Planning a healthy Summer getaway? Consider one of these yoga festivals that aim to bring like-minded yogis together through music and yoga flow. Each of these festivals offers an experience that will leave you rested, refreshed, and heading back to the "real" world with a positive attitude. Click through to learn about the festivals we'd love to attend before you book your next adventure.
Lounging all day at the beach might be your speed, but anyone who's fallen out of a bikini can tell you, they wish they'd thought their top choice through. If you're going to be active at the beach this Summer, click through the following trendy picks to inspire smart swimwear beyond the standard triangle top.
It's time to redefine what it means to have a girls' night out — with a run! Forget heading to the movies this Friday night and start training for a half or full marathon. More like a dance party, these races take place in fun locations, require tons of girl power, and are nothing short of bright costumes. Making fun the main priority, there's no doubt this type of competitive spirit will bring you closer to your gals while helping you stay fit too. Check out the 5K, half, and full marathon races we found throughout the country; the hardest part will be deciding if you'd rather be rewarded at the finish line with bling, bubbly, or both!
- ZOOMA Race Series: Consider the ZOOMA series your fit weekend getaway filled with “mocktail” parties, yoga sessions, and a 5K or half marathon run. Awaiting at the finish line will be wine, live music, massages, and tons of girl power!
- Cost: Prices vary by location, but expect the half marathon to be around $120 and 5K, $90.
- Prize: A ZOOMA swag bag and tons of free goodies like massages and wine.
- Training Groups? Yes, find them here.
- Locations: Annapolis, Chicago, Cape Cod, Florida, and Austin.
- Nike Women's Marathon: The largest women's marathon in the world, the Nike series takes place in both Washington DC and San Francisco. The event is filled with a sense of community, stylish gear, and raises awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You can choose to run the half marathon or full in San Francisco; the Washington DC race is a half marathon.
- Cost: Price hasn't been set, but the random draw for the San Francisco race opens June 3, 2013.
- Prize: Ready for this? Each finisher receives an exclusive necklace designed by Tiffany & Co!
- Training Groups? Yes, find them here.
- Locations: San Francisco and Washington DC.
It's time to prep for your bikini. And who better to help than Jeanette Jenkins, president of The Hollywood Trainer, where she's worked with heavyweights like Alicia Keys, Pink, and Kelly Rowland. In this 10-minute, total-body bikini boot camp, Jeanette will have your heart rate up and muscles burning. Grab a pair of three- to five-pound weights and get ready to work!
Seven minutes for a workout — who doesn't have time for that? That's why we've been loving this quick circuit workout from the American College of Sports Medicine, which burns major calories in a short amount of time. Keeping the intensity up — and the rest periods short — is key, so make sure you are pushing yourself during each 30-second spurt! You'll need a mat and a chair or bench. Repeat the circuit up to three times.
Learn how to do all the moves here, and get the printable poster of this seven-minute HIIT workout here.
If you've never tried a barre class before, then read these beginner tips, shared by our friends at Self!
With all the trendy barre studios popping up everywhere, it may seem like ballet-inspired workouts are just the latest fitness fad. But in fact, barre classes have been around since the '50s, when former dancer Lotte Burke opened her first studio in London.
Fast forward half a century(!) and Burke-inspired barre classes are more popular than ever. And tomorrow, Exhale Spas nationwide are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their signature class, Core Fusion Barre, with a day of free classes! Never taken a barre class before? Core Fusion cofounder Fred DeVito offers five things you should know.
- Think quality over quantity. "This is not Insanity; this is not CrossFit," says DeVito. "We're not about how many reps you can do in a minute or how many pounds you can lift." Rather, most barre classes focus on precision and proper form; you'll do smaller, slower movements, but you'll definitely feel them because you're isolating specific muscle groups you're not used to using.
- If you're doing it right, then you're going to shake — and feel that burn. "You're not going to look supergraceful doing these moves, and it's not going to feel easy — even if you think you're in good cardiovascular shape." (Don't be fooled by those tiny little hand weights; they really do get heavy!) Luckily, students are instructed to focus in on themselves, not to watch other people around them. "You can't be intimidated by what you look like — or by hard work," says DeVito.
- Dress the part. "We encourage people to wear grippy socks, with little rubber nubs on the bottom; we sell our own and almost every other barre studio sells their own, as well. This keeps you from slipping when you're on the barre, and it's more sanitary than going barefoot." (Real fashionistas may want to check out in-studio footwear, too!) Another apparel tip: don't wear short shorts. You'll be doing a lot of inversions and open-leg poses, so capris or full leggings are a better bet. (More on what to wear to barre class here.)
Keep reading for more beginner barre tips.
Banish bra fat and tone your upper back with the lying overhead reach. It's one of our favorite moves for this hard-to-tone trouble zone. And to make the exercise more fun, we've turned it into a 60-second challenge. We want to know how many reps you can do — safely and effectively! — in one minute. Press play to start the timer.
The start of any new fitness regimen can be full of many unknowns, like how much you should be exercising and how to do basic strength-training moves. One more important aspect of your new exercise routine you shouldn't ignore? Finding the right fit for you.
While it can be easy to sign up for the closest gym or just tag along with your friends to Pilates class, if you don't take time to find a workout you actually like, then your new beginner's enthusiasm might wane into pre-workout dread — and neglect — before you know it. So take time out to try everything to find what you really love, says Natalie Uhling, a kickboxing and SLT Yoga instructor who found her perfect fitness fit — loud music and lots of movement and intensity — after a lot of trial and error. "I've tried every exercise you can imagine," she told us. "I know what I like."
Follow Natalie's advice and think outside your exercise box. "Take everything. Even if you're like, 'Oh, that description doesn't sound like something I would do' — take it all," she advises. Once you've figured out your fit, take note of what gets you excited to work out. "Do what's best for you, not what your friends do and not what someone's telling you to do," she says. "Do what you love to do, and then you'll be able to incorporate it into your life." And don't let embarrassment keep you from trying that new hip-hop dance class. "Don't be afraid to try anything," she adds. "I've looked like a total fool in tons of classes."
A bed isn't just for catching zzzs; think of this elevated, soft structure as another piece of fitness equipment you can use before or after hitting the hay in your own home, at your in-laws' house when out for a weekend visit, or at the hotel while on your Summer vacation. These moves may be basic, but they are super effective at toning your body.
— Targets arms
- Stand a few feet away from the edge of the bed, facing away. Place your hands on the mattress, fingertips pointing toward the feet.
- Begin with your torso in one straight line. From here, bend your elbows behind you, lowering your hips toward the ground. Then straighten the arms to lift the hips, squeezing the glutes at the top.
- Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps.
— Targets legs and tush
- Stand about three feet away from the foot of the bed, facing away. Lift your left leg up and rest the ball of your foot on the mattress (as shown in the above photo).
- From here, bend your front knee, lowering your left knee toward the ground so it's at a 90-degree angle, and then rise up.
- Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps on each leg.
Keep reading to learn three more toning moves using your bed.
Standing tall in a bikini will boost your confidence at the beach, and a strong upper back is essential for improving your posture. The lying overhead reach is the perfect move for strengthening your back and toning the bra bulge. Watch this video to learn how to safely and effectively perform this exercise.