Oh, Hey May!

Hiiiiiii! What a fantastic weekend! And…y’all, its MAY!!!! How is that even possible! May is one of my favorite months though, so I welcome it with open arms! May, in my eyes, is kicking off Summer.  And, this Summer, I have SO many fun things, weddings and trips planned. I just can’t wait! This weekend was a full one, check out my review below!

So in review, I had a crazy, FUN, & busy weekend! Weekends really do go by so fast, especially when they are jammed. Monday mornings sure do come around quickly! Friday night was spent at home organizing things for the next day. Nothing too crazy.

Saturday was one of my best friends Bridal Shower in Ohio.  So lots of planning and fun was had by all! It was a wine theme…and I had a lot of fun creating the decorations and drinking all the wine.  The shower took place about two hours away.  So I drove up early on Saturday and had to come home that same night.  I LOVE seeing my friends from college.  We always pick up right where we left off, like we never missed a beat.  It was a fabulous shower! Now…onto planning the Bachelorette weekend, WOOO!

IMG_2257

IMG_2246

IMG_2256

After spending time with my best gal pals, I came home and relaxed a bit before passing out! Only to wake up early on Sunday for the Pittsburgh Marathon!!! I ran in the Marathon Relay! I was running the last leg which was 4.2 miles.  Guys, I had a BLAST!!!!! It was seriously SO much fun. I know its not the half or the full….but it was a real challenge for me, and I DID IT!  I have been training a bit, here and there, and I really was proud of myself for surviving! I am not a runner, it is a struggle for me. I am really striving to be more of a runner/jogger,  I think its more mental for me.  But the marathon crowd was so encouraging, energetic, and motivating…I just kept on pushing through! I can’t get over the crowds, seriously, the best! If you follow me on SNAPCHAT (jhiggs787) you had to see some of the crowds, bands and crazy folks who were cheering us on! So CONGRATS to all the people who ran in the full marathon, half, and relay!!!!!! I am definitely planning on doing it again next year, who knows, maybe ill do the half! say whaaaaaaaat?!?!

IMG_2245

IMG_2269

After the race, Nick and I went to Pipers Pub! I had a large Bloody Mary 🙂  and some yummy food! The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent relaxing and taking it easy! All in all it was such an awesome weekend.  My highlight…seeing my friends from college and crossing that finish line! 🙂

What was the highlight of your weekend?!  

 

Chelsea Collective

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Vocal Point and Chelsea Collective. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support My Healthy Passion!

front

 

Ladies, listen up…I am SO excited to tell you about a new fitness focus specialty store! I was invited to attend the VIP opening event at Chelsea Collective on Tuesday evening! The NEW store is located at Ross Park Mall! Chelsea Collective, is a prototype of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ apparel section, with a focus on women’s clothing. Its a fitness boutique! And to put it simply, I loved it and had a fabulous time!

Here is the exact description of Chelsea Collective! “Chelsea Collective is the only fitness-focused specialty store that provides head-to-toe product diversity across footwear, apparel, accessories, and beauty. They will support you in your variety of fitness interests from the studio, to running and beyond! Chelsea Collective selects every piece to be as high performing as it is sophisticated. They bring everything you wear into one place.”

pose

 

I was pretty pumped when I found out I was able to bring a guest.  I decided to bring my Mom!!! We arrived a few minutes early, waited in line.  The event took place from 6-8:00 PM! Once they opened the gates, we were instantly greeted by smiling faces and a photographer! They checked us off the guest list and handed us a $25.00 gift card! WHAAAAAAT?! Yes, I was pumped!!!  Once we walked in we were offered a choice of white wine, Prosecco, the Chelsea signature cocktail which had gin in it…oh and cucumber water! There were loads of appetizers too. I took a a white wine and my mom chose Prosecco!   CC is separated by brand, so its very organized and easy to find your way around.  I was most excited to see a Lorna Jane section. I was ecstatic to try on some Lorna Jane stuff…I mean…ladies, her pants have a natural butt lift added to them!!!!!

selfie

yogurt

There was so much fun stuff going on throughout the store.  They had a selfie booth (My mom and I had fun in there! :)) and…a yogurt buffet!  Once I started to explore the store, I really realized how much this store has to offer.  The sales associates we were so incredibly helpful, I mean over the top.  I want to give a shout out to one lady in particular…Jessica! She was AWESOME!!!! She was so amazingly helpful.  She helped me find the perfect style of workout pants (Calia, tight fit, my new obsession) and answered all 100 questions that I asked.  She also connected me with another lady, who helped me with shoes! I am SO going to get the Pink Nike’s below!

nike and wine

pnk nike

 

Here are so more fun snaps of the store! So many adorable tops…proceed with caution!!! 😉

display

 

lornaHow cute is that Lorna Jane top…”it all starts with BELIEVE”! Love this! So after meandering through the entire store for two hours, I wanted everything. I narrowed it down to the pants that I mentioned above as well as a Calia pale pink top.  I am obsessed with Carrie Underwood, so it only makes sense that I LOVE her athletic line! purchasesThe most exciting part of the night….SWAG BAG! Towards the end of the evening there was a build-a-bag event where we were all gifted an awesome and so cute Nike duffel bag.  We were then able to fill it with 4 additional items! Check out these fun items below that I was lucky enough to pick out!!!!

swag bag

grand opening

 

Now is your chance to go ladies and gents…. the grand opening of Chelsea Collective is August 22 & 23!!  There will be in-store styling demonstrations, expert advice (the sales associates were SO accommodating), complimentary services and refreshments AND the first 25 guests will receive a special gift.

Would you shop at Chelsea Collective, wanna go to the grand opening!? What is your favorite fitness apparel brand OR store?

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?!

 

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?