how managed to do some food prep on Sunday (in between painting, putting in a new drop ceiling, pulling weeds, and turning dirt).  Which truly is a godsend, I feel so much more prepared when my meals are prepped and packing my lunch is a breeze.  Here is what I made, mostly Mexican inspired!

Peas and Crayons Chicken Tortilla Soup…AHHHMAZING! I switched up the recipe quite a bit, but it was so very close and I would highly recommend! So gooooood! I had two crock-pots going.  One for the soup and the other, I also made my salsa chicken! Chicken breasts with a jar of salsa, its shreds nicely for salads and wraps!  It truly is my go to food prep item! We eat it all the time.

chicken tortilla soup

 

I prepared brown rice for my wraps and as a side dish. I sliced pineapple and cucumber! and boiled some eggs! And a few other odds and ends!

This is where I wish I was today…

beach pic

 

And, I simply couldn’t resist this joke. I apologize, I do not know the source!

jalapeno joke

I guess this wasn’t to random of a post lol! Have a fantastic rest of the day folks!

Do you like Mexican food? What is your go to food prep item? 

Happy May!

Happy May! Its officially spring weather here in Pittsburgh (FINALLY) and I am simply loving it.

More time outside, planting in our yard, taking Henry on long walks around the city, and going out for FroYO! YUM! I am just loving the weather…windows open with a nice breeze.  Last night it rained all night…and I loved every minute of it too!

What else is special about May…Its Melanoma Awareness Month.  Something very close to my heart! Melanoma is very very curable if found in its early stages. Go to the Dermatologist, check your skin! Talk to your love ones about it. Spread awareness.  Wear sunscreen. Be sun smart!!!!!!!! And please, for the LOVE OF GOD, do not go into tanning beds!!!!!!  Here is an old post on more information about Melanoma! 115More information on Melanoma.

I will be reviewing lots of different sunscreens/sunblocks shortly and sharing which ones are my favorite!

So ladies and gentlemen…I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  I will be keeping it easy, I have been sick ALL WEEK!!!! Bad congestion and cough, its been tough! So lots of hanging out, cooking, and house things! Oh…one more things…..GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE PITTSBURGH RUNNERS IN THE MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!

Do you go to the Dermatologist? Any fun weekend plans? 

Thoughts on Body Image

This post is my random thoughts…bare with me! :)

So, last night I was scrolling through my Facebook…I came across a sponsored post from Target.  (which we all know how much I LOOOOOOOOVE Target!) And it really caught my eye.  This was the ad….

FullSizeRender (9)

 

At first, I thought, oh that’s a cute suit! Then random thoughts on how I  need some new bathing suits also crossed my mind.  But then…I realized that the model was not your typical women.  She had what I would call a “normal” body shape.  She wasn’t super thin yet she had what I thought was a healthy build.  A real women.

Then…I started to see some other comments.  Some were my exact thoughts…and some not so much. But then I realized, “Omg, this is a plus size model”  for a plus size bathing suit. WHAT?!  Call me crazy, but I was SHOCKED! I am not sure what I would call or define “plus size” but to me…this is not it.  For some reason, it just struck a nerve!

I just realized that our society has such different views and takes on so many issues in regards to Body Image.  I know that this is not a NEW thought or hot new topic…but this ad just really brought it to my attention.  And quite frankly…I don’t like it.

I think of all the women, young and old, all different ages, races, sizes, and shapes that have body image “issues”…and I don’t have to wonder why. There is a lot of pressure of there to look a certain way. I am not the type that normally gets bothered by super models or celebrities and their bangin’ bodies…I can appreciate that! I am the girl who reads the magazines wondering how they get their shape and wondering what the eat. But to me, this is different.

What are your thoughts on this AD?! Has an AD ever struck a nerve with you?! 

Spring Time Reading!

YES! It is finally Friday my friends….holy cow this was a busy week! Does anyone else feel that way?! Is anyone else PUMPED for the Bruce Jenner interview tonight…. I simply cannot wait, love the drama! 😉 On to some reading suggestions….

I love reading. Always have.  But lately, I have been in a MAJOR reading rut.  I just could not sit down and read a book. I was no longer finding it enjoyable, total bummer.  It was starting to make me sad, but for some reason, I just could not make myself read. That is all over now my friends. Something happened. I forced myself to find a good read…

A client of mine suggested a book called, Look Again by Lisa Scottoline. I said to myself, okay, I will give it a try.  I am the type of person that when a book starts off boring, I throw it down. I cannot continue.  It has to grab my attention instantly.  Insert…the book below.

download Yea, I read it in two days. I could not put it down. Its a great thriller that keeps you turning the page. I love books that you can’t stop thinking about! So now,I can’t stop thinking about what I am going to read next! 

My next book, just bought it on my kindle… The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins  !!! This looks awesome! I’ll let you know what I think! Started it last night, so far sooooo good!

510r-7NMXzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Also on my list…LEAN IN! Nick bought this for me for Christmas…I am finally motivated to read it! I have heard nothing but AMAZING things!

lean inLastly, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty…on my list! This also sounds fabulous!

81+iucjYd9L._SL1500_Tell me…what is on your reading list for the Spring?! Have you ever been in  a reading rut?! 

 

 

 

Intro to DoTerra Essential Oil Classes!

I am so excited to announce all my DoTerra Essential Oil Classes!

join meI am hosting an array of days/times in person AND webinars! So whether your in Pittsburgh or Seattle…you can join me!

I will be going over the basics…what are essential oils, how can you use them, and why the quality matters and so much more. Oh and lots of Q & A’s!  So if you are interested…shoot me an email to register.     myhealthypassion1@gmail.com

The schedule is pictured below.  OH..and even more exciting…when you register, you get a free sample of any oil! WOO HOO! I hope you all can join me!

doterra workshopThere you have it folks…Enjoy your Friday! I know I will!

Do you have any interest in learning more about Essential Oils?! What are your thoughts!

 

 

Best Ways to Relax!

Happy Friday Friends!!!!

STRESS?! Do you have stress in your life?! I know I do, I bet you do too.  And guess what…not to deliver all the bad news on a Friday…however, you will always have stress in your life! It’s not going anywhere.  “Stressors” came in all shapes and sizes, stress does not discriminate.  BUT…I am here to tell you, one thing that can change, is how you DEAL with stress. You have all the control! It’s so important to find ways to RELAX! In honor of Stress Awareness Month, I thought I would share some great things that work for me!

meditation

 

Breathe Mindfully. I tell you what friends, deep breathing really works.  Place your hands on your stomach, breathe in deeply, pushing/feeling your hands move with each breath, and exhale deeply.  Do this five times.  You will feel more relaxed instantly.  Once I started practicing this, I noticed a big difference in how I deal with “stressful” situations.  It goes a long way…go ahead, try it!

Pamper Yourself! Yes, I mean it.  Take a bubble bath.  Take an extra long shower.  Get a manicure.  Whatever floats your boat! Treat YO self! I always feel better when I do. Do something you enjoy, quality “ME” time!

Move More! Yes, you didn’t think I would forget exercise, did you?! Move more and move often.  Get your heart rate up, break a serious sweat.  Your body will release those endorphin’s, you know, those feel good chemicals! Just do it, you’ll thank me later!!!

Create a Sanctuary. Light a candle.  clean your room.  hang a picture that makes your feel happy. Turn on your doTerra diffuser.  Create a room that feels positive! Do whatever it takes to create a sense of peace!

Read! Read something that you enjoy, simply for pleasure! All I know is when I divulge myself into a reallllllly good book, I don’t think of anything else! My mind is relaxed and next thing you know, two hours have passed by!

Hang with your pet! Maybe its just me, but when I hang with Henry or Louie…My heart just bursts! It makes me feel good when I snuggle with those cuties.

henry and louie

Aromatherapy! You know how much I LOVE my doTerra Essential Oils.  My life is so much better with them in it.  I use so many for so many different reasons, including relaxation.  Lavender and Balance are my go to’s for stress relief! If you would like a sample…send me email! myhealthypassion1@gmail.com

These are just a few things I do for relaxation…What do you do to relax?! Any tips?!

Happy April!

Happy April my friends!

Do you believe it?! Honestly, I am SO happy its SPRING! As I have mentioned sooooo many times before, I love spring and the freshness it brings.  Its like a restart button has been pushed! Anyone else feel that way! I love the change of seasons! Whose with me?!

I am really looking forward to a three day weekend.  Lots of resting, spring cleaning, and yard work…oh and chocolate and sour patch kids (gotta love Easter candy!). I have big plans! I just wanted to stop in and say HELLO!!!!!!! I’ll be back next week with a full schedule of blogging packed with workouts, DIY’s, and recipes!

Oh and some exciting news…I will be hosting LOTS of doTERRA webinars the 3rd week in April! How fun, right! That means all of you can learn about the health benefits of essential oils right from your living room! WOO HOO! More on that coming soon.

I hope you all enjoy your Easter Weekend, I know I will! HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!

What are your fun plans for the weekend? Do you love season change?! 

My Weekend +Meal Ideas!

After an AMAZING weekend, I am back to this blog of mine.

One of my very best friends, Emily, got hitched this weekend to her prince charming!! It was such a blast, I am having a serious case of the Monday’s today.  I just love being with my girlfriends from college, there is nothing quite like it! It was such a beautiful wedding, and so amazing to see how happy my friend is! Again, congratulations to Emily and Mo!!!!!

Jessica emilys wedding

us at wedding

dancing

photo booth fun

 

Now, onto some meal ideas for this week! I have been trying lots of new recipes lately…trying to switch things up a bit! I have been slightly bored with my meal choices lately. Here is whats on the menu this week from alllllllll around the web!! I’ll let you all know what I find!

Quino enchilada casserole

 

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole….I think this sounds soooooo good! I will make some slight changes though!

paleo-potato-and-sausage-bake-640x427How good does this dish look from A Healthy Slice of Life!

Buffalo Chicken lettuce wraps…my own recipe!

I am also thinking an easy Chicken stir fry! As far as our lunches go…left overs/salads! So hopefully I will love these new recipes.  P.S….I am SOOOOO ready for SPRING!!!!! My FAVORITE season!!!!!!! :)

Do you like to try new recipes?! Ever feel like you eat the same stuff over and over?!?! 

 

 

How to Create a Playlist for Group Fitness

When I workout, music is everything.  I need it to be loud and inspiring with an amazing beat.  So when I teach, I need it to be all of those things.  Not only does it have to be inspiring and uplifting for me, but it has to be that way for other people too.  It has to motivate us all to get through the class and to push a little harder!

how to create a playlist

So naturally, the music I pick for my group fitness classes depends on the type of class that I am teaching. I always take into account the BPM, activity, and the audience! My classes always tell me what kind of music they like.  So I try to switch it up a bit!

One thing that I can’t stand, is music that is recreated by other artists that sound like chipmunks, I won’t mention the companies that offer this kind of music! It is the worst!!!!!! I do think there is a a type of class or place that you can use music like that, but I simply don’t find it motivating. It instantly turns me off to the class, but that’s just me! I like my aerobic music for my classes to be the original artists but changed into certain BPM and fun remixes!! It adds such a fun element to the classes!

I often use this site for all my music, its called Instructor Music, I personally think they have the best choices! I will also look on Spotify, itunes, and iheartradio for new remixes of music!

Once Its time to create a new routine for certain classes, let’s use step aerobics for example. I start to brainstorm what kind of music I want! i normally keep it at 136 BPM or 140 BPM. Sometimes I stick with a theme…80’s, Madonna vs. Michael, All Rihanna….Or a total mix! Then, I pick the music or playlist. Once, I have my music picked out….I let the creative juices flow and create my routine.

The opinions of this post are 100% my thoughts, and just want to share the love of where I find my music for my classes!

Does music inspire you? Who is your favorite artist to workout to? If your an instructor, where do you find your music?