5 Fitness Apps You Need [Guest Post]

This guest post is written by Lauren Byrd. Lauren is a contributing writer for Orangetheory Fitness. She regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and fitness blogs. She loves to spend her free time traveling and being active.

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Our society is going through a fitness craze (but I’m not complaining)! New technologies, wearables and trackers (hello Fitbit) are coming out by the day it seems. It is “cool” to be fit. If you prefer to work out at home or like taking a day between your group fitness classes to do your own workout, then there are apps out there for you to take advantage of.

If you find yourself spending time scrolling through Instagram or your other favorite digital app, then make a choice to spend that time scrolling through a fitness app and get a good workout in! With notifications, you won’t ever forget to make time to work on your fitness and get inspired and motivated.

It was really hard to pick only 5, but I have put together a list of my top 5 favorite fitness apps in no particular order (I couldn’t pick!) that you need to download today!

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Fitocracy

Image credit: www.fitocracy.com

For anyone looking for that extra motivation, this app provides you with your very own personal trainer (for an extra cost). It turns workouts into a game which allows you to win points as you go and compete against others who are in the Fitocracy community. The community also gives you that extra boost, support and motivation to succeed in your fitness goals! There are also tailored workouts for your experience and specific goal.

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Image credit: www.sworkit.com

This app has to be one of my favorites! It provides some hardcore pre-made workouts for different levels, times and body parts. It is also customizable so you can create exactly the workout that you want to do. You can also watch video demonstrations of the workouts as well as receive verbal instruction and cues by real trainers. The app combines interval training which maximizes the effectiveness of your workout as well as random exercises so your body doesn’t get used to a specific routine!

unnamedCouch to 5K

Image credit: www.c25kfree.com/

If you’ve ever wanted to get into running, but don’t know how to start – this is the perfect app for you. Sometimes people start off too fast and run too hard at first – that’s why most people rebel against running! Before this app, that was definitely me. I have never really been the greatest at running, but I’m happy to say that using this app definitely prepared me to run my first 5K a few months ago! It is the perfect training app because it increases the intensity as you go!

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Image credit: www.blogilates.com

If you’ve ever watched any YouTube fitness videos, then you’ve probably watched a video of Cassey Ho. In this app, she provides fitness videos, healthy recipes, a community forum and even a monthly workout calendar! The calendar is awesome because it gives you planned workouts every day as they should be paired!

unnamed-3Zombies, Run

Image credit: www.zombiesrungame.com/

This is another fitness app that turns workouts into a game! Get fit all while escaping zombies. Running becomes way more fun, and you really forget that you are working out because you are involved in missions and chases all while being connected to 1 million players all over the world! If you’re a Walking Dead fan, intrigued by Zombies, or just want to be motivated to sweat it out during a run, you must download this app NOW!

 

What is your favorite app for staying fit and healthy? 

-TTT

6 Easy Ways to Stick with Your Summer Fitness Goals [Guest Post]

This guest post is written by Shelly Stinson. Shelly is a health, food and lifestyle writer hoping to start her own website in the near future. 

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Ah, summer. It’s the season of cookouts and fun, especially with holidays that tend to bring people together, like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
But what happens when all of your get-togethers and gatherings start getting in the way of your fitness routine? Do you choose to have a good time or stick to your health and fitness goals?
Fortunately, you can have both. Here are some easy ways to make it happen.

Become a Morning Exerciser

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t miss your workouts, even if you’re planning to attend various events, is to become a morning exerciser. This enables you to get your exercise done and out of the way before any late-day plans have a chance to derail your fitness goals.
Morning exercise has other benefits too. For instance, most gyms aren’t as packed in the morning as they are at night. Plus, there are some hormones that peak early in day and they happen to be the same hormones that help build muscles (like testosterone).

Make Party Days “Off Days”

Most people don’t exercise seven days a week so one way to keep your gatherings from nixing your exercise goals is to simply use those days as your off days. That way you don’t have to feel guilty about it because you know you’ll be working out the next day instead.

Exercise During Your Lunch Hour

If your gathering is taking place after work and that’s normally when you exercise, how about fitting in a lunchtime workout session so you can still get fit without it hurting your social life?
Basically, you want to think about the times you can slide exercise into your schedule as this increases the likelihood that you’ll actually do it. Breaks make good times too if it’s a mini-workout you’re after.

Incorporate Summer Activities

Another way to ensure that you don’t let go of your fitness goals due to your expanding summer social calendar is to change up your exercise routine. You can do this by incorporating summer-based activities that you enjoy but don’t necessarily get to do the rest of the year.
For instance, what about adding beach runs or swimming? Pick activities that make you want to come back for more and you will.

Try Something New

You can also make it easier to stick to your exercise routine by trying new exercise activities. This can help to renew your motivation and alleviate any boredom you might feel.
Some of the trending workouts at this moment include high intensity interval training (HIIT), CrossFit, mixed martial arts (MMA), and barre classes. Check around your area to see what interests you!

Sign Up for an Event

It’s always easier to put in the effort when you know you have a deadline or that the workout is necessary due to something you can’t back out of.
That’s why signing up for an event can help you stay on track with your workouts. It forces you to keep up your exercise so that you’re ready on the day of the competition.
Depending on your interests, this could mean looking for a late summer 5k or even trying your hand at one of the more grueling fitness events like the Tough Mudder or a Spartan Race. Get yourself on the list so you make your exercise sessions a priority.
Do these types of things and you’ll find it easier to stick to your summer exercise routine while still having a social life at the same time.

Do you think that’s what they meant by having your cake and eating it too?

Guest Post: 32 Fouettes for my 32nd Birthday

This guest post is written by my sister, Emily Earle. A graduate student at Lesley University, my graceful sibling has been dancing since the age of three. Read her review of the final dress rehearsal for Boston Ballet’s Swan Lake … 

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Guest Post Author, Emily Earle

Everything is indeed beautiful at the ballet this spring!

Mikko Nissinen’s resplendent Swan Lake returned to the Boston Opera House this past Friday, April 29, offering awe-inspiring movement, music, sets, costumes and technical accomplishments that transport the audience out of time and into an emotional fantasy.

Fortuitously, I was brought along as a guest of the Trendy Trainer (full disclosure: she’s my sister and it was my birthday on Friday. Thanks, TTT!) to view the final dress rehearsal.

I’ve actually had a unique connection to Swan Lake since before I was born. My mother had Boston Ballet season tickets and attended a performance while she was pregnant with me so I possibly absorbed Tchaikovsky through that and when I was growing up, I couldn’t sleep unless the music was playing on a cassette tape next to my bed. I was also a ballerina for many years myself, from age four to eighteen, spending hours after school and on weekends at the barre and en pointe, even dancing the Baby Swan variation in class.

Needless to say, ballet, specifically Swan Lake, holds a special place in my heart.

The final dress rehearsal provided an inside look at how ballet is made, long tables lined with computer screens, towers of technical equipment, at least three video cameras and endless numbers of artistic staff with legal pads, scribbling furiously.

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As soon as the mournful oboe signaled the beginning of the prologue, we were witnessing something special. One last chance to work out kinks before an opening night audience, but, from where we sat, there were no kinks at all. Perfection radiated from the movement onstage in their precise, calculated yet deeply emotional steps.

Briefly, the story of Swan Lake is one of magic, deception and tragic romance. An evil sorcerer transforms a princess into a swan by day and tricks a Prince into betraying her with his own daughter, the infamous Black Swan. Nissinen deftly stages each piece of the story, rolling fog spilling over into the orchestra pit while the corps de ballet rises from the mist in a spectacular stage picture, highlighting each tortured swan arm undulation until your heart is breaking for the cursed princess.

Though I was never close to dancing professionally, I am reasonably aware of the athleticism it takes. The training and conditioning along with the intense artistry demanded of one of the top ballet companies in the world is unparalleled. It’s a unique combination of an extreme sport and high classical art.

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One of the most well-known sequences, the “Odile coda” near the beginning of Act 2, requires the dancer playing the dual role of Odette the Swan Queen and her evil counterpart, Odile the Black Swan, to perform 32 fouette, or “whipped” turns at a rapid clip and Misa Kuranaga, Boston’s Swan Queen, stunned in this variation. Her fierce flicks and flashes of movement communicated her power over the doomed Prince and her endless series of turns elicited the thunderous applause it deserved.

I felt so fortunate to watch a rehearsal of this scale play out.

The dancers walked through a brief curtain call, but there were no bouquets of roses to present, only the directors and designers hustling to the stage with pages of notes before the orchestra even finished playing.

As I stood from my seat to leave, the orchestra began reviewing certain pieces of the score and the lights started scrolling through cues, flashing colors against the flock of white tulle congregated center stage, putting the minute, final touches on a gem of a piece that was clearly ready for and deserving of an audience.
Boston Ballet’s Swan Lake plays April 29-May 26 at the Boston Opera House: www.bostonballet.org